All posts by Productiontrax.com

Productiontrax.com was founded in February 2004 as a way to connect composers of royalty free library music to more producers and consumer outlets. Anyone can sell or buy music, sound effects, stock footage, and any other kind of digital content online using the Productiontrax.com service.

Five Tips for Taking Better Stock Photos

Selling stock photos is a great way to earn extra income from your photography hobby. However, with a bit of practice and some tips from the pros, you can elevate your stock photos to the next level and get your pictures and images featured in advertising, web, and print.

taking better stock photos

1. Maximize Your Camera’s Capabilities
Set the camera’s resolution to the highest setting your camera will allow. Higher resolutions allow you to take pictures with finer detail and more vibrant colors. It also makes your photos more usable by designers and producers who need your photos to look great in digital formats and HD. High resolution photos are easier to edit and crop. If your camera’s resolution are limited, consider upgrading to a new camera. High resolution photos take up more disk space, so get a nice sized memory card, and possibly an external hard drive to store your shots.

2. Compose Your Shots With The End User In Mind
Snapping photos haphazardly might give you a nice bump in quantity, but quality is what sells when it comes to stock photography. Keep your end user in mind when dreaming up shots. Think of how your photo might be used. Consider the angle that’s not only interesting to the eye, but pleasing and usable from a print or advertising perspective. Often times, you’ll need lots of negative space for copy.

Use classical photography techniques to frame your shot. Use the rule of thirds to space out primary interest and focal points. Imagine your final image split into even thirds, and your primary subjects should sit on those lines. Try to avoid splitting the image in half with horizons, solid lines, and people. Keep your backgrounds simple and clutter-free so that the audience can focus on your subject matter. But remember, every situation is different, and sometimes a great photo will break these rules of thumb.

3. Get Close
Unless it’s a scenic shot, fill the entire frame with your subject. Photos taken from a distance look amateurish and cluttered. Simplicity is better in stock photography, especially because end-users want the photos they purchase to portray a single theme or subject. Put on that high powered zoom lens, and get as close as possible. You can use high resolution settings if you don’t have a zoom lens, as you can always crop a bit later. And remember, focus, focus, focus. No one wants a blurry photo.

4. Don’t add borders or Instagram-like effects.
Just don’t. Make your photos look clean and clear. Let the designers and producers affect the photo later if they want. Frames and cartoonifying a shot makes your photo look cheap, and niche, limiting its usability.

5. Be Stingy With the Flash
Take photos in outdoor, natural lighting first. Using flash in poorly lit locations can cause ugly reflections and other undesirable shadows, not to mention red eyes and pale faces. You can avoid using a flash with a slower shutter speed (just be sure to keep it steady), or with a higher ISO speed. That doesn’t mean never use a flash. Flash is great for eliminating shadows, especially in bright light situations that leave shadows in unsightly places (like under eyes, or in corners).

Check out this great video on taking better photos — and remember, practice makes perfect!

Royalty Free Christmas Music Pick of the Week – Santa In A Hurry

The holidays are right around the corner, and christmas video production projects are in full swing and nearing the finishing touches. Add a little Christmas cheer with this fun royalty free music track, Santa In A Hurry. Our pick of the week this week, this piece of Christmas production music (music ID 325147) is perfect for children’s projects and holiday themed work. A perfect mix sleigh bells, woodwinds, and brass band, this track combines cheer and wonder with a sense of simplicity. We picture elves working in the workshop, or a goofy romp through a winter wonderland.

Our stock music pick of the week video features stock footage clip 388130, a looping 3D animation of a night journey over snowy hills decorated with Christmas lights, cookies, presents and candy canes. We think it adds the childlike fun and holiday character to complement this music track. We looped the video to fit the short length of the music.

