Amos Rafaeli Talks about Shooting Stock Footage

Q:     How long have you been shooting stock footage?

I’ve been a Cameraman/Cinematographer since 2001, but started shooting Stock Footage in 2009. I love shooting stock, because you are your own boss and it is also a combination between my hobby and profession.

Amos Rafaeli

Amos Rafaeli














Q:     What is your favorite subject to shoot?

The thing I like to shoot the most is nature and wildlife. Unfortunately, there is not much wildlife to shoot in Israel where I’m based. But I also love shooting time-lapse photography. Two years ago I added a time-lapse slider and motorized head to my gear.

Hobbled camel on a hilltop in Israel

AR-FH101-29 – Tethered camel on a hilltop

I like two major things in time-lapse photography: 1) that it forces you to have quiet time with yourself and 2) today in the digital age it remain almost the last ability that like in film you don’t really know the result until you process the shot.

I’m also a scuba diver, and recently got a new housing to my camera, and hopefully will shoot new great underwater footage.


AR-FH103-20 – Parrotfish swimming through coral


Q:     Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

Since DSLR has video I prefer them as my camera. I know that in a technical matter they don’t have the best video, but they are lightweight, and have great optics. I use Panasonic and have had GH2 and GH3 but now GH4, which also provides me with 4K capabilities.

When I shoot time-lapse, I also use the Panasonic GH but shoot raw stills and then render them out as high quality 4K 4:2:2 10 bit video.


Q:         What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

Sea of Galilee sunrise

AR-FH101-90 – Sunrise: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Israel

This is one of my first time-lapse. It is a sunrise, and I had a great combination of sun and clouds, which combined into a great sunrise shot.


Q:         What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

The best advice is to create new footage, not more of the same. You, as a stock shooter, can try but never really predict what will be a success. Try to create new stuff; show new faces.

Time-lapse clouds passing over snowy Golan Heights

AR-FH107-09 – Clouds over snow, Golan Heights, Israel


Q:         What’s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

The worst thing was not such a big deal. I once went and set up a time-lapse shot with the slider and then when the time to start came, I discovered I’d forgotten all my SD cards at home.

I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me while shooting. I had the chance to watch wild animals in nature.


Q:     What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to capture?

A whale during an underwater shoot.


About Amos Rafaeli:

Amos Rafaeli on location

Amos Rafaeli on location

Amos Rafaeli is 40 years old and lives in Kibbutz Hulda in Israel. He works as a Freelance Cameraman, mostly in Israel. He has worked on a few TV series, the most famous is “Arab Labor”
And he has shot a lot of TV and corporate work.


Meet Ole Sturm, creator of Orbital 3 and Marble Earth

Q. When did you begin animating? (Or how long have you been animating stock footage?).

I started in computer graphics and animation back in 1990 when I completed a computer graphics course in Munich. Initially it was just desktop publishing but I soon got drawn into the animation side of things and in 1995 started animating for playback graphics on Mission: Impossible. More films soon followed and in 2000 I took part in a recce on the USS Stennis aircraft carrier in San Diego, where we were researching screen interfaces for Behind Enemy Lines. This research led to my first contact with Artbeats with the idea to produce the Control Panels 2 product, back in 2004.


Q. What is your favorite subject to animate?

I love the Orbital 2 and Starfields 2 series. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan so anything that gets me into space, even if it’s just on a screen, is sure to get my attention.

RBL212 - Space satellite above thick clouds of Earth's atmosphere

RBL212 (from Orbital 2)- Space satellite above thick clouds.


STA203 (from Starfields 2)- A red planet shadows three glowing hexagons.


Q. Which computer and software do you prefer for animating stock footage?

Currently I work on a late 2013 MacPro (the trashcan model) with the highest specs available, including 64GB of RAM. The software I primarily rely on consists of After Effects for the compositing and 2d animation side of things and Cinema 4D for the 3d side of things. On the periphery I use Photoshop and Illustrator and a host of plugins such as Trapcode’s Particular.


Q. What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

I think that would have to be RBL114 or STA216  I just love the serenity of those two shots. I listened to a lot of Vangelis (yes, including Blade Runner) whilst working on these two compilations.

