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Stock Shoot Analysis

Lesson 51 from: The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

51. Stock Shoot Analysis


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview


Elements of a Well-told Story


Storytelling in Motion


Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project


Gear for Drones


Gear for Motion


Inside Ian's Gear Bag


General Advice for Preparation


Virtual Scouting




Permits and Permission


Model and Property Releases


Health and Fitness




Location Scouting Overview


Location Scouting in the North Cascades


Drone Introduction


Drone Safety


What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?


FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare


Telling a Story With a Drone


Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements


Selling Drone Footage


Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?


Establish the End User


Identify Your Audience


Build a Production Plan


Create the Story Structure


The Shooting Script


Production Quality


Composition for Stills


Composition for Stills: Landscape


Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens


Composition for Stills: Macro Lens


Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field


Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography


Capturing Landscapes - Part 1


Capturing Landscapes - Part 2


Capturing Movement in Stills


Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama


Understanding Stock


Editorial vs Commerical


Pricing Stock


Producing Stock


Shooting for Social Media vs Stock


Choosing an Agency


Assignments and Capturing Stock


Stock Photography Market


Create A Style Guide


Stock Shoot Analysis


Workflow for Selecting Final Stills


Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge


Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage


Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas


Script and Story Structure Evolution


Editing to the Content


Music as a Character


Business Diversification


Business Strategy


Pillars of Revenue




Partnerships and Brand Strategy


Galleries and Fine Art




The Future of Photography


Q&A And Critique


Lesson Info

Stock Shoot Analysis

So this shoot, um, was a produced shoot in the Alabama hills in, um California, Eastern Sierras of California, about 70 miles north of our office in Los Angeles. And one of our photographers is based in Idaho. Ben Herndon and I talked about inventors. One the best climbing photographers with this kind of doctors in the world Really in a great adventure photographer. Um, there's a lot of running stuff these days and so on. And one of the best genres for our agency right now has been running. We've been seeing as, ah, rapidly growing sport in general, more stores are opening. Um, I think it's because you can do it anywhere. Eso is an active outdoor agency that we are. We thought it was great to try and produce a shoot together. And the reason is, um, a few, to be honest. So what we did was, um I feel like the balance of shooting stills in motion well is very, very challenging. I think that toe actually focus on motion solely during an entire shoot is a lot better than being like, I'm gon...

