Our tips to help you improve sales of
your best aerial & drone footage !
A visual content producer (ie contributor) placing his images with stock images libraries must never forget that he produced it on his own and was not commissioned by any client.
There is therefore, a priori, no market demand for such images.
The whole challenge for this speculative production is now to find buyers who need this type of stock footage or stills.
This will of course be the work of the image stock agency, but it can not be done without a good understanding of the market by the stock images producers.
For the contributor eager to earn money with his images, it is all about producing what the image market needs, by filling the gaps and raising the quality.
This is the purpose of our tips, valid for both photographers and videographers, whatever their specialties.
HOsiHO.com is 6 years old
We have been around since a while and we were probably among the firsts to launch - from scratch - a collection of stunning drone and aerial images in 4K.
It is time for us to talk about our experiences, about Money, about what an aerial content creator should do to expect a consistent revenue from its artwork.
We give you our best tips in order for you to get the most out of your aerial production.
We are aerial cinematographers : this is our DNA !
The original HOsiHO platform was launched in 2014 by audiovisual professionnals and drone pilots.
We are 100% dedicated to gather and distribute a high-end collection of the very best photos and aerial videos shot from any kind of aircrafts: drone, microlight, helicopter, paramotor, plane, etc...
In other words, HOsiHO is more than just a market place or another online library
We first are aerial cinematographers ourselves, and we perfectly know the stock image market needs, since decades.
That's why, we are very picky on both accepted images and signed talents.
We are only working with contributors that love to fly and create awesome images, always legally captured from above with a high dose of creativity !
That's also why we deliver unique services like Shoot-On-Demand, Image Search Request and even a Drone Network in France.
Our goal is to gather the best aerial contributors and provide to our customers the most creative aerial images depicting the world natural and architectural sites.
HOsiHO is one of the favorite aerial sources for buyers
Nevertheless, we are very humble, and know that we still have a long way to go.
That's why we've launched in April 2019, this 2.0 e-commerce platform !
We have the tools, we know the market, but we need much more images from all kind of topics, concepts and countries in order to address the clients demand.
Customers expect from HOsiHO to have the perfect shot they need, NOW !
Because we have sold thousands of aerial footage to hundreds of worldwide image buyers, we have now a good frame of what they need and the money they are ready to spend for that perfect shot. Not only they want it perfect but they also want it now !
What is a perfect shot ?
That one is tricky since it is very subjective.
In other words, a perfect shot is an existing image that someone would have liked to have shot himself!
But lets try to be accurate here.
Your footage or stills must represent the essence of the shown location ! You need to put a lot of talent inside. Be creative and stand out from the crowd.
Obviously our clients need aerial images showing World heritage and the most beautiful landscapes, towns, villages and monuments.
But they also demand Concepts !
Filmed at all seasons, at the most beautiful hours and lights with new and dramatic angles (drone effect for example, or helicopter/cineflex).
IMPROVE YOUR SALES ON HOsiHO.com
Tip #1 Read our guidelines
Our submission guidelines are a must read before any shooting and submission.
It is here to help you and save you time and bad experiences.
Don't miss it !
Tip #2 Focus on 4K Video
Unfortunately, photography is no longer selling, or so rarely.
We are therefore obliged to take into account the state of the market and advise you to no longer hope to make a living from it.
Low demand, fierce competition, low prices for photography, make it wise to focus on footage production.
4K video, on the other hand, is on the rise, especially aerial images.
Demand is strong and prices are out of proportion with those of stills.
The competition is noticeably smaller than in photography, because of the gears costs and the learning curve of this technique.
Tip #3 Shoot Landmarks & Concepts
Start with your immediate surroundings and find the locations and monuments that attract the most people (landmarks) and then film them first !
Then consider what others shoot less, like Concepts.
Landmarks If you want to thrive in the stock footage business, you have to first shoot the top World landmarks.
The more famous the place, the more likely it is needed.
A fabulous aeral capture of an unknown location or monument will always sell much less than the Eiffel Tower or a gorgeous London skyline.
Even if we welcome both major and secondary locations, as well as all outdoor activities, that are also in high-demand, we urge you to focus on your regional or internationnal landmarks.
We still miss so many very famous Travel destinations.
Always check what is lacking and what is not by searching the HOsiHO collection online.
Avoid similars and oversupplying us with yet another flight over an empty vineyard field.
Instead, use your time and resources to capture these landmarks. You will not regret it !
Concepts Another way to make consistent revenues from your stock images is to shoot drone videos reprsenting more a concept than a location.