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) - Sunrise over Earth's horizon as if viewed from space

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) – Sunrise over Earth’s horizon as if viewed from space

STA216 (from Starfields 2) - Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds

STA216 (from Starfields 2) – Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds


Q. What advice can you give to animators who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

Find a subject that inspires you and the rest is easy. Working on Orbital I found that 8 hours would pass and it felt like 2 or 3 hours. It was just Zen-like.


Q. What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to animate?

I wish I’d had my new computer when I was animating the Starfields product – playing around with that many particles was really tough on my old MacPro (late 2008 model) and there were times when I just wanted to give up – it… was… that… slow……. I’m thinking of getting Phil interested in a second batch of starfields and have got my eye on X Particles for Cinema 4D.


Bonus Questions:

1. What’s the last movie you saw in a theater?

I don’t make it to the cinema very often unless it’s with my 8 year-old son – I think the last one was Turbo. My wife and I are booked to go see Gone Girl though

2.  What’s your guilty pleasure TV?

The Walking Dead and documentaries – the other night it was Stonehenge Empire.

 3. What’s your favorite gadget/app?

Hmmm, after being a complete app addict when the first iPhone came out I’ve now settled down to mostly using my phone and iPad for reading news to which end I rely on Zite, Flipboard and Feedly. Oh, and Plex, I love watching movies on my iPad.


About Ole Sturm:

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday


With a background in fine arts (majoring in sculpture) Ole has been working in film and various computer graphics related industries since 1987. His career path began in London working in visual effects and then moved to film production, props and set-dressing in South Africa. Moving to computer graphics and animation was a natural progression once the tools reached the mainstream.

In 1996 he co-founded Bionic Productions – based at Pinewood Studios, Bionic provided interfaces and playback graphics for feature films including Mission: Impossible, The Saint, Daylight, The Jackal, Lost in Space, M:i-2 and Behind Enemy Lines.

In 2001, he and his wife moved to Melbourne where he create video content for a large variety of clients and applications as well as working as a freelance designer, animator, editor and compositor.


Review Ole Sturm’s footage here

An informal chat with conservationist Catherine Cunningham (Eikosphere)

Q: When did you begin shooting?

A: My father gave me his Canon AE-1 film camera for an Around the World study abroad program I participated in during my junior year at the University of Notre Dame in the 1990’s. How could one not fall in love with photography when one has the opportunity to experience and share such unique, colorful, culturally rich landscapes, people, moments in time? Over the years, my camera became my window into understanding better our natural world, my entrance into conversation with so many interesting people and communities, and my vehicle for exploring everything and anything that piqued my curiosity.


ESP-FH101-90 – Rugged peak in the French Alps

I am grateful for the art of photography and film to express my inner creative voice and capture meaningful moments on this life journey to share with others.


Q: What is your favorite subject to shoot?

A: I am compelled to teach through photography, so I am always looking for the image or collection that is going to educate us about a particular social, economic, or environmental challenge we face or new innovative pathway. I am fascinated by innovation and technology that’s next now. I am drawn to creative design, smart architecture, and urban concepts that are regenerative.


ESP-FH100-16 – An urban park in Panama City, Panama

I love to shoot dramatic, dynamic mountain landscapes…those where the light and energy that precede or succeed a storm just sets the film on fire. Perhaps these are my favorite also because I love those betwixt-between moments in life when we are passing through periods of great transition. I love to capture “Norman Rockwell”-like window boxes that reveal the character of a community & make a statement about the respective cultural landscape.


ESP-FH102-85 – A little girl in a pink cap plays in a snowdrift

I love to photograph individuals (people, animals, and plants) to somehow convey the unique miracle and beauty of each living being. This is the essence of Nature’s Reflection, my photography company, to reflect back the beauty of the natural world through photography.


Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

A: I have been a Canon-sponsored photographer (and would welcome the opportunity to be again); so shoot with and prefer canon cameras and their professional lens series. My favorite canon cameras are still the EOS cameras that produce full frame, high resolution raw images.   And as you know, I also have a Sony HDV Z series camera for shooting video.


