Makana Creative’s Soul-Satisfying Stock in Paradise

by Adobe Stock Team

posted on 05-08-2019

Makana Creative taps into a laid-back, natural Hawaiian vibe to capture stock video that moves us, from sunsets with friends to death-defying cliff dives. We talked to the agency’s founder about finding a creative niche, life in the stock world, and how to make sure your work stands out.

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?

Growing up in Hawaii, I found myself fascinated by the ocean and the outdoors. My first attempts with a camera were directed at capturing my friends surfing after school. I knew from a very young age that I would grow up to be a photographer.

How do you describe your style?

I would say my style is simple and refined with an occasional flair toward the majestic. I love shooting in great light in amazing locations and making sure I am always uploading the highest quality footage in terms of balanced colors, smooth motion, and awesome talent.

Video source: Makana Creative / Adobe Stock
You focus on nature, family and friends, and joyful ocean scenes. How do you capture that signature vibe in your videos?

Living in Hawaii, my niche naturally became exploring the outdoors with friends and family. As a kid, I would adventure to waterfalls, go surfing and kitesurfing, and hike to remote parts of the island. It was a smooth transition to start filming these activities for stock since I was already so in tune with them and I already knew lots of authentic models who lived on our island.

Do you use Adobe products in your work? If so, which Adobe tools are your favorites, and why?

Bridge is an integral part of my workflow because of its ability to seamlessly integrate metadata into clips. This saves me quite a lot of time on my upload and distribution process. I also use Photoshop to do color/luminosity checks on finalized clips before uploading.

Video source: Makana Creative / Adobe Stock
How did you get started as a Stock contributor?

A good family friend and neighbor down the street was one of the pioneers of the stock industry during the transition to digital. He was a huge mentor and inspiration. He pushed me to upload my first few images, and stay with it despite some early rejections. It started off quite slow, more of a side hustle in my college days, but quickly grew to become a real source of income. Now I only shoot stock full time.

What are the biggest challenges and rewards of working with stock?

The biggest challenges include making sure the talent and wardrobe fit the vision for a shoot, making sure color and motion is up to the portfolio standards on every shoot, and creating an environment where real moments can happen. Creating this environment includes some direction to the talent, but also letting the talent be free to experience the activity or moment they are participating in as they would normally with no camera.

The most rewarding part of stock is being able to pick and choose shoots based on what I think is beautiful, and bring these moments to life for whoever needs them as part of their own visual story.

Video source: Makana Creative / Adobe Stock

The most popular asset in the portfolio is a son riding on his father’s shoulders at sunset on the beach. Aside from being in a beautiful location, and having amazing sunset lighting, it evokes emotions of joy and endless possibilities — as well as having a strong theme of family, childhood, and fatherhood. All these elements make it an iconic shot, and put it at the top of our portfolio.

Video source: Makana Creative / Adobe Stock
What practical tips would you give to folks hoping to succeed in the stock world?

Nowadays, with the advent of affordable 4K DSLRs and other affordable videography equipment, the value of stock assets is increasingly about what’s in front of your lens. Anyone can go out and buy a camera with good resolution and color, but what really separates the amateurs from the pros is having authentic talent and artistic vision.

Starting out, focus on activities or moments that are already around you, and ask if people you know would be interested in being paid to have fun doing things they already love doing. Assets are much more interesting and lucrative when they include human connections.

Video source: Makana Creative / Adobe Stock

See more breathtaking videos from Makana Creative on Adobe Stock. If you’re looking to sell your videos to millions of editors and creatives around the world, get started as an Adobe Stock contributor.

You can also learn more about how natural images are shaping our visual landscape and check out the most important visual trends of 2019.

Topics: Creativity, Video & Audio

Products: Stock, Photoshop, Creative Cloud