Splurging every single one of your holiday snaps onto your social feeds is a good way to lose followers and alienate even your closest friends.
It’s better to be discerning about what you share, and to boost engagement by putting together an Instagram Reel of the choice shots in a way that looks the part and impresses even casual observers of your content.
If you’re a relative Reels novice, here are some tips to follow that will help you cook up something compelling that you’ll be proud to include on your timeline.
Select Which Photos to Include
Photography is something that even kids can learn, but that doesn’t mean every picture you take is a gem.
The maximum length of a Reel is a minute, and while you could theoretically accommodate as many as 40 images in this timeframe and it still be a coherent experience, it’s better to aim for around half that number.
Whittle down your options to a selection of images that best represent your trip, and check that they’re suitable for showcasing on a public forum to avoid embarrassment.
Pre-edit Your Video to Make Things Easier
Sure, the built-in Reels Editor tool is fine for basic uses, but it has its limitations, and so a smarter option is to use a separate editing app to stitch your chosen snaps together.
There are plenty of smartphone-friendly editing software options out there, so take your pick and start to populate a new project with the images you want to share.
Remember that this is also the point at which you can crop and edit each image to make it pop and to trim out any unwanted parts prior to uploading.
Assign Suitable Durations to Each Image
You can go for a consistent approach to how long every picture in your Reel appears on screen, although this might feel a little bland after a while.
If you want to add momentum, you can mix things up by varying the duration, going from flurries of fast transitions to slower sections. This will also help with building a compelling narrative.
Order Photos Logically
Speaking of telling a story, you don’t just need to add photos in chronological order. Try to think about how they are juxtaposed against one another and don’t be scared to break the sequence to achieve your aims.
Include Background Music
You can find royalty-free music by genre to add a soundtrack to your Reel creation, and this is a good way to get around any potential copyright issues you might encounter by using mainstream tracks from established artists.
If you’re feeling especially creative, why not try editing the video to match the beat of the song you select? Transitioning between photos to a rhythm will make it feel like a far more considered and professional effort, rather than an auto-generated slideshow.
Save Your Video to Your Phone
Once you are happy with how your short form video has come together, it’s time to export it. How you do this will differ depending on the editing app you’re using, but the main thing to note is that it’ll be easier to access if you save it to your device’s main gallery, rather than to some obscure subfolder that’s selected by default.
Get Ready to Upload
If you’re not sure how to add a Reel to Instagram, it’s fairly simple. Just fire it up, swipe right and select the ‘Reel’ option from the menu that also includes other options for posting a Story and going Live.
From here you’ll be able to go into your Gallery and find the video that you exported. At this point it’s key to change some settings to ensure that your Reel is shared in the right way. For example, you might want to tag the people who are featured in the pictures, and you may want to include location information, and decide whether or not it also appears on Facebook.
You can also alter the default thumbnail that accompanies the reel, and choose a name for it, which will explain what’s included.
Now you have the option to publish it immediately, or save it as a draft. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from a friend before putting the Reel you’ve made out in the world. Another pair of eyes will help you spot any issues that you can then address in the editing app.
Not everyone wants to clog up their grid with holiday photos, or share every single one of their snaps, and so Instagram Reels is a good way to handle this efficiently.
Don’t stress too much about creating the perfect photo-focused Reel on your first try; with practice you’ll make improvements to subsequent efforts.