na shoot some motion clips and now run again and I'm gonna shoot some stills. For starters, you don't want to wear your models down completely. Um, you because it got to keep running over and over and over again. So you want to figure out how to pace that? Um, and I want. He specializes in this. He's an adventure guy. I'm gonna venture. I'm a landscape person, but I love filming, and I like filming people, and I like filming adventure. And I just thought, Let's see what happens if we can bring the two together and show people how much could be produced in basically a hour period. We started filming it around five on a Wednesday and we were done by filming, you know, the sunset of the following day. That was basically the process, and we more or less were side by side for most of it. He might have been a little different a little bit, you know, little move over. But we would talk before each set up would figure out where we wanted to be, and then we would shoot. We had a Z I mentioned before we had all of our models signed, releases his models. Actually, his wife does a lot of modeling for him. Becca, she's super cool. Um, and we were able to put these together. So this is the motion library show you here, and I got kind of a slower connection. Seems like so this is an edited set. So this is 34 assets. Uhm, this is actually our own software that we developed Tandem Vault. And 10 of all is a digital cloud based digital asset management tool. So essentially, we use this for private delivery of projects that aren't ready to be released to the public. Um, it's basically, um you know, like a way to caption keyword tag, match contracts, manager stills or motion everything in a single interface. So it's really, really helpful. So what we did here is we catalogue a, um, a selection of 34 assets and so you can actually see what some of them look like. I'm just gonna give you a quick view. We're gonna kind of go back and forth through all these. You could see the lifestyle stuff. Almost everything in motion was shot at a slower frame rate. You can always speed it up. Well, you can't always slow it down If you ever want slow motion. You have to shoot it as slow motion. You can't. So it any slow down a little bit? Maybe there's some software that does it, but really, at the end of the day, the best way to do it's to capture it at that time. So this is a little bit of the shoot, and I'm gonna show you his selects. So he had 235 selects. And this is what the stills look like. Here's actually the, um So this is the camera set up that I use eso, it's and his is a standard. Um oh, I forget what he's is. I don't know if he's Nikon or Canon off hand. I think he's cannon. Um, yes, he is. He's can. And I think he shoots on the like a high speed. I think it's the one d X mark to the high frame rate, which is what a lot of adventure photographers use. And then this is my, uh, my camera set up. So actually talk to you talking through it a little bit, so I'm shooting. His high quality is possible cause I'm shooting for high end stock and I want as many years as I possibly can get out of it and unfortunate enough to have the equipment for other projects. So they got a hand on the top of protective quote unquote armor on the outside. I've got a dual battering the back that gets me about an hour and 1/2 of film time of five of them and I've got ah, Zeiss Lens. I'm shooting a 15 mil in a 1 35 most of the time l 7 85 some shooting, prime glass prime glasses, fixed focal way four cinema and very, very high quality with a monitor on top. I'm shooting very low compression and neither shooting at 25 shooting project frame rate of 24 frames per second, which is pretty standard for motion. But I'm shooting very often at about 72 frames per second to get slow motion, in which case you lose a little bit of your compression in there. But it's negligible because I'm shooting at 6000 lines of resolution on this camera. It's a red dragon. Um, so six K is what we're shooting. So all these clips are six k. He actually took a picture of it. So this is his select, which in my mind is very, very wide. Um, actually have one more. This is my select. So he shot. He selected 235. And of that, we pushed 191 of them live. Really, really good. But we really worked hard on it. Now you can see the difference of the curated view. Let me go. Sorry. Which one is this one? So this is his select. You could see him in order. And a big part of that is because this is redundant, right? So you don't need all three. Might need one when I need any and the same thing with these Do you need both? Probably know. I could probably get away with just the one on the left and the one on the right. Why more vibrant breaks up in the background. The blue shirt was blending into much post process that I thought a little too cool. Um, so we have that, um, you know, probably won't make the cut. So same thing here. Body posture. Here, here, here. So his head, it was pretty wide, but he's that it was wide because he knew that would be edited down even further. But his edit came from an even wider batch. Now I got the X and peas in here. I see if I can go a little smaller. 4593 frames photographs. That's that's high frame rate I was telling you about. Over the course of essentially, ah, 24 to 36 hour period. I think there were some other stuff in here. Um, we had all of our goals mapped out in advance. We said we want to do running their expert rock climber. So we got a little rock climbing in the middle of the day. We went out and looked around a little bit for some locations for rock climbing and scouted. I shot a little landscapes, etcetera. So, what are we looking for? So yeah, okay. We don't necessarily want that shot. Right Is the riot it? And the riot is truly that right? No color correction. Um, you know, out of the box raw files. And you can see how much is here. Well, the difference in the reason why we ask for the raw is we have another editor who's working with us to try and shape this because we want to figure out what is the best way to pair these two so that they feel like they're part of the same set. So I want to show you the volume of images here, and you get a sense of what it looks like. These are the unprocessed images as a stock shooter. This is how you want to be thinking. You see what he's covering? Every step of the process of putting a tent up from every angle is being covered. When I talk about coverage, this is exactly what I'm talking about right now. Look what he did. Go from tight. Right? So you're, like medium close up. Strong sense of place in the background, Close up detail, hands still structured, ways