Time-Lapse videos can be tricky and time-consuming to produce. It’s not just a matter of setting a camera down and hitting record for a few hours. In order to capture high-quality video footage, you have to first invest in a high-end camera and lens. To add to that, you need specialist accessories like an intervalometer and tripod (and even a dolly if you want to capture some interesting pan effects).

Recording the time-lapse can be difficult in itself. It’s common to set everything up, record a 4hr session and return home to upload the photos to your computer for post-production only to find that your ISO or shutter speed was set incorrectly. Then it’s back to the location another day to try all over again.

Other factors can also come into effect. For example, you might head out to shoot some clouds, only to find that there are too many clouds to get the effect you want. Also, did you know that to get a good time-lapse of the night sky, you need to wait for a new moon event which can be weeks away?

Then there’s post-production, which is an art and a science in itself! If only there was an easier way…

Cue stock time-Lapse footage

Fortunately, you can get the perfect time-lapse shot right away, by simply using stock footage. Providing you have the permission of the copyright holder, you can use time-lapse videos produced by a professional time-lapse videographer. Premium quality video, without the fuss

How much does stock time-lapse cost?

This depends on a number of factors. A generic video from a mainstream stock video site can cost as little as $10. However, a premium, well-constructed video of a unique subject from a time-lapse professional which isn’t available on stock images website can cost into the thousands of dollars.

The question to consider when deciding to buy stock time-lapse footage is “is this video right for my needs? How much would it cost to shoot it myself?”. Don’t forget to factor your time into that calculation. Also be honest with yourself about your skills. Could you really shoot a video to that standard?

Where can I buy stock time-lapse footage?

If you’re just looking for some general time-lapse of clouds or night sky, then sites like Shutterstock have a range of high-quality videos for you to choose from, for a very reasonable price.

If you are looking for something specific, then you may find that a specialist videographer has the ideal shot available on their website.

Alternatively, you could commission a professional to shoot the video to your exact specification. This is understandably the most expensive option, but it may be your only option and should give you the exact result you’re looking for.