Q: What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

A: I believe the culture and cause footage I’ve shot around the world is probably what is special and unique about the collection of my footage. I love the mountain photography and one of the latest shoots I did capturing the Iguazu Falls on the Brazil side and the Argentina side. I happened to be there peak waterfall, flood season…and as it turns out it was an exceptionally wet and lush year.


ESP-FH104-43 – Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina, from the Argentine side

Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

A: Seek and Find what you love to shoot. Find your creative voice. Master your craft. Express yourself creatively in your art…. And slowly learn the business. Like any investment portfolio; have multiple streams of revenue opportunity open…then let them flow; and hope some will flood.


Q: What’s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

A: I’ve so many experiences out in the field. This question is the theme for a book I could write one day.


ESP-FH100-03 – Families playing in a public swimming pool in Seoul, South Korea


Q: What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to capture?

A: I have always been drawn to Angor Wat in Cambodia; culturally that is probably my next trip. I absolutely must see the Himalayan mountains sometime soon in my lifetime.


About Eikosphere:


Catherine Cunningham

Catherine Cunningham, PhD.  Catherine has produced film, photography, interactive media supporting impact ventures & sustainability programs for companies, INGO’s, and governments through her boutique PR firm, Eikosphere. Prior to starting the Eikosphere.LLC, Catherine founded Nature’s Reflection Photography. Since 2004 she has traveled widely and photographed professionally throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.  Her 3D Short Feature; “Code of the Heart” won the Intl. Film Festival Best of Fest in 2011 & contributed to the President of Mexico’s successful Green Growth Fund. In 2009,

Eikosphere also premiered the Eye of the Future film at the UN Climate Change Conference (IMAX theater, Copenhagen, COP 15).  Capturing clean energy technologies and designs from different world regions, Eye of the Future has subsequently been translated into 4 languages and has screened internationally. The film was released on DVD for worldwide distribution through Cinema Libre in October 2011. Catherine has interviewed over 150 global thought leaders, shot stills and video in over 1.5 years around the world with 50+ local production partners and leading sustainability organizations, including World Wisdom, Future Horizons for the Biodiversity Consortium and Singapore Innovation, and Rework the World for the Taellberg Forum, the Danish Government’s Global Green Growth Forum, Norways’s World Environment Day, Poland’s Intl. Climate Change conference.

For the past 7 years she has participated in global impact leadership forums, produced stills and video content in over 55 countries with a focus on culture, lifestyle, nature. Her PhD is from ETHZ, Switzerland in ecosystem science.

Review Eikosphere footage here.


CSC award recipient Pasha Patriki talks with Artbeats

Q: When did you begin shooting?

A: My career in film began in 1999 and since 2003 I have been professionally shooting stock footage.


Q: What is your favorite subject to shoot?

A: Actually, dramatic scenes with actors are my favorite.

Firemen walking on a street

FF-FH100-15 – Firemen walking on a street


Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

A: My camera of choice is Red Epic, for it’s versatility and quality.


Q: What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

A: It’s unfair to ask a parent which one of his babies is his/her favorite. 🙂

Woman dancing on an urban rooftop

FF-FH101-07 – Woman dancing on an urban rooftop


Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

A: Shoot as much as you can, the best you can. Learn the rules. And then break them.


FF-FH101-29 – Fans at an outdoor concert


Q: What’s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

A: Best – Having a world-known icon unexpectedly sign your release form.


FF-FH101-34 – DJ at a disco


Worst – dropping camera into radioactive pool of water.


FF-FH103-31 – Teacup and saucer fall in slow-motion


Q: What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to capture?

A: There is not ONE thing I wish I could capture. This is an ongoing list that transforms together with our world.


About Pasha Patriki:

Pasha Patriki

Pasha Patriki

Since he was 4 year old, Pasha was determined to become a filmmaker. Growing up in Moscow, Russia, he started learning the craft by playing with his grandfather’s Super9 camera. Already then Pasha was striving to create narrative pieces, not just home movies.

