Blog Home Contributor Contributor Support How to Sell Stock Footage

Want to be a Shutterstock Footage contributor? Do you want to up the production value of your clips? Here are a few tips on how to sell your stock footage.

Shutterstock depends on high-quality content from great contributors. In fact, Shutterstock has paid out over $400 million to contributors. Becoming a successful contributor requires you to upload the best content you have available. There are plenty of ways to to about selling stock footage; in fact, you may already have footage on your hard drives right now!

Stock Footage is All Around You

how to shoot and sell stock footage
Image by Daxiao Productions

One of the easiest ways to start your stock footage career is to check your hard drives from previous projects. Many filmmakers have a ton of unused b-roll already. If you have the rights to repurpose older or unused clips, consider submitting them.

If you don’t have any stock footage taking up hard drive space, then consider shooting some. It’s always a good idea to keep your camera on you during any personal adventures. Use your down time to take a quick road trip to clear your mind, and while you’re on the road shoot some stock clips. Travel footage is one of the most popular categories on Shutterstock.

Another option is to produce shoots specifically for stock. Hire some models (and be sure to get model release forms signed) and find a great location. You can film your group of friends on an adventure, grabbing a cup of coffee, or playing sports together. Make things more targeted by setting up a corporate business shoot. Know of an office space that will let you use the location for a weekend shoot? Use the location to grab shots of models at desks, stage some big company meetings, or even have a few candid moments of employees at the water cooler. These are the types of shoots that meet the high demand of business footage.

Most Popular Categories

Selling Stock Footage

Knowing what customers are looking for is the best way to target the footage in your shoot. From movie and television studios to advertising agencies and small businesses, consumers are looking for footage that helps tell their story and represent their brand.

The most popular categories include sports, food, travel, healthcare, business, animals, leisure, and lifestyle. International sports are some of the most popular searches as of late. Shutterstock has seen a surge in searches for the past World Cup and upcoming Olympics. In fact, both of those major sporting events take place Rio de Janiero, which has seen a 4255% spike in search terms since 2012. It also benefits you to travel to those locals and shoot stunning landscape footage as well. By hitting both the sports and travel categories, you increase your chances of selling footage.

Start Submitting Footage to Shutterstock

Start Submitting Footage to Shutterstock
Image by Andrey Popov

If you don’t already have an account, visit There you will want to enter your personal information for verification. As you wait, start editing your footage into 5 to 60-second clips. Footage is preferred as .MOV files in either ProRes, Photojpeg, or H.264.

After you have been personally verified, upload your clips and start adding keywords and descriptions for each clip. The more targeted your keywords and the more specific your descriptions, the better chance you have of customers finding your footage. Aim for at least 25-40 keywords. If your submissions have models or specific locations, be sure to upload the model and property release forms. Then submit your footage for review, where one of our admins will analyze your clips to see if they fit Shutterstock’s curated clipboxes.

Top image by Joyce Vincent