Which are the best stock footage platforms for a potentially lucrative gig for cinematographers? 

You could be forgiven for assuming that filmmakers and video editors use only footage they have shot themselves in their projects.

This isn’t necessarily the case.

Often, editors will use pre-existing stock footage in the work they do.

This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as filling gaps in the visual narrative of a project or for replacing footage that has become corrupt or otherwise unusable.

There are a number of different online sources that sell stock footage.

As a cinematographer, the opportunity is there for you to make money by selling your footage to these platforms.

Let’s take a look at this process in more detail and discuss which stock footage platforms you should use to sell your work. Read on to find out more.

The Different Stock Platforms

The market for selling stock footage to editors and filmmakers is huge, and as a result, there are a number of different stock footage platforms out there.

US-based Motion Array is fast becoming one of the most popular.

With a huge collection of over 700,000 digital assets, Motion Array serves as a one-stop shop for digital content creators.

Stock footage makes up a large part of the Motion Array library, but the platform also offers assets such as music and still images, as well as templates for After Effects, and Premier Pro plugins.

If you are a cinematographer looking to sell your work, Motion Array could be the perfect option.

Applying to become a Motion Array producer will give you access to a customer base of over 8 million.

You will earn royalties on your videos that are sold across a global network.

Storyblocks is another stock footage platform.

Users can access an enormous library of over 1,000,000 clips, plus a range of digital assets including music and SFX.

Storyblocks also offers users access to Adobe Premier and After effects templates.

Cinematographers can sell their work to Storyblocks by signing up for the platform’s Contributor programme.

However, with an active member base of just 180,000, the platform might not prove as lucrative as Motion Array.

The Veterans

Filmmakers and video editors have been using stock footage in their projects for decades.

In days gone by, they would use physical video libraries to get the footage they need.

With the power of modern technology, these libraries have shifted online and now offer far more options, choices, and features.

One of the oldest stock video footage platforms is Shutterstock.

Perhaps best known for its use as a stock image website, Shutterstock also offers users access to a massive collection of videos, music, and editing tools.

Shutterstock can be an attractive option for videographers looking to sell their work.

The site has paid out over $1 billion to its international network of contributors over the past 15 years.

Founded way back in 2000, iStock is another veteran stock footage platform that is still widely used today.

It has a special collection of assets that can only be found on that platform.

What’s more, iStock offers users an in-browser editing tool for quickly chopping and cutting clips.

Videographers can sell their clips on iStock.

However, they must pass a test before being accepted onto the platform’s contributor programme, which can take upwards of a month to process.

The Perks and Pitfalls

Video content is hotter than ever.

With the explosive rise of video-sharing social channels like TikTok, an increasing number of brands and businesses are looking to implement a video marketing strategy to tap into this booming sector.

This means that there is ample opportunity for videographers and cinematographers to profit from their footage.

Selling stock videos can be either a fully-fledged career or a side job to supplement your income.

However, when selling stock footage online it’s always important to carefully read all the terms and conditions.

For example, some platforms may demand exclusive use of your footage, which means you won’t be able to sell it to any other platforms.

Some sites do not ask for exclusive rights, but they may offer you lower prices as a result.

It’s important to weigh up your options before deciding which is the right choice for you.

Furthermore, it’s important to pay attention to video licensing.

Some platforms may use rights-managed licenses, which means your videos will only be used for specific purposes.

This can limit the number of potential customers your videos will be available to, but it could increase the cost of them.

Which Platform is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing a platform on which to sell your stock video footage, your decision will ultimately be determined by your personal circumstances, needs, and requirements.

If you’re looking to access as many potential customers as you can, you’d be hard pushed to find a better option than Motion Array.

This can be the perfect platform for videographers and cinematographers who are looking to make a profit from their footage.


The stock video industry is booming.

If you’re looking to make some passive income, or if you’re looking for a whole new career, use this guide and choose from the best stock footage platforms for you to sell your stock footage.

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