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Shooting Stock Videos – The Right Way




Stock videos are 10-60 second clips that are shot with the intent of selling for commercial or editorial purposes. They provide an easy and accessible way for video producers to get shots of particular places or scenes to improve their videos. Besides, it saves time and money spent on hiring a crew to go out to the location and shoot. A lot of photographers dabble in it to make money from photographyIf you’re trying to get into the world of shooting for stock photography, here are a few steps to get you started:

1.Make a list of niches that interest you.

The first thing to do when you start this journey is to select one or few niches. Something you love to do and you’re good at. Start small; there’s no need to instantly head to the mountains or hire actors.For example, if one of your favourite things to do is to make a hot cup of coffee in the morning, then you could film a time-lapse or slo-mo video of the coffee-making process. Or make a clip of you drinking your morning coffee and enjoying it. Think from the perspective of filmmakers who need footage or B-rolls to help with their narrative process. Get creative.

2.Go through your existing videos

If you already have some old videos lying around in your digital storage or hard drives, then it’s time to use them. Those long-forgotten or overlooked archives can get you started. We’ve written about how to identify great footage from your existing library, but here are a few quick tips:
  • The video should be stable. Shaky videos work in very limited scenarios.
  • There should be a clear subject of the video, and that subject should be in focus.
  • Make sure your video isn’t under-exposed or over-exposed. If it is, then fix it in post-processing before uploading. And make sure there are no watermarks.
Also, be a little careful about permissions. If you have a beautiful shot of a vintage house, you have to get a release signed by the owner of that house.

3. Have a plan and a shot list

If you’re deciding on having a proper shoot for your stock videos, make sure you have a plan or at least a vision in your mind. Here are some quick tips to help you out:
  • Niche – Make sure to decide upon a niche before you begin shooting. Having too many options will make it difficult to focus on a particular subject or idea during your shoot.
  • List out the shots – Make a list of shots that come to your mind when thinking of your subject. We’ve spoken to a lot of directors and photographers; they all say that a shot list is necessary before you start shooting, or there will be delays.
  • Multiple shots of the same scene – Take different shots of the same scene by improvising different actions, activities, angles or movements. This variety will help the user when they’re editing.

4. Select your viewpoint

There might be several stock videos of the Taj Mahal on IndieVisual or the Juhu beach for instance. But what makes each video of the same location different, is the place from where they’re taken. Choose a place that’s hard to reach, an unexpected angle. If you have access to a friend’s balcony with a spectacular view, take advantage of the access. It’s all about the viewpoint.

5.Gears and Equipment

You might assume or feel the need to have the best possible tech available to get started. But don’t worry. In 2022, most of the smartphones have a minimum recording resolution of 720P and a maximum of 4k. IndieVisual has a minimum resolution requirement of 720p, which means that any smartphone bought in the last few years is good enough. This is the best and cheapest way to start your journey in stock footage.For those stable and seamless shots, try investing in:
  • Tripod – helps take stable and spectacular still shots and time lapses.
  • A smartphone gimbal. The DJI Osmo and Zhiyun Smooth are some popular options, and not at all expensive. You could also snag a great deal on them on OLX.
Learning about different features and modes in your camera will help too. For example, learn the use of different frame rates. if you want to turn your video into slow motion, go for 60 or 120 FPS. For a cinematic look, go for 24 FPS. But you don’t have to stick to the rules, just play around with settings and have fun creating something unique.

6. Editing

In case you feel your videos need a little more polishing, here are some things to look out for when editing your clips:
  • Make sure your videos aren’t over or under-exposed.
  • Colour-grade your videos if necessary.
  • If the sound in the video isn’t ambient and if it’s too noisy or loud, then remove the sound.
  • You can trim videos to make them crisp and straight to the point.
Here are some technical requirements to keep in mind when uploading to IndieVisual:
  • Aspect ratio: For uploading your clips on IndieVisual, your video’s aspect ratio should be 16:9.
  • Minimum length of your clips should be 8 seconds and maximum should be 40-60 seconds.
  • Video formats accepted on Indie visual: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, MPEGPS
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