Helen Fields is a former criminal lawyer turned videographer who lives and works in the UK. In her Contributor Spotlight, Helen spoke with us about her journey to stock success and her experiences as a female creator. Here, Helen shares her top five tips for breaking into the stock footage industry.
If your clip doesn’t look real, it isn’t useable. A shot of my then four-year-old son in a cafe, caught unawares before we ate, was my best selling clip for five years. Don’t underestimate the power of letting the camera run to see what you capture.
Practice, practice, practice.
Your camera work is what makes your footage stand out from the crowd. It cannot be under par. Spend every spare hour playing with your kit, know its limitations and its optimum performance. There’s no such thing as wasted time with the camera in your hands.
Critique your own material.
In order to succeed as a stock videographer, not only do you need to understand the marketplace, you also need to understand what you’re selling. Ask yourself, why are these clips selling and the others not? Why is it not as good as your competitor’s? What would you do differently if you were doing the same shoot again? Compare one shot with another. Which has the best framing, the best lighting? My team regularly reviews old shoots to learn from them. If necessary, we reshoot. It is important to keep up with the times and make sure that the clips in your portfolio are your best clips.
Cast the A list.
Having the right models is key for topping the sales chart. It’s about more than just diversity. Never settle for second best – you’ll need to pay for your models and treat them well, so the ones you love will work for you again. Take chances on different looks and styling. More than anything else, just because there are no lines to learn, it doesn’t mean you can get away with any old model. They have to be able to act. They have to be able to look natural, to play a part and come to life on command.
Don’t give up your day job just yet.
Being able to properly finance your next stock shoot is your step forward. It takes a while to establish yourself profitably. This is a job you can do weekends and evenings, with less risk. Ultimately, if you put the time and effort, it can grow to something you can do full time if you choose. But until then, take your camera with you everywhere you go. You never know when a great filming opportunity will arise!
See more of Helen’s work on Adobe Stock.
If you’re interested in becoming a video contributor, you can find out all the details on our Contributor Portal. If you have 500 or more clips and the metadata associated with them in the right format, you can simply mail us your hard drive and we will ingest the content to your account. See more details here.