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Turn Your YouTube Vids into a Freelance Aerial Photography Job

Turn Your YouTube Vids into a Freelance Aerial Photography Job

Before the recent UAV market boom, it was difficult to get good quality aerial footage simply because of how expensive it was to own the equipment. Now that we have cheaper cameras such as those offered by GoPro and AEE, as well as cheaper UAVs, good quality aerial footage can be attained by nearly anyone.

Before the recent UAV market boom, it was difficult to get good quality aerial footage simply because of how expensive it was to own the equipment. Now that we have cheaper cameras such as those offered by GoPro and AEE, as well as cheaper UAVs, good quality aerial footage can be attained by nearly anyone.

As a result, there are many aerial photography money-making ideas opening up, with lots of business ideas you can use to earn independently. People are starting to find innovative ways to cash in on their aerial photograph abilities by posting their footage on Youtube or selling their images on websites like shutterstock.com. With the right equipment, an eye for great visuals, and patience, you can put your an aerial photography business plan into practice, too.

It Starts with Knowing Where to Post Your Aerial Photography Content

There are many sites that sell stock photography and videos, all of which you’ll want to should consider. With some effort and dedication you can take your high quality footage and images and sell them on one or more of these sites. In general, the way it works is that you create a seller account on their site and upload a picture or video that you believe will sell well to their marketplace.

Pro Tip: Before you get started, be sure that your pictures are of good quality (composition, sharpness, exposure). Content reviewers will gauge whether your photographs and/or videos are of good enough quality to sell on the site. They will not allow photographs that don’t meet their standards.

Here are a few places where you can sell your photos or footage with their selling rates. Every site handles payments differently but generally you can expect royalties of 20-40%.

  • istockphoto: One of the biggest marketplaces for photos and videos, this site offers royalties of 15%. However, you can make 20% in royalties depending on how many sales you make. Also, exclusivity (a sort of contract with the website that states that you will only sell your footage with them) gives you on average double the royalty rate.
  • Shutterstock: This site offers 30% commission on sales of your footage and 25 cents on any of your downloaded images. Commission rates are higher if you are exclusive with them.
  • YouTube: Although this is not a marketplace for stock photos and images, you can still make money off of your aerial footage here. I won’t go into how much money you can make per video as this really does depends on many factors. However, there is also plenty of information on this subject already. Just remember to be unique and entertaining in your videos.

How to Make the Most With a Quick Aerial Photography Business Plan

Creating your own freelance photography job requires a lot of effort and dedication. You can’t expect to make any significant amount of money right away, but eventually with a little luck, you will start to see success. Here are a few tips to maximize your chances for success when selling your photos and footage. The following applies to stock websites and not Youtube. Even though YouTube follows a different business plan, you can still use these tips to build a channel with a good following.

  • High Quality, Unique Media: Always take high quality footage. Veteran sellers agree that the quality of your footage is much more important than quantity when selling at these sites. Remember, there are millions of different photos and videos on these sites. You need to make your footage unique to make it stand out.
  • Know Your Demography: People are mostly buying from these sites for advertisement purposes. Ask yourself questions of what they might want and how you can deliver such media with a unique perspective that others could not achieve without a drone.
  • Take Advantage of Your Location: Think about how you can deliver aerial footage of locations to which others may not have access. Maybe you live in a minority world and can take advantage of the scenery around you. The more unique you are, the higher chances for success you will have.
  • Sell to Many Sites: Almost all stock photography websites offer exclusive bonuses. However, I would hold off on going exclusive with any of them until you find your niche. Sell to as many sites as you can, experiment with what works and what doesn’t work. If you find that you are selling significantly more to one website, then maybe you should sell exclusively with that one to maximize profits.
  • Network to Gain Exposure: Shutterstock provides a profile page where you can showcase your footage and pictures. Consider promoting your portfolio page from your social websites. For example, if you have a tumblr page, you can spotlight your favorite images and footage there to drive traffic to your portfolio page.

Those who are making money in their DIY aerial photography jobs are still working out the kinks but with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can start making money off of your drone photography and videography independently as well. This is just one of the many ways people are earning a good living with their UAVs. Just remember to fly smart and safe.

Image via Flickr: Pictures Of Money

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