After moving to Toronto in 1996, he started working on various film sets as a lighting technician, simultaneously studying in the Film & Video production program at York University. Today – 15 years professionally in the business – Pasha’s work as Director of Photography has been recognized in Canada as well internationally

Almost every year music videos lensed by Pasha receive nominations at Much Music Video Awards. Pasha has shot videos for notable Canadian artists like Hedley, Billy Talent, Down With Webster, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mariana’s Trench, Finger Eleven, Anjulie, and many others.

In 2014 – second year in a row – Pasha is nominated for the Best Cinematography at the CSC awards. Last year it was two nominations – one of them landing as an award for Music Video category. Pasha Patriki is a full member of CSC (Canadian Society of Cinematographers) as well as an IATSE 667 Union member in the DOP category.

Review Pasha Patriki’s footage here.

Mark Adams discusses Rocketclips beginning

Artbeats’ customers and subscribers have evinced a lot of interest in learning more about our footage producers: e.g., how they started in the business, what challenges they met, what cameras are their favorites, what advice they would give when shooting stock footage, and so forth. What would be a better way to start off a series of producer interviews than to feature Mark Adams of Rocketclips?


Q: When did Rocketclips begin shooting?

A: I started as an assignment still photographer in 1978 and began shooting stock stills in 1984, by the mid-90’s shooting stock stills was my full-time living. I founded Rocketclips and picked up my first video camera in 1999, by 2001 the change-over to motion was complete.


Q: Your library is full of great shots of people doing various activities. What is your favorite setting for capturing this “lifestyle” footage?

A: I’ve been working a lot with a set we built. We can dress it for business and medical. Sometimes it’s a living room or a bedroom. We’ve even turned it into a clothing store and a spa.

Family connecting to social media

RC-FH183-024. – African American family using cellphone and tablets


Q: What are some of the challenges you face with doing studio shoots vs on location?

A: I prefer to shoot indoors. It’s easier to control the environment. Being on location allows the talent to interact with the real world, things can feel more natural but the trade off is just what you would expect; weather, dirt, sand, less than interesting backgrounds, police. Among the biggest challenges we face wherever we shoot are the logistics of managing props and wardrobe. Also camera movement is a huge challenge, especially on a budget. After years as a still stock shooter, working with talent comes very naturally. It’s all the gear necessary for shooting motion that makes us crazy.

Happy friends laughing and dancing

RC-FH234-083 – Happy business colleagues dancing


Q: What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

A: I don’t have favorite clips. I have favorite shoots. Those are the shoots when I’m at my best and I’ve got terrific talent. I bring it, they bring it and the footage looks great.

RC-FH232-134 - Young couple making faces

RC-FH232-134 – Young couple making faces


Q: What¹s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

A: The best was shooting childbirth. The worst, getting arrested for shooting with out permits.

Man being arrested

RC-FH177-2009 – Man with handcuffs


Q: What is the one thing you wished you¹d been able to capture?

A: One time I splurged and rented a helicopter to shoot the Las Vegas strip at twilight. I didn’t have the money for a stabilized camera mount, so they took the doors off for me and I hung out hand held, totally useless footage. I envy Phil; he does wonderful aerials.

RC-FH097-001 -  Las Vegas Boulevard at night

RC-FH097-001 – Las Vegas Boulevard at night


Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

A: Right now I’m shooting with a Red Epic and I love it. Shooting raw is like a dream come true.


Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

A: Anyone being honest will tell you that shooting stock has taken a hit from lowering prices. It’s tough to make a living solely from stock. My advice? Anyone with the skill to use a tool, whether it’s a law book, a wrench or a camera can make a living with that tool, if they are talented, committed and passionate.

Young woman doing homework and talking on smart phone

RC-FH208-104 – Young woman on cellphone and studying.


About Rocketclips:

Mark Adams, Rocketclips

Mark Adams, Rocketclips

Rocketclips, Inc was founded by Mark Adams in 1999.
Mark is an experienced professional photographer and videographer who lives with his family in Long Beach, CA.
He graduated in 1978 from the commercial photography program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
He began shooting stock stills in 1984 and migrated into motion with video in 1999.
Rocketclips always uses professional talent and specializes in lifestyle, business and nature imagery.