This because images representing clear and strong concepts are also good sellers.
A concept is something universally understood, no matter the language, the location and even the subject.
It tells something to any human being, therefore it can be shown to all audiences.
Conceptual images have a much greater market that any other subject/location.
More: it is often used for ads, thus sold at much higher prices.
Visual example of a strong concept clip
Here is a drone video shot in Romania.
In fact, it says nothing about the place but everything about Pollution.
It is straight and simple, not only beautiful and perfectly framed and captured.
There's no other subject to distract the viewer. It only deals with Pollution and that's crystal clear for everyone.
Always pay a special attention to the keywords describing the concept.
Add Synonyms but don't overload it. Example of good keywording :
Apocalyptic, Chemical contamination, Danger, Destruction, Disaster, Ecology, Environmental Issue, Pollution, Toxic Waste,
Here's a list of concepts that you should absolutely film from above, if you want to make more money from your aerial stock footage :
- Beauty in nature
- Power in nature
- Escapism & Travel
- Pollution & Environmental Issues
- Climate Change
It has to be beautiful, with a good light, but overall, the concept must be the main - if not the unique - subject.
It has to be immediately obvious without any word and explanation.
What is fantastic with conceptual images, is that you can capture it anywhere : around your location and/or with your friends (cycling/hiking/playing/racing...).
In this case, have them sign a Model and / or a Property release (ie.owner of the animal/house/boat...
Tip #4 Think Releases
For any Commercial uses of your images, customers need to be secured when they buy an image showing recognizable People and Properties.
If the Model Releases / Property Releases aren't available, your footage and stills won't make it to the most lucrative segment of the market.
Indeed, our fares are much higher for commercial uses, like Ads, than for editorial uses, like Documentary films and News.
So, keep it in mind if you are shooting Concepts with People or Landmarks like private castles : always get the signed Releases and send it along your concerned images.
If we think a release must is required but you didn't attach it, the image will be flaged as Editorial Use Only which will prevent it to be sold for Commercial uses.
Revenues from it will be therefore much lower than the same released image.
Tip #5 Pay attention to your Keywords (it is not a waste of time)
Keywording is not a waste of time, it is your latest step to reach the market.
Right after a flight, think about the main keywords that will describe the best your new images.
Even unique-awesome-stunning-incredible-never-seen-before footage, need to be very well keyworded.
Describe it with simple words in order to be found by an audiovisual or photo researcher.
This step is crucial. Always treat it with care and give accurate Title and Descriptions to your images.
The title of an image is used in its URL : it is therefore fundamental to its good indexing by search engines (visibility on the Internet).
Populate your keywording with all the essential words to describe it. Forget all others and concentrate on the main ones.
Find some good Synonyms but do not over-use it (no spamming).
If you do it right, and if your images are great and powerful, it will be easier for buyers to find it and will increase your chances to sell your work.
Tip #6 Follow our clients image requests
We are new players so we don't have all the searched images online.
We also send an email to all our signed contributors.
This is one of the best way to make a sale very quickly: if you have the requested shot, just upload it and we will notify the customer.
If the aerial or drone video matches the customer's expectation, you have every chance to make the sale.
Tip #7 Stay away from the Race to the bottom
Never underestimate the value of your work. If you do it, you'll have no chance to reach the high-end of the market that HOsiHO address.
Don't sell your HOsiHO's work at microstock's prices, because buyers are clever and know where to find an image at the lowest price.
So, don't waste your time uploading here your microstock's images since there's NO chance for us to sell it 5 to 10 times higher.
Keep your best aerial photos and videos for us and do not put the rejected or similars on the microstock market
This would compromise your chances of selling the accepted ones at the best price.
Tip #8 Submit only your best work
It is obvious that in a hyper-competitive market only the most beautiful images have a chance to sell, especially at our pricing level.
Aesthetics is not everything, certainly, and the subject can sometimes prevail, if it is a rare one.
We all have to win if you only send the very best of your aerial views.
As previously stated, avoid submitting similar images (duplicates) or secondary topics like empty vineyards or wheat fields ...
It takes a lot of time to do so, but this time is lost because these images exist in abundance and are almost never sold.
Tip #9 Never sign an exclusive contract with an agency
You must always keep your freedom to choose who you want to entrust with the representation of your stunning aerial views, like with our non-exclusive contributor agreement contract,
Don't lock yourself in a contract with an exclusivity clause and therefore require you to trust only one agency until the end of your initial commitment.
