With the explosion of YouTube and social media, creating and sharing home videos is now more popular than ever. Technology and different video and photo services like Video Blocks and Graphic Stock make putting together a quality film much more attainable and a fun process.

Home videos are mainly about recording special family events, cute things your kids did and other events that you want to remember once time has passed and your children are grown. However, if you add some stock footage–photos or video clips someone else has taken that are available for anyone to use–you can make your home movies truly memorable.

Whether you’re a videographer hired to highlight a couple’s wedding day with a 5-minute video, or a budding film student creating a short documentary, stock footage enhances the overall appeal of the final product. By incorporating stock video, you can seamlessly and affordably increase the value of production.

Here are ten ways you integrate stock footage into your home video:

1) Cater to Special Occasions With Templates

There’s no better way to create long-lasting memories than by turning the most special occasions and events into home videos. From graduations to baby showers and weddings, there’s plenty of potential. Using templates that cater to these special events, translating moments onto the screen is simple and fun. With easy drag-and-drop way templates, you’ll be able to show still images of photos in a creative way, as opposed to simply creating a dull slideshow.

2) Introductions & More With After Effects

First impressions are lasting ones. How you open up your home video sets the foundation for what’s to come. Documentaries and blockbusters alike glide into the film using credits; home videos don’t need this type of introduction, but easing the viewer in is still important. Using an After Effects motion template is a perfect solution, and there are hundreds of different editable options to choose from to cater to your type of video.

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3) Incorporate Shots You Couldn’t Get On Your Own

When you’re making your video, there are some scenes that your budget or equipment can’t bring to life. For example, a popular video clip at VideoBlocks is a time-lapse cloud scene. To properly film this, you would need high-end equipment and strong editing skills. With this simple clip, the quality of your overall home video is enhanced—with little to no work for you. This gives you much more creative freedom to piece together the ideal project.

4) Special Effects

Unless you have extensive experience editing and mastering digital effects, you’ll probably need stock footage to give your home video the boost that it needs. Special effects take design and execution to the next level: from a flame bursting on screen to an aerial view of Earth to a slow-motion liquid toss, there’s nothing you won’t be able to find.

5) Use Lower Thirds For A Professional Feel

Lower thirds are used primarily in documentaries and news segments, but they can make any home video look professional, unique and clean. You can choose from hundreds of lower third graphics in a different colors and styles. This is perfect if you’ve got an handful of people in the video and want to differentiate between them or simply want to add some color to the video.

6) Create a Special Gift

If a family member has a passionate interest, inserting stock footage into a video can really make the video special to them. For example, if your child loves animals, insert some videos of wild animals to make it look like the child went on a safari. If your child loves music, add some stock footage of musical instruments and concert-goers to make it look like he or she was performing with a band. The possibilities are endless; just go with what your child or other family member’s interests are, and be creative.

10 Ways to Incorporate Stock Footage into Your Home Videos

7) Encourage Children’s Creativity

Teach your children video editing principles and help them to enhance home videos they take themselves. Ask them to create a story around their home movie and to choose appropriate stock additions to help create a better story. This inspires your children’s creativity and may even encourage them to become actors, directors or producers when they get older.

8) Use Stock Footage to Increase Romance

Consider using some romantic backgrounds from Video Blocks in a piece you create for your significant other. For example, get some stock footage of couples walking along the beach or of other romantic locales you’d like to visit with your sweetheart. Combine these backgrounds with shots of the two of you together to make a truly special anniversary gift.

9) Create a Video Newsletter

Use stock footage or pre-formatted templates in a video newsletter for grandparents and other relatives who are far away. Combine what you can obtain from outside sources with scenes of you and your kids to add humor or to emphasize what your family is doing.

10) Create a Storyline for Your Home Video

Graphics and other stock images are available by affordable subscription online, and hundreds of images can be yours to use in any way you choose. Use royalty-free stock footage to turn your home video into a real movie, complete with storyline. Use it in the opening credits and insert it as appropriate to flesh out scenes and turn your real-life movie into a story others may enjoy.