Image Contributor:  Twin Design

Image Contributor: Twin Design

It's official: Mobile devices have changed the photography world. When renowned photojournalists and documentary photographers like Amy Vitale, David Guttenfelder and David Alan Harvey take to Instagram, you know there’s no turning back.  

The royalty-free stock photography landscape is no exception. The ever-increasing quality of cameras on mobile devices, combined with apps built especially for photographers, means high-quality images can be created and edited on the fly. All of which is great news for photographers wishing to include their work in royalty-free stock photo collections. Of course, it’s not about the camera as much as the shooter behind the camera, but quality tools never hurt, right?

Here’s a snapshot of 8 killer mobile photo apps to help you produce commercially viable, high-quality images for stock photo collections, like Bigstock:


Interested in uploading your images for licensing from a stock photo collection? Then you’ll definitely want to download Easy Release. Use it to easily obtain model release signatures and keep track of your projects.  Model releases help ensure everything is kosher on the legal end before your work is ready to be licensed from a royalty-free library.



Want to know what kind of imagery is in demand? Knowing what image buyers are searching for, and what kind of content is already out there, improves your chances of shooting an image that someone might need. Use our big brother Shutterstock’s mobile app to do just that.



Hipstamatic is more than just a narcissistic outlet for shooting selfies in front of street art.  The carefully crafted lens and film packs help simulate a true vintage film feeling, and the app lets you shoot at higher resolutions than the iPhone’s native camera. As demand for royalty-free images tilts towards more authentic, natural-feeling imagery – Hipstamatic can help capture those vibes.



Snapseed is a powerful photo-editing app with surprising versatility. One of the app’s best features is its ability to isolate a portion of the image, allowing you to make adjustments to only that part of the image.



Rivaling Snapseed is none other than the mobile version of the desktop behemoth Adobe Photoshop, and it will surprise you with its nifty capabilities. All the obvious stuff like cropping, sharpening, and exposure correction is here, but the Noise Reduction add-on is particularly useful for shooting low light situations.



VSCO Cam is like Instagram’s more interesting but less popular younger sibling, with a richer and more varied array of filters and editing options to choose from. Many of the best filters cost extra cash, but you can use them to give your images that classic vintage look that’s increasingly in demand in royalty-free collections.



The app’s description page on iTunes says, “ProCamera is a photo, video, and editing app bursting with state-of-the-art technology that helps you SHOOT LIKE A PRO.” It’s hard to argue with them. Features like rapid fire mode, “3D tiltmeter”, anti-shake, and night camera help further transform your phone into something resembling a full blown DSLR.



It’s impossible to talk about mobile photography without mentioning the app that helped kick the entire genre into high gear. Instagram may not be the best solution for editing and shooting, but for photographers looking to share their work with an attentive audience and engage with a passionate community, this is where it’s done. Many photographers use Instagram as a platform to promote their work to a broader audience.

For example, you can follow me at @elijahsol. Good luck!


AuthorElijah Hurwitz