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Start Shooting Stock Footage with your DSLR

If you are a stock photographer, chances are you’ve spent considerable time and money hiring models, setting up studios, and investing in good DSLR equipment. If your DSLR has the capability to shoot high definition video, why not take the opportunity on your photo shoots to produce video and make additional income in the stock footage market? Switching your DSLR to video mode and experimenting is the best way to learn and get good at it.

When you start to shoot, you will quickly start rethinking the way you use your camera. You are no longer capturing just a single image. You are capturing a series of images. With experience, you will learn how to move with the camera and the subject to capture your footage. To learn about different camera moves like tilting and panning, check out this article on Videomaker: Camera Movement Techniques - Tilt, Pan, Zoom, Pedestal, Dolly and Truck.

Another big difference between shooting stills and video is using the autofocus feature. Autofocus doesn’t work well when the subject is in motion. Since video is all about capturing movement, it’s always better to use manual focus, as it helps you to have the most control over your video. Shooting in manual mode will also help ensure that you are trying to frame the shots correctly, while also having the proper focus.

There are a couple of options to choose when picking frame rate and shutter speed. For a cinematic look on your DSLR, pick 24 frames per second (24p), and set your shutter speed at 1/50th of a second (50). You can also shoot at 30 frames per second (30p), with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second (60). Both of these options are good settings for shooting quality video. Indoors or out, you adjust the aperture depending on the lighting.

To understand what shutter speed and frame rate means and the difference between the two, check out this great video on Vimeo: Shutter Speed and FPS.

So before you shoot any video, set your frame rate and shutter speed to the options above, adjust the aperture according to the lighting, put your lens on manual focus, focus the scene, and then start shooting your footage!

Keep in mind this is a way to start shooting footage. To really get that professional look, you will need gear, lighting, lenses, audio, and editing expertise. To learn more about making the transition from photography to videography, you can read From Still to Motion: A photographer’s guide to creating video with your DSLR.

When you think that your footage is ready for Steven Spielberg’s next feature film, it’s probably ready for Shutterstock Footage. Try uploading your footage to Shutterstock from our contributor page. Have fun and happy shooting!

Image © Mario Lopes/Shutterstock