up. Got wide backed off. Got the tent flap being put up. This is what a stock shot shot site and start over. This is what a stock shoot should look like. Um, you know, very, very methodical. Strategic, different focal lengths. I think he actually think he had two camera bodies. Might had a wide angle in a long line was so wrapped up in my own shoot. Um, and that's what it looked like. And, of course, we're working together to keep each other out of each other's frame. Right? Look at this. Every single step putting the stakes in the ground. Now, why did we go to this? Why did we do this? Putting up the tent? Well, because we're able to market the location. We decided because we had female models. We had one of us. We had three of our way to staff a dog and his wife, who's been modeling for years, um, for him and done a lot of stuff with him. All part of this was more of a pilot program, and it was a huge success in many ways. Um, but we wanted to think okay, was call it girls weekend. So we just focused on themes like friendship, right, Etcetera. What would girls weekend out camping look like? Right. And so we got the cooler shots, right? All of them saying, Oh, you know, we're finally here. We're away. We got them getting, you know, saying cheers and think that I'm not gonna keep scrolling through these. I want you to see the final and results. This is what the chute looked like at the end of the day. Looks like this would make the cut two different directions. See, I'm a hypocrite. A lot of redundancy here could be whittled down one of the three things that we do differently, though you don't we don't necessarily always limit it to just a couple of one or two frames will sometimes go several, but we do that for a short window of time. And we do that until editors from the magazine So we know that this is going to go Teoh our top two or three running magazines. First thing we sent it out and they'll download calms to make a purchase. And then after we get that because they like having options. And Editor likes having the raw file. Potentially, they like having a lot of options. Are agencies always done that differently? You'll see a lot of redundancy or near frames. We still trim it down as often as possible, but we'll do is push it live and then revise the edit afterwards, which is something you may want to do to over time, Um, with your own archive, but different positions different, um, styles whether you get a sense of with the look and feel the shooters. So here's the themes these air you universal this probably should be cut in the edge of the frame. It wasn't caught in the editing process. Never have a person cut off so that that picture needs to be pulled, you know? But generic enough still shows, in this case, the specific location, and then in this case, it doesn't. Now, if you know it really well, yes, but when you have the highest mountain in the lower 48 in the background Mount Whitney, it's gonna be highly identifiable. But then you can tighten it up and you get different variation of the shots. Right? Um I mean, you could see this being any number of ads. It's got high energy moving through the scene, very upbeat and so on. So in my mind, this is probably gonna be this idea of putting. Here's how this here is that the 10 steps worked out. You can see we took a little bit of each of the steps, but not a lot of redundancy in here, because you're not running magazine might come in and it's gonna look at every piece of the posture where the hands go, where the leg is. All of those different things. Um, no one's gonna be doing that on a 10. You can kind of cut tent down to just a handful of shots and then trim it up. But the other reason we're doing it is because we've paired it with the motion clips so somebody can come in and say, Well, we want to run that shot of her jumping down the cliff, Um, as our lead image in our ad campaign, we're gonna put it on our social media banners put on a lot over websites, etcetera. And we also want a motion campaign on social media. And we're doing a new television commercial, and we want to be able to take two or three of the clips and make them part of that television commercial about healthy living lifestyles. So now you've got the full campaign, and I won't tell you much more about it. But they can tell you that it'll it'll end up being part of a large campaign. Um, so and it was all shot, inspector. So You know, these are the kinds of clips that we're gonna look at. Let me show you a couple of the others. Sorry. It's a little slow to load these air lower as you have questions. Yeah, um, if I heard you correctly, you said that you submitted thes 23 different magazines. Oh, there's by a lot more by about a dozen. Yeah. Okay. My understanding, At least three. Pardon me. At least three. Okay. Yeah, my understanding was that typically for publication, magazines want exclusive material. So how does that work? Magazines aren't getting exclusive material unless they assign it. So if you're buying stock, you're running that risk. That somebody else is a competitor will also do it. And it's a great question in a very good point. So at our agency, we pay attention to that. We don't grant exclusivity. People pay for exclusivity. So if you don't want your competitors running magazine toe have that image or same set of image. You need to act quickly on a new set that comes in that you might want it special. And you need to pay to say I don't want it to go somewhere else. Now as a business owner. I tread lightly there, so I would not hold an image. I usually would grant exclusivity the person who wants it first, and we try to encourage that because the truth is, none of these magazines have a whole lot of money anyway, right? But you want to reward The person is giving your business consistently consistent consistently and quickly, so that, you know, when you produce issue, if they're going to buy something or at least make a decision and passed quickly, that's very helpful because it allows you to make a good decision elsewhere. Um, so our business, the way we run it, and I don't know how other agencies running. If a competitor pulls an image and asked license it, we give them the courtesy and let them know someone else has pulled it and then provide them with alternate options that they might like that feel differently than the one that they pulled. If they still want to run it, then, of course, that's up to them, but not out of the gate and not with stock photography, world rights managed agency. And so we have the ability to know when someone's running something when and where. Royalty free. Three. Old Wild