4 Methods to Make Cash With Timelapse Images

Time-lapse photography is certainly a lot of fun, but trying to sell it and make money is a whole different story. That leads to the question, how can you monetize the planning, time spent filming, and the expense of editing hundreds or thousands of frames into extra income or a new career?

After working in the time lapse industry for more than 10 years, I wanted to share some examples of monetizing art, which is also my passion. These examples will give you an overview of different sources of income that you can make with time lapse photography.

This may seem obvious, but the most common and easiest place to start is with stock pages. There are many stock sites out there like Shutterstock, Getty, and Adobe Stock that you can upload any time-lapse videos you’ve made over the years. With the current saturation of content on stock pages, you won’t be making a lot of money using this method, but it is still an excellent way to make a few extra bucks every month. One thing is for sure: you won’t make money with these time-lapse videos just sitting on a hard drive.

Licensing your work directly to clients can be the most lucrative way to monetize time-lapse photography as a large brand may want exclusive use of your content that they may not get with inventory. However, with this per clip increase in value, that type of customer and sale is nowhere near as easy to come by as uploading a clip to Shutterstock. However, if you have an excellent, high quality portfolio online, you can attract some clients. The only way to expand on this type of work is to keep creating high quality time-lapse content that is difficult for others to reproduce.

Working for a commission or contract with a specific client is another fantastic way to make money with Time Lapse. Just like with video or photo work, a client needs a time lapse specialist to create specific footage for a specific project if they want specific footage that cannot be found through stock sites. Having a solid set of roles and examples of your work on YouTube, Vimeo, and social sites is the best way to get noticed. You also want to go for solid search engine optimization in your area.

Once you have a certain level of recognition, you can start making money teaching workshops. Knowledge is so valuable, and sharing your experiences and techniques that you have learned over the years is one of the best ways to do it. This will of course require audience building, but you can start in your area or give online post-production workshops. If you then have a little more experience and a wider audience, you can expand the workshop to include excursions on site over several days.

The more streams of income you have, the better. You want to try not to rely on one method as the ups and downs of business can challenge consistency. For example, when the commission work wears off – as has happened to me in the past two years – I still make money on inventory or licenses.

About the author: Mattia Bicchi is a professional time-lapse and hyperlapse photographer based in Madrid, Spain. Mattia has been working for large and small film production companies in Europe since 2012 and makes stock videos for Getty Images. He also creates behind-the-scenes vlogs and time-lapse tutorials for him Youtube channel. Learn more about Mattia by visiting his website, on Instagram, and on Youtube.