Building a Profitable Career with Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography has grown in demand over the last decade and even more in 2020 and 2021. Marketing companies and businesses who have increased their online sales due to demand are looking for good quality time lapse photography to create videos from still image, brand marketing and increase their webpage’s traffic. 

If you are interested in learning how to make money in this area of photographic art, then you will have to have some patience, determination and be willing to put in the hard work that is needed. To make a good living, you have to love the art of photography, as that passion shows in your images.


Create and Stock Your Portfolio

To start to make money with time lapse photography, you need to build your portfolio. Whether you are moving from basic photography, learning from a course or seminar, or have worked as a camera operator, time-lapse video can offer a good income when you have the right equipment, talent and motivation. Take a look at our Tikee :




Building your business means you have to show people that you know how to create a timelapse video. Upload a portfolio or a show reel that emphasizes your best frames and shots. We advise that you add different types of shots to prove that you are polyvalence. For example, why not add a nighttime lapse, a day-night cross and one that goes across a long-term period. The more unique shots you show, the better your portfolio will be. It will allow you to sell shots you have already done or with stock footage. You may also be hired to do a unique project or video based on something a person saw and liked in your portfolio and show reel.


Work to create a group of shots that are unique to you. Do something more than simply setting your camera down, choosing settings for the shutter speed and focusing on a flower for a bit. While many of these basic shots may be pretty, you want to really step out and create a stunning time lapse art piece. This does not mean you should not be shooting traditional time lapse; it just means you need to fill out your portfolio with specialties and technically challenging content as well.  

Understanding how photographers can sell time-lapse realization through a strong portfolio offering is important. Realizing a video that is made up of your shots across the timeline of a long-lasting event, and highlighting it on your site, can bring in business from companies that want to show their work, services or products across a critically informative time period. This could be showing the raising of a building or a landscape project from start to finish. Selling timelapse realization can be a significant part of your business.


Established an online reputation for yourself

People want to see that you are professional, so establish yourself as such. Create a website that explains timelapse photography, and then put your reel on the front page to showcase your best photo art. Include some information about yourself and highlight your abilities as a time lapse photograph. While there are free sites you can post on, such as Vimeo or YouTube, you want to have your own personal space and artistic control, so you are not lost in a ocean of other time-lapse photographers selling their art.

Make it easy for others to find you, and keep the site updated with new photos, videos and even unedited images. Make it simple for someone to engage and hire you. Selling your product should be effortless, as should the ability to be hired to do projects, especially once you become more established. 

You want to showcase how to develop online branding and build authority to sell timelapse, so people trust your ability and professionalism. The goal for most businesses is to enhance their branding in a crowded marketplace. Showing that you can help them do this, while also building authority, is going to draw clientele to your work, so you can help them be front and center in their specific niche of the market. Each client you can do this for, creates a stronger business foundation for you. 


Build Your Contact List 

Start to work, so your name is well known. A good way to do this is to create stunning works. Many of your contacts will come from word of mouth and recommendations, along with website engagement. If you are looking to move beyond personal shoots, then look at how to be at networking events where are part of the industries that would use your time-lapse photography services.

Show people that you love what you do, and that you do it well. If people ask about your work, show them. You never know where that next connection might be. Make business cards and build your email list, so you can stay in touch with people on a regular basis.



Build Your Library

Stock footage is your friend. Even if it may not be your first choice when it comes to selling your videos and making money, it can offer a fair amount of income. Working with stock agencies can result in a regular long-term income if the shot and time lapses are original. You can also share stock-type footage and photos on your business site, so you do not have to worry about using go-between agencies.  

Making money with time lapse photography is not just work, it is an art form. It’s a great career that you can love and gain income from. There are opportunities in television, online, on-demand, for in-store displays and large motion screen work too. There are markets that have barely been tapped where buyers will be looking for quality time lapse videos.

Learning various styles of timelapse video can be beneficial to increase your market potential. Keep shooting, build your portfolio, be professional and do what you love. When you learn to shoot creative work, others will see it and will hear about it. Professionalism and talent go a long way in the race to make money in the time lapse photography profession.