License the track online: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/325147
Get the stock footage: http://www.productiontrax.com/stock-footage/388130

Using Stock Music at Trade Shows to Create a Multisensory Experience

Enhance your trade show presence with stock music for a display people will remember.
If you or your marketing team are regular exhibitors at trade shows, you know the value of standing out from the crowd. Stock music, when used correctly, can enhance your company’s marketing efforts at industry shows and events, increasing the ROI of your marketing spend.

stock music for trade shows
Key Stats
With the typical trade show boasting on average 2.2 attendees per square footage of floor space, marketers realize the potential audience they can reach in a single event. With attendees spening 9.1 hours per show in 2012 viewing exhibits, it’s become increasingly important to create memorable and attractive experiences for audiences, to ensure standing out in a potential customer’s memory. Another key metric is Exhibit Attraction. Exhibit Surveys, Inc. calls Exhibit Attraction the percentage of an exhibitor’s Potential Audience who remembered visiting a company’s exhibit. Exhibit Surveys estimates Exhibit Attraction at approximately 81%.

If that’s true, trade shows are becoming more and more successful, but at the same time more and more competitive. “The function of the physical exhibit is to selectively attract its potential audience from among the total audience at the show. Factors which most often determine success in this regard include: awareness for the company and its products among the audience, pre- and at-show promotion, exhibit design and graphics, demos and attention-getting techniques, interest in products or services exhibited, and exhibit size. Over the past several years, exhibitors have been more successful in selectively attracting their potential audience,” says Exhibit Surveys website in presenting key metrics.

Creating a Multisensory Experience
If everyone is using eye-catching displays and graphics to attract their potential audience, companies are going to have to turn to new and innovative techniques for attracting visitors to their displays. This is where stock music comes in handy. Music and audio engages other senses that may be being neglected in the trade show environment, which is a typically sight- and touch-centered environment. By strategically playing stock music and even occasional sound effects, companies can increase their displays’ overall appeal and effectiveness. Here are a few ways you can successfully integrate stock music into your trade show displays:

1) Background music for live presentations and product demos. If your booth involves regular demonstrations by staff members and how-to sessions, you can spice these up with a little background music. Set the tone and grab attention with a “demo theme” track that you play before and after the demo starts. Include high-energy music softly underneath product demonstrations to keep the energy up and the presentation moving forward. Or just sprinkle in some sound effects for comedic effect (though that will take some rehearsing).

2) Soundtracks for promotional videos. Have tons of HD tvs and monitors surrounding your audience with moving images and recorded demonstrations? Add soundtracks to your videos with corporate, pop, and commerical stock production music tracks for a memorable viewing experience and keep your viewers watching those screens.

3) Sound effects as regular calls to action. Signal deals, raffles, or specially scheduled events to show attendees by playing a chime or cool sound effect for just a couple seconds. This can be a cash register sound effect to signal special giveaway at the top of every hour, or a boxing ring bell to signal a live demo or panel discussion.

4) Ambience for the entire booth. You can set the mood by continuously playing energetic or ambient music to create a multisensory experience for your visitors. Just remember to heed your shows’ volume regulations.

No matter how you do it, utilizing royalty free stock music can dramatically increase your memorability factor at a trade show, and draw attention to your display without a huge increase in cost, making the time and money at your next trade show better spent.

Ratavox – Italian Royalty Free Stock Production Music

Whether you’re putting together a short film or advertisement about an Italian Restuarant, or need something quirky but worldly sounding for a comedy, try this week’s royalty free music pick of the week: Ratavox. The live vocals in this production music track, along with live winds and effects make Ratavox the perfect soundtrack for creating something with extra character. We combined this piece with some stock footage from our Restaurants & Food category, and applied a little filter for some extra aging and fun.

Great for Italian comedy, this Italian style mazurka is fast, fiery, funny & rousing. It conjurs up big Italian family dinners or homecomings where accidents occur, pasta boils over, laughing children playing games, and several grandfathers tell jokes. Give it a try in your next cartoon or animated piece, short ad, radio spot, or time-warped montage.

License the track for use in your next project: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/240866