Contributor Tips, Education

The Hero Frame: Choosing the Right Thumbnails for Your Clips


We are visual creatures. Whether we’re attracted to a movie poster, a novel’s dust jacket, or an album or magazine cover, it’s the image that draws us in. Your content may be rich, but if your clips aren’t represented in the way your collection deserves, you won’t be able to attract all of the buyers seeking them out.

It takes just 13 milliseconds for your brain to see an image. When buyers are searching for clips, they’re exposed to a rapid fire deluge of shapes and concepts, shifting their gaze at an average of three times per second. That’s super fast. So how do you capture a frame and make your clips stand out among the millions of images they’re competing with? The process of choosing a hero frame (aka thumbnail) to represent your clip can be quick, but crucial.

Choosing the Right Hero Frame

Often, I come across search results that exhibit uninspired thumbnails with little relevance to the clip’s theme or subject. (See the example below.) You spend quite a bit of time adding descriptions and keywords to your clips to help get your work noticed, so it’s important not to undermine that effort by overlooking this very important detail.

It’s imperative that you select a frame that best represents your clip. The example below demonstrates the hero frames that one filmmaker diligently selected before his work went live.

Pulling a strong frame that resonates with buyers is just as important as applying accurate keywords to your clips. The frame you choose should stand on its own, much like a well composed photograph. If you haven’t done this before, I recommend that you revisit your collection and follow these simple instructions.

How to Select a Thumbnail on Pond5

You can complete this process in just a few simple steps. After logging in to your Pond5 account, upload your clip, or find the previously uploaded clip you want to modify.

On the Edit Item page, you will see 16 frames below the “Thumbnail” header. Choose a frame by clicking on it, and try out different possibilities until you find the find that works best. The ability to capture both the spirit and the mood of a clip in one static image depends on you.

When you’ve found the thumbnail that best represents your clip, simply save it and move on to the next one. Remember that buyers will be drawn to your collection if you can visually articulate the value of your work by choosing the right frames to represent it.

When people are inundated with thousands of choices, there’s no better way to communicate a theme that supports and illustrates your clips than a powerful thumbnail.

Related Post Keywords and Concepts: How to Get More Eyes (and Buys) on Your Work

Do you have questions about choosing the right thumbnail for your videos? Let us know in the comments below!