How to make money with photography ? 13 others ways to make money

Are you a budding photographer or have you been in the photography business for several years?

Yes, but here it is... Financial insecurity can sometimes be felt due to a lack of contract. 

So how do you make money with photography and ensure a salary that matches your skills?

Connect with brands and small businesses

It is a daily background work. Wherever you are, whatever the store you enter to consume, whatever the company you have identified on the internet with shortcomings on the quality of their photographs ... You must remain attentive to your environment to approach the right company, at the right time!

Restaurants, bars, hotels, clothing brands, small decoration companies, florists, jewelry designers, hairdressers, concept stores... Without knowing it, you are surrounded by many potential customers!

A piece of advice: stay connected to social networks, do daily monitoring, open your eyes when you walk down the street. And when you have targeted an interesting prospect, prepare your speech.

Some tips for a successful (socio)commercial approach:

  1. Introduce yourself naturally and explain how you can help them attract new customers with the quality of your photographs and how they can use them. To do this, you'll need to learn a little about the prospect's brand image (their online presence, display campaigns, point-of-sale promotions, etc.).
  2. Always have a support (computer, tablet) to show your work by presenting projects that your prospect can identify with (same universe, same type of product, ...).
  3. Always be one step ahead: you are an image professional? You should use it by providing sound advice on the artistic direction of a future project (how you can stage their products), on the distribution of the photos (on which channel would it be interesting to exploit them), on the objective of their photographs (to highlight products, the brand, the store, etc.) and on the way you organize yourself (search for locations, model, your photo equipment, etc.).
  4. Have a price list in mind: the idea here is not to show a table of your services but rather to propose a tailor-made offer according to the needs of your clients. You know your daily price, adapt it to the project! There is nothing better than a unique collaboration in the eyes of your client.
  5. Always leave something to mark the presence in the mind of your prospect: business cards or visual supports are very impactful. Don't hesitate to offer a small booklet that highlights your different projects. Visit to create your own image at a lower cost!

"All this takes time," you might say! And you are right. But note that a prepared appointment leaves a good first impression. They may not need you today, but they will certainly think of you if your prospect has photo needs.

Earning money by giving photo courses

Over the years, you have certainly collected valuable tips on photography, retouching techniques or photo processing. Use them for your future students. There are different ways to use your knowledge. 

Offer courses on free ad sites (e.g., register on dedicated sites to offer your services (e.g., get closer to schools to apply as a photo teacher or as a lecturer for students in apprenticeship (e.g. schools in your region, school where you studied photography), promote your ability to give courses on your online media and online directories.

Make money by selling reproductions of your photos

If you have the opportunity to publish your photos on the internet, you will be able to measure the interest of the users for your work. Why not take advantage of your data to earn money

Create an online store (Facebook, Instagram, e-commerce site) and offer reproductions of your photos on the web. You don't necessarily need to be a computer whiz to create an online store. There are predefined templates (e.g.: gallery) in which you just have to enter the boxes to fit your universe. 

Needless to say, by promoting your photos and prints on all your networks, you maximize your chances to make them visible, and therefore, to sell! Don't hesitate to run one-off promotions or limited edition prints to build excitement around your work.

Go to image banks on the web

Pexels, Pixabay, Shutter stock, Adobe stock, Getty Images... There are many image banks on the internet that will be willing to offer your photos for a (small) fee. This type of leverage may not provide you with a monthly salary, but it will provide you with a constant income. The more photos you contribute, the more you multiply your chances to generate downloads of your photographs by subscribers.

To do this, visit each of the online sites offering this type of service and create your gallery now!

Create a photo blog

It is now one of the most popular ways to promote the profession of photographer. So, yes it's a job and it takes time but keep in mind that by creating a dedicated blog you allow your target to find you.

The objective of the blog is to optimize its referencing on the web. Thus, the more articles you write on topics that "interest" you, the more you will be able to reach people. To illustrate each article, nothing better than to put forward your photos! 

For example, you could decide to write an article on "Wedding photo: a memory engraved on paper". Knowing that "wedding photo" is searched nearly 8000 times/month on the web in France, you optimize your chances to be contacted by potential customers.

