The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Start In Stock Video – Part 5 What Content Should I Be Shooting

Guide to Shooting Stock Video Part 5The million dollar question on everyone’s mind when it comes to shooting stock footage is- What content should I shoot? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer to this question. And, even if there was, everyone would go out and shoot it, creating a glut of content.

That being said, there are three guiding principles and a resource that I can offer you to enable a higher chance for success as you shoot stock footage.

Guiding Principle 01: Shoot People & Lifestyle Shoots

Anyone can go out and shoot scenic material. And, in fact, everyone already has. So don’t waste your time with it. Instead, focus on shooting scenes that have people in them. Any type of lifestyle shoot, whether it is people at work, at home, or out on the road, will sell better than any scenic material you shoot. And the great part about this type of footage is that it is always needing to be updated. Every 5–10 years (and sometimes faster) technology and clothing styles change. So, there will always be a need for new, relevant footage.

Guiding Principle 02: Find A Niche

You will have better success if you can find a niche and market to that niche. The best situation that you can find yourself in is to find an underserved niche. By stepping in to meet that need, you will not have a lot of competition, and you will immediately be setting yourself apart as different- allowing your work to stand out. If you can’t find an underserved niche, then find a niche that you enjoy, or have easy access to. For example, maybe you have friends who work in the medical field, and you could get easy access to hospital rooms at little-to-no cost.

What Content Should I Be Shooting - Part 5
Still from Ryan’s Library

Guiding Principle 03: Pay Attention To World Events & Societal Shifts

If you are aware of world events, social trends, and societal shifts, you can gear your shoots around those shifting needs. And, by being ahead of the curve, you will instantly have content available when people need it instead of trying to play catch up like the rest of the content producers will be doing. You do not have to be a psychic or have super-intelligence to get ahead of the curve. All you have to do is to step outside of your own personal bubble and engage with the world around you.

Listen to news reports from outside your own country. Watch lots of ads. Read magazines that focus on interests beyond what you typically read. Watch more than one genre of TV show or movie. Interact with people outside of your typical normal patterns. And then, as you do this, pay attention to any patterns that you see developing. Then go out and shoot content that is in the theme of that pattern.

A Resource For Generating Ideas

If you are a contributor for Getty, then you will have exclusive access to their monthly creative briefs where they share ideas and samples of what content their buyers are asking for. Fortunately, for those of you who do not have access to this material, iStock recently began providing a similar resource that anyone can access. At the following link, you can view creative briefs, articles, tutorials, and other images to get your creative juices flowing: Click Here

If you incorporate these three principles and use the resource I have provided you above, you will be well on your way to developing relevant content that will generate sales for you.

DISCLAIMER: I am sharing with you directly from my own experience, and what has worked for me. I cannot promise or guarantee any results. Use my advice at your own risk.

Until Next Time, Get Out There And Shoot…

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Start In Stock Video
Part 1 Misconceptions
Part 2 Exclusive or Non-Exclusive
Part 3 Who Should You Sell To?
Part 4 How To Drive Sales of Your Footage
Part 5 What Content Should I Be Shooting
Part 6 5 Crucial Steps For A Successful Stock Shoot
Part 7 Maximizing Your Post Workflow
Part 8 How To Effectively Deliver Your Stock Footage

Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer


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About the Author

Born in 1980 in Seattle, Washington, Ryan has had a love and passion for the visual arts since a young child when his grandmother, an avid photographer, took him along on photo expeditions. As he grew up, his parents furthered that passion by enrolling him in various art programs and lessons. While he enjoyed painting and drawing, something was always missing - the ability to capture motion. Once introduced to the art of cinematography in high school he never looked back.Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer Since that time, Ryan has developed this passion and turned it into his career. As an award-winning cinematographer his work has allowed him the opportunity to travel worldwide in the pursuit of telling stories that are visually compelling. Ryan's distinct experience includes feature films, documentaries, commercials, and shooting for Comcast, TLC, Oxygen, and the Discovery Channel. Not only does Ryan seek to deliver cinematic images for his clients, but his commitment, organization, and professionalism means he constantly goes the extra mile to ensure that the results he delivers exceed his clients expectations.


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