Tips To Shoot & Sell Drone Stock Footage
You learn how to make money selling stock video from your drone, so stay tuned. Music know, Music. All right! Everybody thanks for tuning in today, i've got vinnie falco with me. Vinnie is a friend of mine. He is a contractor who works with us as a video producer and shooter and editor and photographer at times, and also he's a part 107 drone pilot who has helped me not only at my normal job but also at my youtube job. So welcome thanks. So much for having me, i appreciate it so so you got your part 107 and you started doing uh drone, uh, videography and photography for clients like what's, a typical gig that you might do for a client a lot of it kind of started out. As you know, doing commercial work and – and i really love doing – that and kind of doing more of kind of the the production and the more of the you know the film side of things – and i just got so into that Music but that's, as you know, Having a video production company, it's, there's, ebbs and flows, you get really busy and then sometimes you have a lull. And so i was really trying to look for a way to kind of stabilize everything and that's how i kind of stumbled into stock footage and now i've been doing that for for about three years now and what? What kind of uh, if you don't mind, sharing like what's your typical month or what's, the variation of revenue that you're making doing that now, yeah it's it's come a long way.
Uh, i think in november of 2017 was the my first ever sale and it sold for 37 bucks and i freaked out. I had you know it's, like only 37, but the fact that you know i just made that passively. I wasn't working. It was just online. It kind of done the work yeah. I had already done the work and it was just it was pretty exciting to have that come in and not have to to be somewhere. You know so that kind of opened up a lot of doors but um. Since then, it's grown a bunch it's anywhere from, i would say, 1500 to 2500 a month passively, so it's it's come a long way from the 37. So so literally, you get a check or a series of checks from different stock uh agencies that that total between 1500 and 2500, depending on the month, yeah and – and at this point you could probably stop shooting and still get that check for a few months or Even a couple years, yeah exactly and most of the stuff that i'm uploading is in 4k and most of the clips that i typically sell i'd say probably 90. I still sell in hd, so it's it's, pretty future future proof. Overall, you know so whatever i've uploaded up until this point can can run for quite a while. I think so so the idea of that is is pretty cool, so you said you got your first check in 2017, uh and now it's 2020.
. So is it too late for other people to get into this? I don't, i don't think so. I think the overall the stock footage market is pretty saturated, but as far as the aerial side of things, i think there's still an opportunity there. Well, you know one of the things that i find is that um, you know flying a dji drone, a camera drone with gps. It isn't that hard to do right. Most people can master the basics of it, but but you take it to the next level with the way that you shoot the way you compose the the things that you do in post production, the the extra steps you take to make your footage really stand out. Well thanks: i appreciate that so so. You'Ve taken the time uh, especially having some downtime with covet and stuff yeah, to create a class right yeah. So tell us a little bit about the class you created, what's, it called and and what will people learn? As with most video production companies, we had a lot of downtime in most companies – i guess in general, with uh with covid going on, and so i you know, i decided to to make this class and teach people how i go about doing what i do with Selling the selling and stock footage online and the official title is, i think, it's earned 2k a month with drone stock footage or some variation. I guess i have it titled in different places, different ways but uh, but yeah that's.
The overall idea and i'm really excited to release it i'm, actually releasing it. The 22nd so i'm, not sure when this video is going to come out, but i'm excited to finally finally get it out there so well, i watched the class. I actually took the entire class. I have a certificate i should have should have brought my certificate it's around here, somewhere else yeah. I saw it earlier so that's all right, thomas we'll just do it. We can do a cutaway shot to it or something but um. I took the class and there were many things in that class that you taught that i really didn't, think of wasn't, aware of or just hadn't understood that there's a better way to do it, and so i feel like i got value out of watching that class. Awesome and the audience here today, who's watching, if you haven't, left, because a lot of people drop off early in videos. But if you stuck around to this point, vinnie is now going to share with you some of the highlights from that class. So, even if you don't take his class, you'll learn some things right now, but if you want to learn more, of course you can take his class but vinnie. What would you say with someone who's just starting out or wants to get into selling drone stock photography? What'S the what are some tips that you have that could help people get found and sell more of it.
