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Author Topic: Switching to Video  (Read 21737 times)

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« on: December 14, 2011, 16:24 »
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Hey All,

So I'm relatively new to this stock thing, I have about 100 files on DT and SS respectively, maybe 400 total among all agencies. Maybe $.30 here for a subscription purchase, the occasional $2.00 for a larger image credit purchase, etc. Then I submitted some videos to SS and a few sold which.. quadrupled my earnings.

So here's what I'm wondering: if I make as much in one subscription video sale as I make in 60 subscription image sales... why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

I own a Canon 60D so it's a decent tool for both stills and video, seems to me that my time is best invested in video. I'm wondering if you all feel the same or, if not, why stick with photography and not shoot stock video?


« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 16:32 »
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Because video is very hard work. I am trying to build a video portfolio and I can shoot many, many more photographs in the time that it takes to set up a video shoot. There is just no comparison.

That is why videos are so much more expensive - cost of production, including time - is much greater...

There is also a lot to learn - you dont just put the cmaera on a tripod and press a button. With video you have - moving actors , moving lights, lights dimming or being switched on, the camera moves, the focus shifts during the shoot and has to be constantly  manually refocussed. You need to plan a storyboard, take and retake and again retake every scene etc...

If you think of photography as chess, then video is 3D chess - at least this is how it feels to me.

I will try to build a little video portfolio, but I have already decided that my main income will remain from photography, much easier to get sales.

But this is my personal experience...as a complete newbie...

KB

« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 16:41 »
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So here's what I'm wondering: if I make as much in one subscription video sale as I make in 60 subscription image sales... why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?
60 x $0.30 = $18. How come you make so much more on a SS subscription video sale than I do?  ;D  (Under the old pricing, the maximum I received was $13.25 for an HD sub sale. I don't know what it is or will be under the new pricing.)

Just like with photos, video sales come in various prices. I've made as low as $2.40, and as high as $25 (not including ELs). My average video sale is roughly 4x my average photo sale.  But I sell 10x to 15x as many photos as videos. So that's why I continue to concentrate on the photo side.

Also, while some here correctly point out that video is "newer" and therefore there are lots of areas that are poorly covered, supply vs demand has taken a huge turn for the worse in the course of the last year. "Everyone" seems to have a dSLR that's video capable these days, and many of them are UL'ing like crazy. Supply in many areas (particularly, as usual, nature / scenic / travel) is exploding far beyond the demand (which is rising, but very slowly compared to supply). One site that I contribute to recently admitted that their collection almost doubled in size this year, and so many contributors saw their sales fall (since they were not able to increase demand to keep pace).

helix7

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 17:17 »
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I've seen a lot of people talk about venturing into video on these and other forums, and I have yet to see anyone return and talk about what t positive experience it has been.

I get the feeling it's a lot like if I were to try getting into stock photography. I know vectors and illustration, so I have some understanding of light, composition, etc. I use a Canon T2i to shoot reference material for vector images, so I can use a camera at least somewhat competently. I generally manage to keep it in Manual mode so I guess that's a good thing. :)

But really I probably know far less than I think I know about shooting stock photography, and if I tried it I'd probably find that my efforts are best directed where they're more refined. And for me that's in creating vector images.

In much the same way, I imagine going from photography to video is similar. It doesn't seem like a stretch, you might already have some of the skills and equipment required to do the job. But can you really do better with this thing that is really secondary to your main skill set? I think it's harder to do than it seems.

« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 19:42 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 22:11 »
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 Hi stepheng101,

 If you are seeing good sales on your videos and can do the math on how many clips can I shoot in a day and how many stills can I shoot multiplied by the numbers you mentioned it should give you a good idea of what your return will be. The only other advice I can offer is deversifacation is always safer than everything in one basket and more fun when you can switch back and forth when you tire of one or the other. Never underestimate the FUN faxtor :) I would love to hear your results as you press forward.

Best of luck,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 22:20 by Jonathan Ross »

jbarber873

« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 22:18 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

   Ouch! and snap!

« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 22:49 »
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Hi stepheng101,

  Never underestimate the FUN faxtor :) I would love to hear your results as you press forward.

Best of luck,
Jonathan

The fun factor is what is driving me towards video! Couldnt agree more!

But if I am just counting the money than it would be best to just shoot...much more...I really dont think I will ever reach a payout level anywhere near my photo portfolio.

Everyone uses photos, very few people need videos...on a daily basis. It will always be a much smaller market.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 01:07 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

1 & 2 for me and I might add, it's like stills. When the market opened there was a greater opportunity and better sales. As more video comes in, more professionals and better competition, the sales will slow down.

