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How to monetize your archive footage [sponsored]

3 minute read

Adobe StockYou may have hidden gems waiting to be used as stock footage on your hard drive

Stock footage can be a great way to create a new income stream, and it needn’t require huge efforts. Your archive might already contain some gems ready to start earning for you.

Know what footage you have in stock

There are several ways to shoot footage that can be used to make money for you. For one, you can set up stock-specific shoots. Though building a large catalogue of dedicated stock footage can be time consuming, the rewards can be very good.

But what if you could sell stock footage without the need for a specific shoot? What if highly sought after footage that could be used in a stock library was sitting there already on your hard drive? You could have a gold mine of useful shots just begging to be used to supplement your existing income. And it can be surprising how popular and useful that footage can be.

Adobe Stock -  Search term: “Ski Holiday Images”

It could be tempting to believe that because you didn’t use a particular shot for an edit that it has no worth. The reality is often the opposite. Even some of your most innocuous of shots could very well have useful value within a stock footage library such as Adobe Stock, ready for editors to use directly from within Premiere Pro CC. Don’t forget that pictures or videos that may seem lackluster to you might just be the very thing for someone searching for a specific topic.

The source for such shots may be wide and varied, from self-produced videos through to client-led work. In the case of the latter, you will need to be mindful of rights issues, but this does not mean that such footage cannot be repurposed for stock.

What is good stock footage?

Good stock footage is defined by what people are searching for. Naturally, all your clips need to be technically competent, but remember that for every person looking for a tropical island paradise, there will be others looking for rusty old bikes, interesting textures on concrete buildings, and even a 1950s kitchen with a boiling kettle.

Adobe Stock -  Search term: “Rusty Old Bikes”

Try to think of situations when you might be tempted to search for stock footage. And then shoot that material. Conversely, go through all the stuff you’ve shot and never used commercially. The chances are that there’s something there you could use for stock. The point is that you had a camera pointing at that scene at that time - and someone else didn’t, and they might want your footage.

Sourcing your footage

You may be able to repurpose footage from self-produced projects and documentaries. Those stunning landscape shots that you didn’t use in an edit because they didn’t suit the creative intent, or they simply had to be cut out for time reasons, can all find new life in a stock footage library.

If you dont have footage from exotic far off lands in your archive, don’t fret. Oftentimes, the best footage that you can repurpose is abstract, yet still highly useful. It could be a nice shot of clouds, foliage, reflections in water, raindrops or snow on a window. These are the types of incidental shots that can be used as backgrounds or in compositions. And while they might not appear at first to be at all useful, there are many ways in which they can be repurposed and be of value by selling them through Adobe Stock.

Discuss with your clients

Depending on the type of work and the agreement that you have with clients, sometimes you might be able to repurpose footage from previous commercial projects. This will require permission from the client, a separate agreement and possibly additional releases, but it could still be potentially rewarding. For example, you might have shots from inside a factory that are often difficult to obtain, or other machinery, robotics and electronics. Such shots can be highly valued. The list can be pretty endless, and as long as you have a good relationship with the client, the potential could be huge. Be sure to have a transparent conversation with your client, and double check Adobe Stocks legal submission guidelines for any necessary releases.  

Holiday videos!

As professional image makers, useful footage can also be sourced from previous holiday videos. This is easier than ever now that the cameras we take with us are capable of recording to professional level codecs at incredibly high quality.

Adobe Stock -  Search term: “Italian Sunset”

From sunset views over a coastal panorama in Italy, the mountains and rivers of Scotland, through to exotic wildlife taken on a safari. You could already be in possession of some fantastic looking shots that would otherwise cost a production company a large sum of money to go out and film for themselves. And yet, such useful and difficult to obtain shots might already be on your hard drive.

Shots taken within your home country might not seem exotic to you at first, but to a production company in another country that might require footage from your own land, this could be highly prized, time saving stock footage.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to maximize the use of your existing footage, it’s well worth looking through your back catalogue to see if there are any potential gems hiding there ready to start bringing in extra income. With a potential minimum amount of effort, a marketplace like Adobe Stock can start working for you.

If you would like some ideas or need stock footage for an existing project, visit Adobe Stock to be inspired! You can also click here to learn how you can contribute videos to Adobe Stock.

Tags: Production