I think the biggest thing for me and my overall, my biggest selling clips, have all been hyper lapses. For the most part, i have quite a few. I don't know probably a couple hundred at this point of all different places around really around the world, and i think the the biggest thing for me was for a long time. I was just taking the the hd version of the drone from the drone and then maybe doing a little color correction and then kind of calling that good and i kind of stumble along the way that there's different way to do it. That'S kind of the the short and sweet method and then there's the long method, which is definitely a pain and it's long, but i think the end result is definitely worth the time. What? What is that long method, um so it's instead of taking the video it's shooting raw stills and then stitching all of that together in post? And so you have a lot more flexibility with the image on. You know, you have a lot more dynamic range, it's raw. So you can do whatever you want to do with the colors. Overall, you just have a wider field of view, so it's uh yeah. I think you just get a better image overall and there is more work, but i think it again. I think it pays off down the road so vinnie. I know in one of these shots you shot a downtown austin that you put a lot of time into the class to show us how you took it from kind of a good shot to a really great shot.
Yeah and again i think uh, you know it goes back to to taking the hd version that the drone kind of spits out to you and then walks you through exactly how to do it and should get that 4k kind of raw version and i'll show both Versions here the the hd one first and then the edited 4k Music, one Music, and so you just said this is probably number one thing to note for anybody who wants to sell stock drone video uh hyper lapses. Yeah they're the best your best seller yeah hands down. I have a couple clips that one specifically of austin that's, if you go into shutterstock or pond5, and you just type in texas or austin or anything related to texas, it's, usually like the first two or three clips that pop up wow and uh yeah it's. You know they're, definitely not all like that by by any means, but uh but yeah. Those clips have definitely been my biggest sellers and and really a couple of them. I'Ve only shot, maybe three or four months ago and they're all my all time best sellers. So so it sounds like you kind of gave us two tips there and tip number one is um uh get a drone that can do hyper lapses, that you can set waypoints with and and create. You know that, even if you aren't going to use the automated hyperlapse, you can set the drone to shoot raw photos along the way, and then you can take those raw photos and that's tip two is to actually take the raw photos and create the hyperlapse yourself.
So it sounds like really. If you want to get into doing stock, drone, videography or photography, you need to know a little bit about photoshop and or be decent at photoshop or premiere or final cut, or something like that. Right yeah, i mean just with with editing video in general. You know some kind of nle would be great. Obviously i use premiere, but you can do the same thing in final cut and pretty much. You know for those specific hyper lapses. It'S all done in mainly lightroom, if there's a couple things i want to change. Occasionally i use photoshop, but mainly lightroom and then occasionally after effects, if there's, some crazy stabilization stuff that i need to do, but it's mainly just your nle final cut or premiere and then lightroom or you can also use any photo, editor, really: okay, okay! So so again as tip one shoot hyper lapses. Uh those sell well and tip two don't use the hd version that the drone creates for you actually create one yourself in 4k, yeah, definitely what's tip three tip three would be shooting at golden hour: um that's uh. If you guys don't, know golden hour is the most beautiful time of day it's, either sunsets or sunrises, and you get those little pings of light off off buildings and through trees, and you get the lens flares and it's just uh. It definitely makes for good footage and again that's most of my footage online and definitely some of my biggest sellers, okay, so on this next shot, we're in fort lauderdale and i'm kind of pushing through a couple buildings and showing a sailboat and it's.
Obviously golden hour. You can see the city in the background. You know if i shot that during the day at you know, say two o'clock. It would be a very different view and so shooting during golden hour really has those uh kind of special qualities. Where you know you get all the cool colors and you get the the pings off the water and the buildings and and and that's why it's so kind of attractive, especially on the stock footage market? And another thing is, you know, i think, it's similar to youtube. As well as the the thumbnail is super important, it really is yeah and it's the same thing with stock footage. If, if you have just kind of a regular old, you know cityscape people most, the time are going to click on it. But if you have a beautiful sunset with you know, buildings and and everything's lit up really pretty people are a lot more likely to click on and check it out and potentially buy it so shoot at golden hour, that's great advice for photography or videographers yeah. But for stock, you know if you're really planning your day around that maybe you go out twice a day you go out in the morning, recharge batteries and then go out yeah and then hit it again at night, yeah for sure so vinnie and taking your class One of the cool things about it is, i got to see a lot of your work, a lot of the hyper lapses that you have put out and other shots that you put out um.