Better to put your eggs in several baskets rather than in one, even if the shared percentage is higher by signing as Exclusive (ie 60% instead of 50% in most cases).
The little extra income that this percentage implies, is not worth the sacrifice of your freedom to entrust to whom you wish the distribution of these same images.
The multiplication of distributors, at substantially equivalent prices, is a financially successful strategy and keeps you away from misjudgment or setback.
Imagine what will happen to your sales if the early promises of the Exclusive Agency are not kept ?
With the HOsiHO contract, you can either sell your images on your own website or through your favorite agencies.
Even big players can't offer you steady incomes on the long run.
That's why, contributors must always play the diversification card.
Tip # 10 Don't share unwatermarked images on the internet
This may sound obvious to some, but it is very common to find on the web and social medias high-definition images published by their authors without any copyright mention along it, let alone a watermark affixed to the footage or photography.
The door is then wide open to fraudulent uses of all kinds.
Therefore the sale of rights of these images is highly compromised since the images are implicitly given away by their rights holders.
What should you do to protect yourself while showing your work on the web ?
1 - Systematically affix your logo in a corner of the image.
2 - Avoid publishing your images in very high definition (4K+). HD or 720p is enough to promote you without risking abuse.
3 - Block the photo or video with a discreet but visible transparent watermark, preferably around the center (as HOsiHO.com does).
4 - Always specify in the comments along each images the following mention: These images are not free of rights - © copyright YourName - All rights reserved
Tip #11 Volume, Variety, Creativity, Patience
To earn regular and consistent revenue from your images represented by photo or video agencies, you must build, over time, a high-quality portfolio.
Do not settle for sending only 10 or 20 images. Unless they are rare and fabulous, you will not see sales for a long time or sporadically.
To hope to see sales quickly and regularly, you need volume, variety, and talent!
A good start would be to immediately reach a hundred very diverse images, then aim for the 500 and 1000 stunning aerial videos!
So do not stop flying, shooting and feeding - continuously - your portfolio to make it grow. In terms of stockshots, volume is crucial.
There is another one which is not less: the variety of your subjects, therefore of your offer!
Your images compete with hundreds of thousands of others available on the internet.
It is imperative for you to stand out by choosing less covered topics.
Be more creative than average and constantly produce new images by varying themes and locations.
Be very patient, time is your ally!
FEW WORDS FROM HOsiHO's FOUNDER
(read also the full interview conducted in March 2020 on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the image bank)
Sami Sarkis, HOsiHO's founder, said about rates : 'Until now, such aerial filming and photography was only available to order at relatively high rates. We want to democratize images shot from the sky with a standardised comprehensive offer, which includes immediate availability for download around the world, at the highest available size.'
Sami Sarkis - as a photographer& cameraman has been represented by the world leading agencies since three decades - is very clear when it comes to pricing:
'Our rates must be fair for both stock producers and buyers. It is true that times have changed and a 30-second film clip cannot sell today for thousands of dollars for an editorial use, but it can still sell for hundreds, much higher than the microstock rates. We do experience this every day. I believe, with HOsiHO as a relatively new player, that we need to take a stand and ensure professionals work is not given away for pennies.
At HOsiHO, we will never devalue the work of image makers - quite the opposite!'
Along with a commitment to offer a fair share of sale prices to creators, HOsiHO is pursuing a long-term task: gather under its banner spectacular aerial images made possible with the latest technologies (drones, 4K/6K, VR360, Hyperlapses, ...). Sami Sarkis says:
'HOsiHO contributors get 50% of the sale price and in return we expect them to produce exceptional pictures: technical prowess is a prerequisite! The concept, originality, choice of subjects, angles, lighting, framing and flight profile are all vital elements. Our photos and videos stand out in this incessant flow of images that feeds Internet because they are technically exceptional. Our positioning is deliberately at the high-end, and we have created - from scratch - a collection that will be distinguished not only by the innovative technology but also by the singular eye of our contributors community'.
Another HOsiHO original feature is their Shoot-On-Demand service:
'With our Shoot-On-Demand service, if the customer cannot find the image in our collection, they can ask us to use our network of professionals to shoot it.'
Talented aerial cinematographers are welcome since the early days, says HOsiHO's Ceo :
''We are growing fast and there is an increasing demand for our images and services.
The agency is always looking for new contributors capable of producing high-quality work for our internationnal clients.
In 2018 we have massively invested on our own Contributors Portal first, then on our new 2.0 e-commerce platform.
This way, we are ready to ingest much more images than before, and deliver a totally new experience to buyers'.