Earning money by organizing events

Do not hesitate to get involved in the cultural sphere by organizing workshops, exhibitions, fairs, events where different talents gather. You create the opportunity to reach an audience that doesn't know you yet and that could be seduced by your pictures. So use your network to make your event known, share it on the networks, ask for the support of your region, get closer to the artists who could be interested in the approach (painter, sculptor, creator, etc.).

Become an influencer on social networks

Although photographers have taken social networks by storm in the last few years, you can still differentiate yourself. If you are embarking on this social adventure, be patient! You won't go from 0 to 1000 followers in a week. To optimize your chances to grow your community, ask your former customers to identify you on each photo they post on the networks. This way, you will be visible to their community and you will have more chances to grow yours... for free!

Don't hesitate to post regularly and consistently (3 to 4 photos per week and a daily story) to maintain the link with your audience. Use the right hashtags to extend the visibility of your photos to people who don't know you yet. Finally, don't hesitate to inject an advertising budget for paid campaigns: this lever is essential to develop your community on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

Sell a photo service to private customers

Wedding photos, birth photos, portrait photos, family photos... There are many opportunities to use your skills for individuals. For that, make sure to update your website, to register on the different online directories, to publish ads on specialized websites, etc. In a few words, be present where your target is also present: on the web!

That's not all, individuals are also (sometimes) sellers. Just like properties for rent on dedicated websites (e.g., you have the opportunity to offer your services to individuals who have the opportunity to enhance their home in order to rent it more easily. This is a photo service that can be very profitable if you concentrate your efforts on your region. 

Make money by selling your photos to specialized magazines

If more than 60% of the French read a magazine or a newspaper every day, it is all the more interesting for you to propose your services of photographer for the supports which stick to your universe. Tourism, leisure, cooking, local culture... In all magazines are presented articles illustrated by photos. And why not yours?

Be a photo reporter for events

There is nothing like a photo report to highlight a brand's event. A concert, a festival, a fair, an exhibition, an event for the release of a product? All occasions are good to sell your work as a photographer to institutions, brands or event agencies in your area.

Participate in photo contests

Some contests will earn you money. However, you should not focus all your efforts on entering photo contests. Why not? Well, first of all, because there is often only one winner and it is therefore difficult to find a place among a crowd of photographers as talented as you. Secondly, because it will take you time, with a reduced profitability.

However, I invite you to identify the contest(s) that could highlight your photos or your work as a photographer. It is an excellent lever to make yourself known, to make your photographs known on the occasion of a dedicated exhibition and to meet people inclined to make you work.

Create a website dedicated to your photos

The best way for a brand is to have a store, whether it is physical or digital. The same goes for selling your services! You must have a professional storefront dedicated to your photography business.

In this site, you will be able to show :

  • The blog part: which will allow you to write optimized articles to increase your positioning on search engines.
  • A photo gallery: which will highlight your various projects to allow users to identify your world.
  • A contact page: be clear in the distribution of the means to get in touch with you. Phone number, e-mail address, physical address if necessary.
  • A presentation page: which allows you to highlight your background, the schools in which you studied photography, your most impactful projects, what motivates you in photography, etc.
  • A store part: if you choose to earn money from the sale of your photos, this is the opportunity to allocate a space for this purpose on your online site.
  • A news section: if your news is rich (organization of exhibitions, workshops, courses), it is important to show this information on your website.

Make money by creating books from your photos

There is a fun way for you to make money from your photography business: creating and selling books dedicated to your photos! There is no need to create a book with all the pictures you have taken during your career. Target a specific theme: it can be your region, portraits, street art pictures that you have taken all over the world or in your country, fashion pictures, architecture... In a few words, target a specific audience to touch the sensitivity of your potential customers.

Then, you will be able to distribute your self-published books on different levers: platform, application and online sales site. Don't hesitate to approach bookstores in your neighborhood or city to propose the distribution of your product.

Last tip: have confidence in yourself!

This is the last, but most important, piece of advice we can give you: have faith in your work. You have a lot to show for your work as a photographer and the photos you have taken throughout your career.

Take advantage of free levers to shine on the web and get closer to the right people to manage your different online media.

We wish you a nice and long road filled with beautiful adventures!

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