I noticed one thing that you often do is you you do like reveals where you start behind something tell me a little bit about that technique and why it works so well, yeah. I think it's it's kind of like a tease kind of for the audience. You know if you have a beautiful mountain range or a cityscape or whatever it is, if you kind of give it all away at first, it doesn't you're, not interested in it, and wanting to see that next frame, you know, but if you kind of start behind Something and then do that review it kind of it just keeps the viewer intrigued. I guess a little bit longer and more excited to see whatever it is that you're revealing, i suppose. So how do you go about doing that like? How do you set up a shot, a lot of the times? It just depends on the situation. You know, like kind of like i said. If you have a cityscape here and say this laptop is some trees. You know, instead of just going flying 200 feet up and flying straight at it, it can create a little bit more depth and you know kind of tension in the shot. I guess to you know, reveal up and over come over the trees and see it. Well. You have a great example of uh where you were in iceland and you were flying through a glacier, and then you reveal some mountains right, yeah, exactly and yeah.
I kind of started super low and i'll probably throw it on the screen here too, but started super low kind of down in the glacier and then over time kind of slowly rose up and then revealed kind of the the landscape behind us. So so uh that's a great tip and it's something that again, rather than just uh, showing the thing right away anytime, you can give people a reason to continue watching the clip it's gon na be so much better they're gon na their interest is gon na, be Higher and if you're shooting at golden hour and you're doing a hyperlapse and you're doing it all manually, add all the things together and your clips will really stand out now, uh. What about tell us a little bit about just kind of the um mindset you have to have to do this right. In 20 2017 you made your first 37 or whatever you said it was you're super excited, but you know you: can't live on 37 yeah. Definitely not what what would you tell your past self today like if you could talk to vinnie in 2017, if 2020 vinnie could talk to 2017 vinnie? What advice would you give 2017 vinnie about it? Do you wish you had done more early on? Do you wish you had gone harder at the beginning or yeah yeah? Definitely, i think, just honestly it's a numbers game because you can have you know if you have 10 beautiful hyper lapses unless your metadata is on point and everything works perfectly, even though you, those clips, are great it's still in the giant web of stock footage that Can still be kind of tough to find you know so, it's, definitely a numbers game and the more you have obviously the quality matters as well, but the more you have the more you're going to make it's just it's relatively straightforward.
So i wish i would have gone like you said i wish i would have gotten harder at the beginning and even done more aerial stuff. I started out doing some. You know gimbal work and whatnot and i've had a handful of those sell, but nothing in comparison to to what i've done with the with the drone. You think the drone footage really and and now in your class, you kind of you kind of recommend different drones for different uh things. So we're not going to necessarily talk about it here. But if you want to know you know what's the best drone to do stock, video and photography with you use a phantom 4 pro right, but but there are others that are good for it as well right yeah. I also have the mavic 2 pro that's kind of been my in the last year. I think, or so that's probably been my main stock footage drone just because it's it's so much smaller it's, not doesn't sound, like a giant hornet's nest flying around it's a little bit quieter than the phantom 4 pro, so so, that's good and um yeah it's. Just a little bit smaller i can get in and out of place a little bit easier. I don't have like this giant pelican that i'm carrying around so it's. I can throw in a backpack it's just easier to get around, so i use that quite a bit. More than the phantom 4 pronoun, as far as for stock footage, if i'm doing commercial work, then i'll usually switch over and and so without getting into too much detail.
