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Shooting Stock Footage That Will Sell

By lunamik / July 4, 2016

If you want to be a Shutterstock Footage contributor, here are some tips on how to improve and sell your stock footage. You can increase the production value of your videos and footage by applying these tips.

Shutterstock prioritises high-quality pictures and footage from the best contributors. Over $400 million has been paid for all the successful contributors of Shutterstock. To be a great contributor, you must upload the best footage and content you have. You mightn’t even need to plan an entirely new shoot, for all you know you might already have the quality footage necessary on your hard drive! Lunamik often has to rummage through its archive files to find excess test footage, and sometimes it turns out to be just right for the job.

Popular Categories

The best part about stock footage, is that it can be filmed and found just about anywhere. But, this is also a fact that may be a little overwhelming to some: Where should you start filming, and what should you film? The most popular categories include corporate and travel.



You can start looking for the best footage by browsing your previous projects. Take out your old hard drives and check your old footage and content. If you really like to take films, you will have a collection of material that is still unused.

If you don’t happen to have any quality stock footage on hand, it’s best to start planning new opportunities to film. A good habit is to always bring your camera(s) wherever you go. You never know when inspiration and an amazing moment to film can come up and surprise you. If you want to have a quick getaway, think of your camera as one of those essentials to bring on your road trip. It would be a good way to relax and at the same time take some footage. More people than ever before are now becoming inspired to travel, and businesses need to accommodate for this growing trend, so there’s really no wonder travel is among the most popular Shutterstock categories.

You can also schedule a more organised shoot for your stock photos. Try asking some friends or even hire models. All you need is a good spot and you can start filming your friends doing normal daily activities.


It may sound mundane, but a good thing to keep in mind is where your stock footage is likely to end up: your video will most likely be used as filler content within a website or an advertisement, so your best odds of selling stock is to avoid highly stylised concepts as you’ll instantly limit the amount of people who will want to buy your footage. So have fun with it and pick standardised activities – you can play sports or just hang out together with your friends. A corporate shoot is also another good idea. Look for an office space that you can use as the location. Think of everyday office life and take footage. It will be a good idea to have at least some business footage/shots as stock, since these are in consistently high demand.

Other Popular Categories

Image By Pixels

Aside from travel and business, there are also other categories you can explore that also sell very well in Shutterstock such as Sports, Leisure, Food or Lifestyle. It helps a lot to familiarise yourself with what is trending and in high demand. Ask your client regarding the output they are expecting from your footage. Remember that most clients would want a footage that will showcase the story and meaning of their brand whether it is for television or advertising.

Submit your stock footage

The best way to start is to get an account or visit submit.shutterstock.com where you can put up your account. You can edit and cut your footage into clips of a minute in length or less. The preferred format is usually MOV files which include ProRes, Photojpeg or H.264.

After uploading the footage and clips, you can then add keywords and narratives about the clips you posted. The more specific and targeted your keywords are the more effective it becomes in finding customers that will be interested in your footage. The keywords usually range from 25-40 words with information regarding the specific location, model and property release forms. The footage will be reviewed to make sure that the clips fit the requirements of Shutterstock.

Our team will get back to you within 24-hours with next steps.

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