I suppose if someone is serious and knows video, this would be the time to jump on it and get your video in action, before the rest catch up.

For myself, I'm pretty sure I don't have a clue about shooting good stock video.

« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2011, 03:56 »
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I like doing videos but haven't put much effort in to it yet.  It's more difficult to do clips that will sell.  I think timelapses are a good option for still photographers.  I'm improving but still a long way off what some people produce.  My referral link for Pon5 is in my signature, they sell more than the microstock sites for me and accept everything I upload.  Here's my timelapses media bin. http://www.pond5.com/video-sound-effects-music/1/clipbin:54654.html

« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 04:04 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

lol Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed Sean?

traveler1116

« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 04:06 »
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I like doing videos but haven't put much effort in to it yet.  It's more difficult to do clips that will sell.  I think timelapses are a good option for still photographers.  I'm improving but still a long way off what some people produce.  My referral link for Pon5 is in my signature, they sell more than the microstock sites for me and accept everything I upload.  Here's my timelapses media bin. http://www.pond5.com/video-sound-effects-music/1/clipbin:54654.html

$29 is too low in my opinion.  Pond5 is competing against places like IS with $100+ per file.

CarlssonInc

« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2011, 04:31 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

Don't hold back Sean!

« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 04:33 »
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I like doing videos but haven't put much effort in to it yet.  It's more difficult to do clips that will sell.  I think timelapses are a good option for still photographers.  I'm improving but still a long way off what some people produce.  My referral link for Pon5 is in my signature, they sell more than the microstock sites for me and accept everything I upload.  Here's my timelapses media bin. http://www.pond5.com/video-sound-effects-music/1/clipbin:54654.html

$29 is too low in my opinion.  Pond5 is competing against places like IS with $100+ per file.

I get 50% commission with Pond5, only 15% with istock.  Istock also have credits discounts that lower my earnings, so I can price much lower with Pond5 and make around the same commission.  Then there's the best match search advantage for exclusives that makes my clips harder to find and the fact that they have rejected clips that Pond5 have sold.  I don't think most of my clips are highly commercial, so I have priced them quite low to see if they will sell.  If they sell more, I can raise prices.  If I make some clips that I think are more commercial, I will price them higher.

« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2011, 05:12 »
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I like doing videos but haven't put much effort in to it yet.  It's more difficult to do clips that will sell.  I think timelapses are a good option for still photographers.  I'm improving but still a long way off what some people produce.  My referral link for Pon5 is in my signature, they sell more than the microstock sites for me and accept everything I upload.  Here's my timelapses media bin. http://www.pond5.com/video-sound-effects-music/1/clipbin:54654.html


I notice you've got material that would be classed as editorial on iStock - what's the deal with unreleased logos, people, landmarks and that kind of thing on Pond5?

« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 06:12 »
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^ The Pond5 curators will decide if it's suitable for editorial use only and put a message on it to that effect.

« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 06:24 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

Sean's right no doubt...  except in that I know I'm no good at video!

However, it seems to me that for purposes of stock you can indeed do as cobalt mentioned, that is, stick the camera on a tripod and press a button (OK, there's a bit more to it when it comes to post processing, but basically a lot of the stuff on Pond5 is literally just that - except many of them don't even bother with the tripod).  For the real stuff you may well need actors, focus pull, panning etc., but you can play around with simple shots first.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

You probably won't sell many of course, but as Jonathan said, don't forget the fun factor...


« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 09:09 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

lol Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed Sean?

Just to clarify, I didn't mean "you" as in the OP of the question.  I meant "you" as in the royal you ( all of us ).  I think most micro photographers that are pretty good at what they do see the video button on their camera and think video is as easy as pushing record, but video is a whole 'nother thing, which includes finding models that can act, more hardware, different workflow, lighting, etc.  The guys who have entire crews, like simonkr, are awesome at video.  For the rest of us, I don't think the results end up as good as we had hoped they would.

jbarber873

« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 09:47 »
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why is there not a mass exodus of contributors from stills to video?

Because: a.  video is overrated and 2: you aren't as good at video as you think you are...

lol Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed Sean?

Just to clarify, I didn't mean "you" as in the OP of the question.  I meant "you" as in the royal you ( all of us ).  I think most micro photographers that are pretty good at what they do see the video button on their camera and think video is as easy as pushing record, but video is a whole 'nother thing, which includes finding models that can act, more hardware, different workflow, lighting, etc.  The guys who have entire crews, like simonkr, are awesome at video.  For the rest of us, I don't think the results end up as good as we had hoped they would.