Because, obviously you know we want people, you want people to take the class i'm, not making any money on the class, but i want vinnie to be successful because he's, a great guy, so so uh without giving away too much what are other things. People will learn. You don't have to teach them right now, but what are things they could learn by taking your class? I break a lot of things down. As far as i get, i get somewhat technical, which yeah for right now isn't the best thing, but specifically, you know on those hyper lapses. I go through i'm, not just like. Okay, just shoot shoot. Raw and it'll be great. I go through you know. What should your aperture be? What should your shutter speed be where your iso should be? What nd filters you should use you know, should you use an nd filter? What should your white balance be on, like all the technical side of things, to try to get those best hyper lapses, and i kind of break that down for just regular shooting as well. You know what's the sharpest aperture and more of kind of the technical side of things where it's you know i dive in a little bit more more depth than i obviously would hear and then, as far as actually flying the drone you you do a lot of Stuff with that, what are some of the things people will learn about how to fly like the waypoints they pick and the camera moves to make and such yeah.
I cover that as well, as you know, breaking down the different movements of not you know not just being 300 feet in the air and flying straight because it's not super dynamic and it it can be cool depending on the situation. You know, but it's uh it's. Definitely nice to be maybe a little bit lower and you know add some dynamic movement, especially if you're doing those hyperlapses having those waypoints and and showing some movement, and then he gets just just you know he gets very, very specific about how he did some of These shots, like there's, a shot of a ferris wheel at night. That is really cool and you go into a lot of detail about how that was done, which was, i thought it was pretty cool to see there were there were things that you said that i was like. Oh, i didn't even realize that, but once he said it i was like that makes sense, and then, as far as um, like the more the mechanics of how to upload and which sites to choose and how to create titles and metadata, you go into a lot Of detail on that as right, i tried to break it down to make it as easy as possible, and it took me a long time to figure out how to title things and how to input, keywords and descriptions and all that again. It'S, not it's, not exciting. By any means, but it's it's really important because again, if you have beautiful clips but it's, just labeled austin or you know united states, no one's ever going to find it so it's just really important to be able to put that in there and do so in An efficient manner, i suppose i i think it is exciting, because it's money making right it's really to me that's, like that's, like the secret sauce that helps your videos just like on youtube uh this this is, you know, it's, very a lot of similarities to how It works on these platforms now um.
As far as uh people wanting to uh take the class we'll put links in the descriptions on how you can go in and take the class there's a couple of different platforms that it's on and of course, comment below. If you're interested, if you have questions vinnie, will be checking the comments in this video to to answer questions about becoming a stock drone pilot, you probably should get your part 107. If you're going to do this on a regular basis, you could maybe dip your toe in the water and fly safely uh, you know, but but if you are going to do this on a regular basis um, i would definitely recommend taking some part 107 classes. Uh remote pilot 101 is what i took. I agree that the video from chelsea and uh tony norton yeah. They did a great job on that. I watched that video as well when i was studying, but but there's lots of great resources, remote pilot 101, being one of my favorites but anyway vinnie so awesome to have you here today, uh and and thank you for sharing some of those tips on how yeah Of course you do this, and man keep up the great work, because your stuff looks really great. Thank you so much appreciate it. People with right now is you said something that really stuck with me. You said that you have a few clips that are only a couple of months, old or even weeks old that are doing really well um.
Is that exciting, because if they are doing well now, and they continue to do well, that could kind of snowball right? I mean ultimate exactly: is it your plan to hope to make enough money to live off of your stock and then do you know um gig work as as a side, hustle yeah, pretty much. You know, honestly, like i'm, a big traveler, i love traveling all over the place and i think it shows my in my stock footage. You know – and my goal is to get to that point where i can just i can live off this full time. Not quite there yet, but it'd be awesome to get to that point and yeah. The fact that a couple of these clips haven't been up there that long and they're doing pretty well is pretty exciting because it just it kind of keeps the wheel going. It gets. You excited about it again and always you know, encourages you to keep going and keep creating so and it shows you what works right. You can look at those and go. Oh, i need to do more like this yeah and you do more hyper lapses. I need to shoot at golden hour more and yeah. You kind of you just develop strategies over time and i break that down all in the course. So nice well check out vinnie's class put a link below and if you have questions or comments, please be sure to leave them down there.
Vinnie. Thank you so much for coming today. I appreciate it and we'll see you next time on ready set drone.