A directory of links, tools, and resources for starting and growing your microstock video and/or motion graphics business.
Buy, Rent, and Sell
B&H – Online photo, video, audio gear store with comprehensive selection and compeitive pricing. They also sell used gear at great deals. If you’re in New York, check out their huge store in person.
Adorama – Online camera store with great selection and competitive pricing, also located in New York. They also buy used video and photo gear.
BorrowLenses.com – Online rental of camera bodies, lenses, lighting, and other photo, video, and audio equipment. US only.
Camcorder Info – Comprehensive online reviews of video cameras, from high-end pro to DSLR to iPhone.
DP Review – A great digital camera, lens, and equipment review site, useful if you’re shooting video with a DSLR.
Steve’s Digicams – Another great resource for DSLR camera and lens reviews, information, and news.
Other Useful Sites
SmugMug – Professional photo sharing site with robust offerings for presenting, protecting, and selling your videos and images. 3 fee levels available to meet your needs.
Animoto – Create quick, easy, professional animated slide shows from your videos and photos. Free and fee plans available.
Magazines – Print and Online
A list of publications about Video and Motion Graphic, available both in print and online. All are filled with great how-to’s, reviews, contests, and informative articles. Check them out and see which one(s) you like best.
Videomaker – The #1 Camcorder and Video magazine. In print and online.
HD Video Pro – 6 issues per year filled with HD technology and inspiration. In print and online.
Videography – Offers free subscriptions throughout the US. In print and online.
Layers Magazine – Covering Adobe products for a variety of media, including After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive, Acrobat, Dreamweaver and Flash.
Creative Cow – Large library of online tutorials across all areas of video production. 6 issues/per/year print and online magazine. Online subscription is free.
Digital Arts – Comprehensive coverage of the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design, in print and online.
Stash – Online only video library of animation, visual effects, and motion design.
Online Tutorial Sites
lynda.com – Subscription-based site offering an extensive library of basic to advanced tutorials covering the most common media production software for video, photo, audio, and illustration. Highly recommended. Get 10 days of free unlimited access to lynda.com.
Video Copilot – A very robust and popular online resource for After Effects tutorials and plugins.
Digital Tutors – Online tutorials aimed at creating movies and games.
TutsPlus – Online tutorials on After Effects, shooting, lighting, and more.
Accurate and thorough keywording of your microstock images is a critical step. This is how potential buyers will search for, find, and purchase your images among the many millions that are out there.
Here are links to 4 online tools that use different approaches to finding keywords that you might not otherwise have thought of. Simply enter a short list of words and phrases for your image, and these tools will suggest several others to add to your list.
www.findphotokeywords.com – Searches images on multiple microstock sites that use the same keywords, and displays other words they have included. Includes ability to specifically search vectors and other illustrations. Supports multiple languages.
http://arcurs.com/keywording/http://arcurs.com/keywording/ – Developed by Yuri Acurs, the world’s top selling microstock photographer. Searches existing microstock images with similar keywords. All keywords for those images are displayed, by popularity. Includes ability to specifically search Illustrations.
www.mykeyworder.com – Searches for keywords and images using those keywords. Ability to extend search to include Flickr.
Model and Property Release Forms
If you’re submitting your videos to just one microstock agency, then we recommend using the releases specific to that agency. But if you are submitting to multiple sites, it’s helpful to use releases that are acceptable across all sites.
Here are links to the generic model and property release forms that #1 selling microstock photographer Yuri Acurs shares on his website (www.arcurs.com). Since he has a proven record of using these forms for submitting photos across all of the major microstock agencies, we highly recommend them for your use. Note there is a model release for adults and a separate one for minors.
Once you download them, you’ll need to replace Yuri’s name and logo with your own information, and then replace all references to “photographs” or “pictures” to say “videos” instead.