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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 24 of 67

Selling Drone Footage


The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 24 of 67

Selling Drone Footage


Lesson Info

Selling Drone Footage

um, selling your drone footage is really the next big thing. People always ask. Hey, are you looking for drone footage? The answer is no. I'm not looking for drone footage. No one's looking for drone footage. People are looking for content looking for aerials, looking for story. So don't think just cause you're flying and you film something from the air, it's marketable. They're looking for the same thing that looking for from stills and motion clip shot on the ground, which is specific locations, specific content, story elements, dramatic looking imagery, etcetera, etcetera. So selling your footage is important. It is a great career option can be its own standalone option. Flying a drone actually, Um, and the things that sell best are listed here wide, establishing shots that give a strong sense of place, shots that draw the viewer in with movement, like flying over the open ocean slowly and panning up. Uh, they could be edited pretty well together as well on and seeing something we t...

hought we knew in a new way, you know, whales breaching or like dolphins, like we saw in the Midway film. Ah, in the um earlier in the boot camp so those are the kinds of things that really will make it marketable. How much can you make? You know, really? That's a wild question. I'm not really sure, but you know, anywhere from bucks a clip to $4000 a clip for commercial use really depends on quality, of course. Just like any video clip, there's a wide range of money to be made. But the better the resolution, the more you could make. So if you're really going after this, you're getting your pilot's license. You're going to shoot commercial. There is a lot. There's definitely a lot of potential upside a same time. You have to make sure the contents great. And there are so many restrictions on flight and where you could fly when you rule the national parks out right now. Rule out most federal lands right now, so we're gonna go is a private land. Open ocean boating trips. Other countries just depends. So you really just got to understand what the opportunity is and how you're going. Teoh. Address that, and you may still of course, need permits to talk about external APs, and resource is this is really the last last step in last thing you would think about once you've made a commitment to you know what you may need to make your, uh, your drone work work for you. And, you know, I recommend maybe a two controller system might be the way to go. One person fly, who is a pilot? Maybe you just control the camera. Maybe you want to go through all that. It's another great way to go. You can hire a remote operator a lot of different ways to do it. So lots of options. Lots to consider. This is really just the introduction to it, but it is an absolute pivotal part of storytelling in motion.

Class Description

Great outdoor photography starts with a love of adventure and exploration. Learn to maximize your skills and optimize your potential with this complete guide to capturing photos and video in the great outdoors. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive will go in-depth on how to create a story through stills and motion in any environment.

Throughout these lessons, Ian will cover scouting and planning, capturing photo and video, and understanding how to get an audience for your final project
Ian will cover:

  • Permit needs and location scouting essentials
  • Gear basics & prep
  • Introduction to using drones
  • Fundamentals of moving from still photography to capturing video
  • How to capture landscapes 
  • Composition and lighting techniques
  • How to handle low-light situations
  • How to capture for stock photography and video
  • Getting your work seen in print and publications
  • And more!

For four weeks, Ian will be your outdoor guide to capturing the beauty and greatness in nature. If you have a love for nature or adventure, join this class to learn how to turn your passion and social media posts into profit or exposure. 


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview
  3. Elements of a Well-told Story
  4. Storytelling in Motion
  5. Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project
  6. Gear for Drones
  7. Gear for Motion
  8. Inside Ian's Gear Bag
  9. General Advice for Preparation
  10. Virtual Scouting
  11. Weather
  12. Permits and Permission
  13. Model and Property Releases
  14. Health and Fitness
  15. Checklist
  16. Location Scouting Overview
  17. Location Scouting in the North Cascades
  18. Drone Introduction
  19. Drone Safety
  20. What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?
  21. FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare
  22. Telling a Story With a Drone
  23. Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements
  24. Selling Drone Footage
  25. Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?
  26. Establish the End User
  27. Identify Your Audience
  28. Build a Production Plan
  29. Create the Story Structure
  30. The Shooting Script
  31. Production Quality
  32. Composition for Stills
  33. Composition for Stills: Landscape
  34. Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens
  35. Composition for Stills: Macro Lens
  36. Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field
  37. Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography
  38. Capturing Landscapes - Part 1
  39. Capturing Landscapes - Part 2
  40. Capturing Movement in Stills
  41. Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama
  42. Understanding Stock
  43. Editorial vs Commerical
  44. Pricing Stock
  45. Producing Stock
  46. Shooting for Social Media vs Stock
  47. Choosing an Agency
  48. Assignments and Capturing Stock
  49. Stock Photography Market
  50. Create A Style Guide
  51. Stock Shoot Analysis
  52. Workflow for Selecting Final Stills
  53. Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge
  54. Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage
  55. Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas
  56. Script and Story Structure Evolution
  57. Editing to the Content
  58. Music as a Character
  59. Business Diversification
  60. Business Strategy
  61. Pillars of Revenue
  62. Branding
  63. Partnerships and Brand Strategy
  64. Galleries and Fine Art
  65. Budgeting
  66. The Future of Photography
  67. Q&A And Critique



Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.