July 30, 2016

Photographer FAQ: How to Sell Photos Online

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 Who We Are and What We Do

What is Scopio?  

Hello! We’re Scopio, an image search engine and licensing platform for trending images and videos on social media. We offer businesses a way for companies to license photos with customizable messages and build libraries of visual user-generated content. Clients either search a tag or keyword find your image through us and send you a message, or you can contribute directly and we add it to our library.

We also run a grab-and-go image Marketplace. It’s similar to a stock photo site, but with fair pricing and more authentic photos and videos.

For right now, we’re based out of Silicon Valley, New York and St. Louis.

How did you find my photo or video?

We’re social media mavens that search out all the next trends, and we’re always crawling social media for brilliant posts. So nine times out of ten, we found your photo or video through a hashtag campaign or trend that either we or our clients follow.

How can I sell my photos online with Scopio?

Scopio is looking for people like you that want to sell photos online (or even videos). We know you post one great photo or video to social media but have 10 more amazing ones on your phone, SD card or computer. You can submit photos or videos directly to us. 

Will you spam me if I add my email?

Don’t worry, we’ll never spam you or sell your information. We know how annoying spam emails from companies are. If you’d like to chat with us or follow us, you can do so by heading over to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

What are valid file types for uploading? 

We accept png, jpeg, jpg, gif, bmp, mp4 and mov files, but you can also email different file types to [email protected] We’ll convert and upload them for you.

What is the maximum amount of photos I can upload at once? 

As many as you’d like, but 50 photos at a time is best! Uploading more interesting, high-quality photos will increase your chances of being scoped out by companies and paid. If you want to submit your work, click here.


How do I know if someone uses my image?

We’ll notify you about payouts via email, so keep an eye on your personal inbox. We do photographer payouts near the end of every month.

How much will my photo or video sell for?

We generally pay contributors between $2 and $20 per photo or video downloaded, but payment can scale up to $1,000 depending on a photo’s use. The payment ranges depend on usage (whether the photo was used in print, on a website or on a social feed), type of license (exclusive or non-exclusive) and the client that uses it. Since bigger clients pay more for the service, you’ll receive more in return.

If clients use your photo in a UGC gallery created through Scopio, the image includes credit to you as compensation.

We’re working mostly with social media users to line their pockets with some extra cash, but we’re always working to scale up payments and functionalities for professional photographers and social media users alike. Scopio is actually a growing startup, so payments are sure to increase in the future as we grow and get more clients on board.

Can I resell my scop.io/submit photo submission?

Yes! All of your submitted photos would be non-exclusive, and you’re totally free to re-sell them under other non-exclusive licenses.

This also means that more than one of our clients can download your non-exclusive photo(s), so you’ll have the potential to be paid more than once. There’s no additional work on your part for that. It’ll stay in our library to be used numerous times.

Has someone published my photo or video yet?

We’ll be sure to let you know via email. Don’t worry if your photo isn’t picked up immediately — it’ll remain in our library to find a perfect match in the future.

When do I have to download Venmo?

You can download Venmo after a client uses your photo, and we’ll send you an email when that happens. If Venmo isn’t available where you live, we can arrange payment via Paypal.

Who will buy my photo or video? 

Our clients include companies, brands, nonprofits, media outlets and people sponsoring live events. These people truly want to connect with their audience and expand their name by launching a hashtag campaign or following trends on social media. They’re looking to use your unique images and videos in place of stale stock photos. Once a client reaches out to us, we curate images from people like you and then pay you per use of your photo or video when they use it.

When do I get paid? 

We pay contributors at the end of every month. If you’re published, we’ll send you an email alert with instructions for payment.

How do I get paid? 

We’ll arrange a payment method with you over email. We generally pay photographers using Venmo, but we also use PayPal for those outside the US. Payments for images on the Marketplace will differ from those on the dashboard.

Venmo isn’t available in my country. Can I be paid via PayPal? 

Yes, in our email to you you can respond back to us requesting this.

What happened? Why didn’t you transfer my money?

We’ll notify you by email as soon as we get word that your photo has been published by one of our clients.

Licensing and Legality

When I submit my photos, where do they go?

When you submit your work to us, it’s immediately stored on our database along with your contact information. This is private to the Scopio team.

We then add hashtags and keywords to your posts and either approve or deny each photo or video for publication on our dashboard. If approved, our dashboard clients can search for your work using those hashtags and keywords. If they like your work, they can download it immediately and use it for their marketing and branding. We’ll reach out near the end of every month to pay you for each new download.

We might also choose to add your photos to our Marketplace. Alternatively, you can choose just to put your photos and videos up on our Marketplace. Just reach out to [email protected] to arrange this.

Before I click into an unknown link, could you describe the picture and its purpose of use?

We’re looking for authentic pictures that companies can use to tell their stories. If they use a photo originally posted on social media, we pay the photographer for it. Companies are looking for your photos because they speak to people more than stock photos do. Our clients generally use photos they license from Scopio in their blogs, websites, social media feeds, ad campaigns and marketing materials.

How does Scopio protect a photographer’s work so it isn’t scrapped or downloaded without a fee?

