Living photos: 3 captivating image techniques explained


Capturing and sharing beautiful imagery has the potential to boost your brand in a big way. Content creators like Bora.vs.Bora, Matjoez, and Brahmino are collaborating with the likes of Dyson, Absolute, and Pirelli to assist with brand storytelling through photography.


These creators generate incredible imagery that gets shared with audiences in a very organic, natural way, thanks to increasingly popular, image-focused platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Not just any caliber of content will do. It has to be authentic, thoughtful, and have meaning. These are not banner ads pumped out by the dozen, they are moments and stories.

There are three new, unique media formats that straddle the line between still photos and video, that have been proven to drive higher engagement when used on social platforms for advertising: Timelapse, Hyperlapse, and Cinemagraphs.


Timelapse is a sequence of photos taken at a certain interval over a long period of time, and combined into a short video at 24 or 30 frames per second. For example, taking one photo every 10 seconds for 40 minutes would result in 240 shots, which would create an 8 second video when combined at 30 frames per second.

Timelapse looking Northwest towards Harpa Concert Hall, shot from Fosshotel

Since it records over a longer period of time than a video, the effect is more powerful - people, light, shadow, and clouds roll through the shots, and in that short time the viewer is given a window into passing time.

Timelapse of the Ytri River and the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in the distance. Taken at Hotel Ranga in Hella, Iceland.


A Hyperlapse is similar to timelapse in that a sequence of hundreds of still photos taken over a long span of time, except that instead of being in a fixed position, the camera is moved slightly from shot to shot. The end result is a film of a few seconds to a minute in length.

Hyperlapse (moving timelapse) captured of Sparks Street in Ottawa, Canada.

Timelapse and Hyperlapse are used extensively in broadcast productions, shows and documentaries, most famously the opening title sequence for House of Cards.



A photograph with an isolated area of motion inside. Upon first glance, they feel like a photo, but then you notice the movement, which can be waves, clouds, people moving, etc.