Contributor Tips

Editorial Footage – Protests and Riots


We’ve all seem them, we’ve all heard of them, but who is actually capturing them? Pond5’s media subjects for this week are protests, riots and demonstrations, so we’ve invited DCnewsfootage,  one of our passionate contributors, to share some tips on what to target and how to get ready for these sometimes scary and strenuous events.

(Guestpost by DCnewsfootage) has built a tremendous library of editorial footage, including extensive video of political protests. Residing in Washington-DC gives me the luxury of routinely recording great demonstrations on the National Mall and at the White House. Fortunately, growing demand for this content has provided me with a steady stream of side income. But it’s also important that Pond5 contributors understand, especially those who live in smaller communities, they are just as capable of obtaining great footage of local protests.

(Hd Version) Occupy Wall Street Protest Against Student Debt

The art of capturing great political demonstrations starts with research.

Social media websites are a great way for Pond5 contributors to learn about local protests at colleges, government buildings, city halls and state capitols. I routinely scour Twitter, Google News and Facebook by entering key search words such as “White House rally” or “DC demonstration.”

Don’t be surprised if large protests in big cities, such as New York, often spill over to smaller areas. A great example occurred during “Occupy Wall Street,” a movement that enabled me to sell lots of footage from the streets of Washington, DC. Soon after, other Pond5 contributors sold clips of demonstrations that occurred in their countries, states and local communities.

Many sellers on Pond5 don’t have press credentials. Fortunately most political protests are staged on public property, and laws restricting media access are usually minimal.

Be prepared to interact the law enforcement.

I always encourage professional attire and courteous interaction with law enforcement. Doing so makes police feel more comfortable with you, an added bonus, especially if a demonstration becomes volatile as depicted in the clip below.

Policeman In Riot Gear Drags Rioter On The Ground

Don’t restrict yourself to big demonstrations only.

Profitable political rallies come in different sizes, and therefore, Pond5 contributors should never discount the importance of smaller low-key events.

A tiny or obscure protest over, say local taxes, can potentially be just as profitable as a huge demonstration against nuclear weapons. An example took place near the White House in 2011, where activists were calling attention to Lyme disease. The event only drew about 25 people, but the rally’s theme was extremely unique, and I’ve cornered the Pond5 marketplace when it comes to Lyme disease awareness protest footage.

Lyme Disease Awareness Rally

Be the eyes and ears of future news coverage.

Editorial video of protests will likely continue to provide Pond5 contributors with an opportunity to earn significant cash. A global combination of political unrest, economic uncertainty and dissatisfied citizenry will probably pave the way for a rise in colorful protest rallies near you. If this occurs, quality news coverage will be expected, and Pond5 contributors can play an essential role by hitting the streets and capturing intense sites and sounds on-scene.

So, have you got your own tips on creating editorial footage? Interested in more editorial footage about protests? Leave your comments below, share your thoughts with our community and happy shooting!