Scopio has a button that clients use to download licensed photos and videos. When we log in as administrators, we can view everything a client has downloaded in each of their campaigns.

Scopio’s unique payment model also makes sure that this doesn’t happen. All of our clients pay a flat fee which covers both the dashboard and payouts to contributors, which we actually handle ourselves. This makes the entire process more streamlined for clients, and Scopio controlling photographer payouts ourselves ensures that nobody’s getting stiffed.

Near the end of every month, we log into Scopio’s administrator site and see the new photos that clients have downloaded. We then email photographers to set up a Venmo payment (PayPal is used if Venmo isn’t available in their country).

We also promote our images (similar to other photo companies), so you might see them in a blog post or social feed of ours.

Are images watermarked by Scopio so they aren’t used freely without a license?

Besides the occasional compressed submissions we promote on our social media feeds or blogs, all of Scopio’s licensed content is only available to paying clients that have a username and password. If you’re not a client of ours, it’s actually not possible to view our photos and videos, as everything is behind a secure paywall.

On Scopio’s Marketplace, we use a special feature that adds different layers of protection to your images. It disallows saving images via right clicks, dragging and dropping them, adding them to Pinterest and indexing them on Google.

How do you ensure that the images are correctly billed for usage and what rights the client pays for?

We communicate with each of our clients about how they’re using the photos and plan photographer payments accordingly. Openness and honesty is an important policy here at Scopio, and we find that when we’re real with clients, they’re real with us about how they’re using the platform.

What happens after I give the rights to my photo away?

If you agree to a non-exclusive license, we request the rights to promote your photo or video to companies and brands. If it’s used by a client, we’ll pay you like a freelance photographer (except in cases where the client is a charity or live event). However, Scopio still gives you additional sharing power. You can resell the photo or video under other non-exclusive provisions. Don’t worry — you can still keep the image and leave the post up on social media.

Will the image be sold commercially?

Hopefully, yes! It could be today, next week or even next month. It all depends on when the company decides to use it.

Does my @account information show?

No. The benefit of Scopio is that we treat you like a freelance photographer. That means that though the company can see your profile information and reach out to you directly, they don’t need to credit you for your photo.

Do I get to resell my photo?

If the client asks for a non-exclusive license, then yes. You still own the photo and can sell it to anyone else you’d like under a non-exclusive provision. Additionally, your photo remains in our library and can be used by other companies. You can definitely be paid multiple times for your work.

Can I agree to the conditions if I’m under 18?

No, you have to be 18 years old to sell photos online. Hang in there, slugger, or get a parent or guardian to sign the link with their email. Reach out to us at [email protected] if this happens.

Does the agreement apply for countries outside of the United States?

Of course! We live in a global village, so Scopio collects diverse content from over 80 countries. Our clients search in all languages, so you may get a message in Italian or Spanish!

Can I give the rights away if it’s not my image or video?

No, and this is very important. We will only request the rights from you if you’re the original photographer. Let’s keep it real here. If it’s not your image, please let us know after we contact you, and don’t agree to the terms as the agreement will be void. Honesty is the best policy, and it’ll keep you out of legal trouble.

Will you take all of my pictures or videos from Twitter or Instagram?

No — we’ll seek permission for each photo individually, but you can submit more pictures here. We can only ask for rights of photos that are personally shared with us or ones that we’ve scoped out ourselves through trending hashtags.

Will Scopio tell me who uses my images?

Many folks on our team are artists and photographers themselves, so we’ll be sure to let you know when your photo is used. Since we collect images, it could be tomorrow or months from now when you’re paid ten or twenty times a day for companies that love your amazing photograph. Sit back and relax — we’ve stored your email to contact you when it happens.

Submitting Photos

I have other pictures. How do I submit them?

Scopio has a submit page if you’d like to add more photos to our library. More photos from you in our library means an increased chance of being scoped out in the future.

I never got a confirmation email.

Did you upload your photos to Scopio’s submit page? If so, no worries — we don’t send out confirmation emails for those submissions. You should just be redirected to a confirmation page right after uploading your work.

What kind of photos are companies looking for?

We have an array of clients working toward different goals, so any type of great photo you’ve taken will work just fine, especially if it includes people. Right now we’re looking for photos and videos similar to (but not related to) these categories:




Coffee shops

Workspaces, office life and entrepreneurship


City skylines

Check out our Instagram account for even more inspiration! We post photos nearly every week that are similar to ones our clients want to use.

What size image do you prefer?

It’s best to submit images at the largest size you have. This ensures that they can be published in print.

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the analytics on campaigns. Wondering how you can leverage UGC to help you tout your brand? Request a demo with the button below or email [email protected]

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Tara posted on July 20, 2017 at 9:22pm

When submitting photos, how do I choose multiple categories?

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Mark posted on September 19, 2017 at 6:33pm

It seems like Venmo has to be used in the US. Can Paypal be used in the US also?

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Marlee Ellison posted on September 20, 2017 at 11:01am

Hi Mark! Great question. We do prefer to use Venmo for photographers here in the US and PayPal for the folks abroad. That being said, we’re happy to work something out for you on PayPal if you submit images and get published! Feel free to email me at [email protected] with any photos you’d like to promote to brands.

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