West And they don't have that same ability. And I can tell you if a running magazine downloads in May and decides to run it in November, there's no way no anyone's ever gonna know that that's gonna conflict with the other magazine who don't downloaded it in October to run it in November. No way to manage that. That is the challenge of stop photography. But that is the magazines challenge, not the stock photographer, and not necessarily photographer. Now is you an individual or marketing your work in your library, and you have an image that you want that gets pulled in my mind. I think it's really good business to give it to the person who buys a first. And if somebody comes in, says we want to run it, then you should let them know. I think you should let them know. At least give them the courtesy of letting them now. Not all photographers would do that, And to me, that's a big part of the etiquette of running a good business. Um, you know, and the truth is that those places always gonna come to you because they know you've got their back and they don't have to keep paying for its customer service. So what places I think don't think of that. But hopefully that answers that question. So these motion clips, I think we'll ultimately will get used and you could see the approach to it. You know, capturing that friendship, the moments, almost none of these air handheld, of course, you know, and it feels like an ad. And honestly, it does start to feel like stock a little bit because of the colors, their vibrant. It's stylized. It's gotta look and feel the lights. Good man. It is awfully perfect, but right. I mean, that's usually that's usually it. That's what takes it away. But the truth is, we're all friends. Well, had fun. We all can't well had buyers well, didn't have showers the next day, and we still all filmed. I mean, and so you get an air of that authenticity when you start to actually live. That and that's what producing a shoot and capturing stock is really all about. You know, bringing people who aren't normally models is the VP of my company right here, running Right now we're walking up this rock. She's managing all of our business. Our sales are licensing and all this stuff. You know, we're out in the field checking emails and then getting a chance on a summer evening at seven o'clock to sit around a campfire, take a walk and do an experimental shoot for our business with our photographer. That's the office dogs Aura, having introduced or yet surprise. And, uh, that scandal behind her manages sales for the company and Becca our shooter's life and me and Ben shooting on the other side. That's what a shoot looks like. No hard, you know? I mean, anybody can theoretically do that. And this kind of stuff could be really great for marketing. Professional models. Could be a challenge, you know? Are they gonna be real runners? You know Ben and his wife for athletes, is they Do they do this thing and you know they do it well, So this was a running life box in the meat. I don't see where the full one is. Um, so obviously we have a lot of campfire stuff as well. Oh, I see. It's on my hard drive. Uh, so Here's some of the other still going to show you this stuff. This is the bigger at it. So this is the rock climbing. So we got footage of this. It's a little more subtle, but this is called the Shark Fin. So we were able to get something that will appeal to the rock climbing magazines and the people going out on the adventure and all that other stuff. So we really were able to capitalize on a lot of different elements. Silhouettes, travel shots, road trip, right? Work very frequently with Triple A and their magazine all the time. We do a lot of different things with those guys really great to work with, you know? And this is the kind of stuff were thinking. Who are the people there? You know, that's actually really good point about stock photography. I should mention. We very often shoot with a few clients in mind, even if we're not shooting for those clients, you know, we know we're already working with handful of people all the time, like a running magazine or road chip magazine or commercial buyer. You shoot with that in mind, you also curate with that in mind. How do you make those selections and choose the images that are gonna be the most relevant? So this is this is what a professional shoot should look like. Um, you know, again, you see all the variety wide, medium, close up tight. You know what we could do? A little. I think I could do a better job editing. I think it took the wrong frame here with the person in the side. Um, B C s. She's cut off here, but in the next frame, you know. But now I'm getting the back of the dog. I don't want the back of the dog. Everybody just got those entirely back in the dog Never cells, but, you know, But like, think about this now, we've got pet magazines, weaken market to man's best friend or woman's best friend in this case. Right. Um, we got stock footage of the dog, you know? Look at this. So what do we need to do here? Can you guys tell me exactly the labels labels gotta go? Um, so we make sure we turn them. You could see them a little. Not much. Um, return them same thing. You know, get the cooler, all that kind stuff. So from the still photos will be able to scrub that stuff. We could see how well these things really come together. And, you know, capturing stock is also about making sure you get all the right keywords. Active Air Alabama Hills, California. So now what? Get it out there. Share it, See a campaign come to life. The people go through it. Um, we're still actually going through. So we have images going out. We're pushing things in the marketplace. We're still having an editor in New York that we really like, who is helping curate even further. And so is your capturing stock and building your own library. Really recommend working with other people? Don't just edit your own work. I find that most photographers are really bad at editing their own work. Editing is the hardest thing. You may be a great photographer with great sales potential, and you might not know which of the two images are going to the most marketable or which of your shoot really most marketable really recommend working with editors. There's a lot of freelance editors out. There is a lot of different companies that can help you sort of hone your your portfolio. Um, whatever you do, really build a community and try and bring all those, uh, opinions that are valued to the table for your work.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Ratings and Reviews


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.

Student Work