Rick Ray of DVArchive has traveled the world, lived in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, played ragtime piano for money in Australian bars, and both been arrested in Ethiopa and recruited those same police to be in his videos the very next day. In his NAB Show presentation for Adobe Stock, Rick gets specific about how to make real money in stock video following your passion around the world, what kind of equipment to choose and avoid, and yes, some advice about talking your way out of trouble.
"The best way for me to introduce myself," says Rick, "is to say that I'm a guerrilla stock shooter. I also shoot stock footage of gorillas."
He thought that he'd take his film degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and jump straight into directing features. Instead, his first job out of school was as a driver for the TV series Ripley's Believe It Or Not, bringing host Jack Palance from his home in the desert an hour into Hollywood to the ABC Studios.
You may remember Jack Palance as Curly in City Slickers, also starring Billy Crystal.
Notoriously hard to impress, Palance was indeed not impressed at "the kid's" credentials, and told him that film school was worthless. His ambitions were worthless, too, said Jack. Forget about trying to be a copy of a copy that you learned about in school. "Buy a backpack, buy a notebook, buy a camera, and get out there. See the world."
Two years later, that's exactly what Ray did. As he traveled the world, making documentaries and travelogues on 16mm film, he was able to accomplish some marvelous things, and see some truly unforgettable sights, but also found that he wasn't making much money. As he began to work with stock video, including "my own lemon stand" at DVArchive.com, and also Adobe Stock, he finds now that he makes more in 2 weeks selling stock video than he'd ever earned in a year as full-time shooter: over $500,000 in the past 5 years alone.
Images here, and in the article title graphic, by Rick Ray, DVArchive, for Adobe Stock
The key to making a good living creating travel-based video is traveling well -- and that means traveling light. In Rick's talk, he gets very specific about putting together an entire 4K video kit that fits into a single shoulder bag, also offering his recommendation for a bag with solar panels to charge your gear, the perfect foldable drone to deflect the attention of customs officials, and much more.
This is a fast, energetic presentation, packed with specifics for what you really need in order to shoot everywhere you want to go in the world, how to make money with it, what to do when you wind up being detained by the authorities, and what it means to truly follow your passions.
Here's a small sample of the thousands of Rick Ray's clips at Adobe Stock.
And here's Rick's full-length reel.