There are many companies and websites who provide stock footage for the rapidly growing demands of a media-hungry public. All of these providers need savvy camera operators and videographers to fill their ever expanding video vaults, and you can be a part of their expansion.
With the proper equipment and know-how, you can become a Stock Footage videographer. One of the first things you need to do is find out who is buying stock footage, or employing shooters. Visit their sites, and carefully read their requirements and application process. Once you have joined the companies you wish to shoot for, that's when the fun begins.
Most of these sites will have lists of the most highly requested and searched for stock footage. That should be your pillar with which you begin your stock footage career. Shoot as much of those as you can, and start uploading!
If your site wants foot traffic, go out and get some foot traffic. If they want street signs, shoot some street signs! The most important thing is that you start shooting, and you do so in great quantity. The more footage that you have uploaded to various libraries, the more income you can and will generate. It is absolutely feasible to be a full time stock footage shooter.
It is also wise to keep in mind trends and seasons. You might want to consider shooting Christmas footage a few months ahead of the Christmas season, so you will be ready, and supplying the video community with relevant footage first. The same can be said with other holidays as well as the changing of seasons.
As you shoot, it is a good idea to keep a footage library as well, so it is constantly growing. Once your own personal library is large enough, you can begin offering your services to local TV stations and production companies at a higher rate than your previous web site employers would have given you. The most important thing you can do is shoot, shoot, and shoot some more!
The more you have, the more you make. That is simply the way of the stock footage business.
Also, this almost goes without saying, but make sure your equipment is up to snuff. You will want to shoot only in HD at this stage in the game. There is a higher demand for HD footage, and there is simply no reason why you should shoot in anything but. If you can shoot everything you do in 1080, then why would you ever choose to work in SD instead? You shouldn't, and I think you'll find the market value of HD footage over SD footage to be well worth the investment!
At the end of the day, just make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing!
Is being a stock footage videographer for you?
If you don't enjoy it, you shouldn't do it! But, if you have a passion for your camera, and for media, then why not give it a go? There is a need, so why shouldn't you be the one to fulfill it? So sign up, grab your gear, take the shots, and make some money!