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Building A Stock Video Business: Monetizing Life's B-Roll

COW Library : Adobe Creative Cloud : Rod Harlan : Building A Stock Video Business: Monetizing Life's B-Roll
CreativeCOW presents Building A Stock Video Business: Monetizing Life's B-Roll -- Adobe Creative Cloud


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It’s always nice when you can earn a little extra cash from your daily grind. Working in the creative arts gives us ample opportunity to develop a side-hustle.

If your line of work involves videography in one way or another, there are ways to make the most of your next gig. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you start shooting video that could translate to earned extra cash. Doing these things from the get go will keep your extra footage on par with the video commonly featured on stock video sites like Adobe Stock.


Look for Opportunities
Take every advantage of your surroundings to get quality b-roll footage that you can offer for sale. If you are given the chance to go on a scouting trip, take it! These offer an excellent opportunity for capturing quality B-roll.

Being on set for a job that you are already getting paid for (as a producer, writer, camera person, assistant, and so on) is a great opportunity to capture quality b-roll.

However, first and foremost, make sure that your extra shooting activities don’t interfere with your job at hand. This is meant only for your “down time”. Make sure the time you take to shoot is your own. Shooting should be done before your regular paid work begins, during breaks, or at the end of the day after everything has been tidied up. Don’t violate any possible client agreement or use any models that the client has paid for, if applicable. I highly recommend you bring along your own camera and accessories to keep things separate from the equipment on set.


A Perfect Gig
Here’s an example of a job I’ve had where I have also taken the opportunity to capture some excellent stock footage for sale. While recording interviews and testimonials at a convention center for a client, I noticed that this particular convention center sits along a river in a downtown area of a decent sized city.



When I wasn’t required to be in a windowless convention center room recording interviews, I took the opportunity to stroll around the convention center gathering footage. While on my lunch break and also at the end of the day, I took my camera and got some outside shots along the river. I was lucky to capture some boats sailing by and some interesting wildlife shots.

I then walked in the opposite direction towards the downtown area and took advantage of the great cityscape and architectural shots that presented themselves. Add in a couple of timelapses taken with an extra action cam I had leftover in the bag and I’ve got a pretty good package of diverse shots.

All that extra footage, taken on my own time, turned into great stock footage that is readily available for sale.



Know Your Requirements
When shooting your footage, even if you’re just on vacation, record at the maximum resolution that your camera can handle. This means nothing lower than 1920X1080 at a minimum and if your camera is capable, you should really shoot in 4K. This format is in demand the most these days as it allows producers to use it at full resolution or crop/zoom on the section they need if on a 1080p timeline.

Knowing the requirements for uploading your stock video ahead of time will save you from disappointing rejections and wasted footage in the future. Requirements to consider include quality standards, technical requirements, and basic legal information.

Most stock companies are generally the same, but some requirements or standards may vary from company to company, so do your research. Click HERE to get the latest stock video requirements for Adobe Stock Video.


Some of the most popular videos in the "Everyday People" category at Adobe Stock. Note that you'll need releases from the people in your videos!


Know your equipment
Leaving your camera in automatic mode is not generally going to give your footage the consistent quality look that you’re after when prepping footage for sale. Having a clear understanding of your camera’s settings, how those settings work, and what results those settings can achieve will give you a clear advantage over another shooter who isn’t as comfortable with their camera. Knowing how to use your camera’s ISO, aperture, frame rate and white balance can greatly improve your results.

Also, you will want to record in your camera’s neutral or flat color setting. You want a neutral color palette since you want to make it easy for the editor who buys your clip to match the rest of their footage when they do their own color grading with a product like Lumetri in Adobe Premiere Pro.

And don’t forget about lighting! Too much of it and areas of your video will be blown out, while too little light will introduce noise and murky dark colors that you don’t want. Outdoor shoots during the day can give you the proper light needed to produce quality footage. Look for as much great natural light as you can find, usually in the golden hour around sunset and sunrise. This will keep things simple until you feel comfortable and knowledgable enough to try your hand at low light and night shooting.


"City Streets" videos at Adobe Stock


Taking Action
Even if your job doesn’t give you the opportunity to shoot much video, your next vacation probably does. With a little planning, vacations can be a great source of b-roll that you can monetize into stock video sales. However, make sure that the whole family is on board with your plans or it could make things more stressful and cause some family members to harbor resentment.

When it comes to recording stock footage for sale, all you really need is to look for opportunities, be aware of your surroundings, schedule some time to shoot, and have your equipment with you so it’s ready to take action. With a little preparation, you can monetize life’s B-roll into a fun and profitable side-hustle.




This article is sponsored by Adobe Stock



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