    I've often spoken of my feeling that video is the future of stock, but I agree with sjlock that for most microstock photographers, they are better off sticking to what they know. I'm sure he speaks from first hand knowledge.  For those photographers who world has been mostly shaped by microstock, a workflow dependent on post  processing to fix errors in lighting or composition will find it impossible to work with video, where it has to be right in the camera. Microstock photographers are also up against a new generation of videographers who are comfortable and knowledgable about the video workflow. They are the wave of the future, not still photographers trying to transition to moving images. It's like a painter trying to learn dance- it is an art, just not the same art. Having said all that, it can be done, it's just going to take years, not months, and the competition won't wait for you.

« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 10:23 »
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With all that I have learnt in the last 12 months I believe I will need at least 3 YEARS to get myself to a moderate professional level in video. Ill also have to take classes and workshops, work with many different people etc..

But I am really enjoying it, I just dont know if the time I spend on it now will really pay off in the future. I do try to take pictures as well as video, but this is difficult because video needs much harsher light and I dont always have the time to rebuild the set for the photos.

Maybe editorial video is easier? So many places and trades and cultures in the world not yet covered.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 10:32 by cobalt »

« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 13:15 »
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Hi All,

 I did an R&D test on motion and spent a good deal of money and time with a very professional camera team using the Red system. We shot lifestyle the most popular selling motion we followed everything that we could as far as making content that should sell from our analysis but alas after 600 clips shot for Getty they return less per clip than my stills. Here is a short clip showing some of the stuff we shot. It isn't the best reel but it shows the lighting locations and level of talent we were shooting and on the best camera at the time.
 Always good to do research but for me I am sitting on the fence until I see motion sales start to at least double still sales, there is that much more work and money involved. Here is a link to our reel, like I said it isn't edited very well but it gives you an idea of the quality. http://www.andersenross.com/demoreel.mov
Best,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 13:17 by Jonathan Ross »

traveler1116

« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2011, 13:31 »
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Wow fantastic work.  Could the problem be that they are only being sold on Getty?

« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2011, 13:35 »
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Thanks for posting the link. The look of that clip is very clean, high-end stocky (nice looking but real, vs. hollywood). Unless Getty doesn't do well in video (and someone else is the hot video distributor) I'd think that if video were the hot ticket, that sort of work would be selling.

I don't have much of an emotional connection to video in the way I do to stills. The only thing I saw recently that really tempted me was some of the gorgeous time lapse work posted in this thread (the dolly manufacturer link has some great videos on their site). No idea if that would sell as stock, but if I had the time, that's what I'd want to get good at.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 15:19 by jsnover »

« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2011, 13:41 »
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Hi All,

 I did an R&D test on motion and spent a good deal of money and time with a very professional camera team using the Red system. We shot lifestyle the most popular selling motion we followed everything that we could as far as making content that should sell from our analysis but alas after 600 clips shot for Getty they return less per clip than my stills. Here is a short clip showing some of the stuff we shot. It isn't the best reel but it shows the lighting locations and level of talent we were shooting and on the best camera at the time.
 Always good to do research but for me I am sitting on the fence until I see motion sales start to at least double still sales, there is that much more work and money involved. Here is a link to our reel, like I said it isn't edited very well but it gives you an idea of the quality. http://www.andersenross.com/demoreel.mov
Best,
Jonathan


Hi Jonathan, that is excellent work. Always a pleasure to see:) I couldn't shake the feeling though that your videos are your stills in motion. Those are very good videos, and very recognizable as your style, but "awesome" videos bring something that stills can't deliver. Telling a story with motion is different. And for that one has to have special skill and talent. That's the reason I didn't start shooting video when I considered it a few years ago. I knew what I would want from my videos and realized that the learning curve would be too steep. I don't think it's only about good lighting, locations, models, etc., it's about being able to tell a story in completely different way. I agree with Sean here - it's not that easy.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 13:43 by Elenathewise »

« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2011, 14:14 »
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I spent a couple of days trying to work out how to edit a video and got absolutely nowhere. I don't even have a clue what a few of the crucial terms mean, let alone how to use a video editing program. When I try to pan everything comes out jerky, when I try to zoom the same happens. I concluded that even if I got the editing right the only things I could shoot would be time-lapse or something where an object moves across the view of a fixed camera. So I followed that old adage that if at first you don't succeed, give up.


 

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