Desert Video Workshop with Adobe Stock

by Dennis Radeke

posted on 05-02-2018

Every April, video creators, filmmakers, broadcasters, and educators from all over the world flock to Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show to see the latest in video technology and learn from each other. This year, Adobe Stock partnered with Future Media Concepts and NAB to bring video creators together in an intimate, hands-on workshop in the heart of the Nevada desert.

Day 1: Nelson Ghost Town

On the first day, we traveled to the Nelson Ghost Town for a full day of shooting. About an hour’s drive outside of Las Vegas, the ghost town is a unique location full of nostalgia and just the right amount of quirkiness. Surrounded by weather-aged barns, houses, and antique trucks, we set up six stations — each with its own shooting scenario, models, and props. Each of these stations provided a unique learning opportunity such as directing models, avoiding intellectual property, and shooting prime lenses.

We were also joined by our friends from RED Digital Cinema, Canon, Sachtler, and Wescott who brought a treasure trove of lights, tripods, lenses, and cameras for everyone to learn and experiment with.

As many of the participants were experienced photographers but new to stock, we focused on transferable skills, as well as stock-specific challenges that they should be mindful of. For example, smooth movement is critical when filming motion, so tripods and gimbals are a must. Even a small handheld device like an Osmo will drastically improve your clips.

With photographs, you’re trying to tell an entire story with a static image. With video, you have more flexibility. Sequence your shots to tell a story, but also be sure to have variety in the angles and composition. At the “Open Road” station, our model Helen really committed to her role of hitchhiker, and we were able to capture a series of clips that told the story of a frustrated traveler.

It’s not a requirement to work with professional models — it’s more important to capture natural expression and realness on camera. Just remember that if you have a recognizable person (or property) in your shots, you need to get a model release in order to sell that clip as stock footage.

Trademarks and logos are one of the most common reasons why clips get rejected from Adobe Stock. It’s best to avoid them altogether by using a shallow depth of field or cropping it out of your frame. But if you happen to notice them after you wrap up the shoot, you can always scrub them in post.

Day 2: Post | Production World

The following day, we sought respite from the desert at Post | Production World inside of the NAB convention halls. Our budding stock video contributors heard from Adobe Stock veterans Mat Hayward and Rick Ray on their journey to becoming successful stock shooters.

After inspiration came practical tips — uploading model releases, and the ever-important keywording. Keywords are how buyers find the clips they’re looking for on Adobe Stock, so having accurate and relevant keywords is crucial for selling stock. Keywords need to describe not only what’s happening in the clip, but also the mood and tone of the footage.

For more details on how to submit and sell your footage on Adobe Stock, download our Contributor Guide (it’s free). If you have a hard drive bursting with footage and need a hand clipping, please reach out to us at

Special thanks to everyone who attended our workshop, Nelson Ghost Town, and to our partners at FMC, NAB, RED Digital Cinema, Canon, Sachtler, and Westcott.

Topics: Creativity, Photography

Products: Stock