Looking Into The Future of Motion (Video) Stock

Posted on 11/11/2010 by John Martin Lund | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Based on some recent discussions with producers of video stock John Lund offers some thoughts on the possibilities, and limitations, of motion stock and how stock footage might fit into a photographer’s future.

The Importance of Editing Motion

One stock photographer, who has been adding a lot of video into his stock shoots, shared how important it has been for him to edit together a short film from each of his stock shoots. He went on to explain that the exercise was invaluable for helping him to understand the kind of clips that needed to be captured during a shoot and the importance of providing for transitions. Editing his shoots into short films is making him a far better motion stock shooter. Further, those short films will then be available, as well as the individual clips, for stock licensing.

Finding Appropriate Clips Is Challenging

Another photographer, who also is very experienced in the motion world, went on to say that finding clips that can be edited into an a motion project in progress is very challenging, and that in his experience, in most cases, it was actually easier and more efficient for him to just shoot what was needed himself. There are issues of format, of frame rates, of lighting quality and quantity, of the "feel" of the footage...challenges of continuity that we don't face as still photographers.

Individuals Licensing Motion Stock Successfully May Become Rare

Hearing about the challenges of working stock footage into motion projects (reading it actually), it dawned on me that as it is getting easier and less expensive to capture video almost by the day, it is getting easier and less expensive for those creating videos to shoot their own footage rather than to look for stock to fill their needs. Add that to the absolutely insane explosion in people shooting and providing motion stock and you can see that despite the exploding demand for motion, an individual photographer making good money from licensing stock motion might become even more rare!

A Demand For Stand Alone Clips

Yet another shooter, who has participated in both stills and motion for years even to the point of directing numerous television commercials, suggested that there will be an increasing demand for very brief stand alone videos that illustrate a concept or can be used as a generic ad for a product or service, perhaps as in a promotion for a travel destination.  I like hearing that since that is exactly the type of little clip I put together by combining a still image with some of my slow motion footage to create a video clip of a tungsten  light bulb exploding into an energy efficient CFL bulb.

Incredible Images, After Effects and Motion Efforts

A concept stock photographer that is currently doing some of the most incredible images I have seen is now using After Effects to create stand alone conceptual clips the echo his still style. These are beautiful and powerful clips and it is hard to not get excited about the possibilities for such motion efforts when watching them. That gives me further impetus to examine such a route for my own future.

Passion and Excitement are Paramount
I actually did enjoy putting that light bulb clip together, and if I can just figure out a few more things to do that fit in with my own vision and approach, and that I can do with a very minimal monetary outlay, then I can see at least an increased effort on my part on getting into motion.  As with stills, I still see a vital component of success being having passion and excitement for whatever sort of visual you are creating.  The competition is just going to be far too intense for anyone who is simply creating imagery to make money.unless, I suppose, you have an intense passion to create images to make money!

Copyright © 2010 John Martin Lund. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

John Lund has been shooting professionally for over 30 years. John was
an early adopter of Photoshop, first using version 1.0 in 1990. He
began using digital capture in 1994. John has been active in the stock
photography world since 1989 and is a founding member of BLEND IMAGES
and long time contributor to Getty, Corbis, and, more recently
SuperStock. He specializes in shooting stock photos including a mix of
funny animal pictures with anthropomorphized pets (including dogs,
cats, cows, elephants, monkeys and more), and concept stock photos for
business and consumer communications. His work can be seen at

John has lectured on digital imaging and stock photography, has been a
columnist for PICTURE and DIGITAL IMAGING magazines, and has a
WITH JOHN LUND. John has been a frequent speaker at Photo Plus and
other venues and has taught workshops at Palm Beach Workshops and
Santa Fe Workshops.


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