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The Complete Guide to Making Instagram Reels with Photos in 2023

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Are you looking to elevate your Instagram game this year? Want to create fun, eye-catching Reels using photos instead of video clips? Then you‘ll love this jam-packed guide revealing expert-approved tips, tools and strategies for stunning photo Reels.

Why You Should Make Photo Reels in 2023

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let‘s look at key reasons photo Reels should be part of your 2023 Instagram strategy:

  • They grab attention – Aesthetically edited Reels made from great photos stand out boldly in the busy Reels feed and are hard to scroll past.

  • Higher overall engagement – Recent data shows Reels receive 36% more likes and 89% more comments than regular Instagram posts.

  • You can showcase visually – Photos allow you to convey stories, memories and messages creatively on another level compared to text or video alone.

  • Flex your creative muscles – Making photo Reels pushes you to think outside the box, get artistic and try new things.

  • Brands actively seek Reels creators – More brands than ever are sponsoring nano and micro-influencers who make quality Reels that align with their offerings and audiences. Photo Reels in particular enable unique sponsored content opportunities.

Let‘s get into exactly how to start capturing attention and unlocking opportunities with stellar photo Reels! πŸ“Έ

Step 1: Choose Images That Pop

The foundation of any visually appealing, engaging Reel begins with selecting dynamic source images.

Types of Photos Ideal for Reels

Here are 5 categories perfect for transforming into share-worthy Reels:

  • Candids – Capture hilarious, heartfelt or memorable moments as they happen. These feel more raw and relatable.

  • Nature shots – Soothing sunrises, sweeping landscapes and textural details from the natural world make stunning sequences.

  • Products/Flatlays – Showcase offerings, details or behind-the-scenes peeks at your business in an artistic way.

  • Outfits – Model your latest looks or styling combinations and tag where they can shop them.

  • DIY moments – Spotlight the before, during and after of crafts, recipes, makeup tutorials and more.

Composition Tips

Beyond the content itself, carefully compose each image following leading photography best practices:

  • Rule of Thirds – Position key elements along imaginary lines splitting the frame into thirds vertically and horizontally. This creates natural balance and areas for the eyes to wander.

  • Leading Lines – Incorporate visible lines (roads, fences, etc) to draw attention towards points of interest in the frame.

  • Symmetry – Reflective symmetry with subjects mirrored on each side of the frame brings a satisfying visual appeal.

  • Patterns – Repeating elements like tiles, bricks or identical objects make interest details to highlight.

With captivating source photos secured, we can dive into crafting an Instagram-worthy Reel.

Step 2: Choose Your Reel Creation Tool

While Instagram‘s built-in camera offers a simple photo Reel maker, third-party creative apps provide more advanced features to take your content to the next level.

We‘ll compare the most popular options so you can select the best platform for your needs:

Canva InShot Adobe Spark
TEMPLATES 100s of customizable IG Reel templates Preset themes and fonts Various IG story & Reel layouts
PHOTO EDITING Resizing, filters, adjustments Trim, crop, arrange, add elements Filters, overlays, text, graphics
VIDEO EDITING Split clips, change speed Trim, rearrange clip order, freeze frames Trim, rearrange order, transitions
AUDIO FEATURES Stock music & SFX library Built-in music, voiceovers, custom audio Stock music, custom audio
EXPORT OPTIONS MP4, MOV formats MP4, MOV formats MP4 format
PRICING Free plan available Free version with ads Free version with ads
BEST FOR Graphic designers, brands Influencers, businesses Beginners, simple edits

Based on their extensive creative capabilities, Canva or InShot are our top recommendations for crafting next-level photo Reels.

both options make it simple to transition stunning static images into an artistic video sequence ready to captivate on Instagram.

Now, let‘s see this photo Reel creation process in action…

Step 3: Make Your Photo Reel (Walkthrough)

We‘ll demonstrate building a photo Reel using Canva as an example. The general workflow applies to other top-rated tools as well.

  1. Pick a template – Search "Instagram Reels" to find templates. Select one fitting your theme – or start with a blank canvas.

  2. Upload photos – Import photos from your device into the provided frames in order. Replace any template placeholder imagery with your shots.

  3. Customize design – Apply filters and adjustments until you achieve your desired aesthetic. Add graphics, emoji, stickers etc. as embellishments.

  4. Set timing – Review and manually adjust duration of each photo slide using editor timeline for ideal pacing.

  5. Add finishing touches – Include any overlays, animations or zoom effects to make imagery pop even more in motion.

  6. Export Reel – Download final high-quality Reel video file to your device. Optimal resolution is 1080×1920 pixels vertical.

And within minutes, you have a share-worthy photo Reel video complete!

Now, simply open it in the Instagram app and continue polishing before posting publicly:

  • Upload natively into Reels creator studio

  • Enhance with music, voiceovers or sound effects

  • Input captions and strategically tagged accounts

And finally…publish and promote to start reaching a wider audience with your photo Reel magic! πŸŽ‰

Unlock Your Earning Potential with Photo Reels

As you build a loyal following with captivating photo Reels, lucrative partnership opportunities will arise allowing you to monetize your account and expertise.

Influencer marketing industry growth statistics

Influencer marketing has boomed into a $16.4 billion dollar industry with seemingly no signs of slowing.

Top brands crave authentic collaborations with nano and micro-influencers who can provide content resonating with their perfect target consumer.

And Reels present a hugely desirable content format – gaining more weight in algorithmic feeds and offering a new playground for branded messaging compared to static posts.

That‘s why Influencer Marketing Hub predicts Instagram Reels will surpass regular feed posts for partnership potential in 2023.

Unlock Brand Sponsorships on Ainfluencer

So when you‘re ready to start securing paid gigs, here‘s a sneak peek at how the leading influencer marketing platform Ainfluencer empowers you to do so:

Top10SM dashboard

πŸ“ˆ Discover Brands Seeking Influencers

Use smart filtering tools filtering by location, niche, budget range and more to get matched with relevant sponsors. Submit proposals or have brands apply to work with you.

πŸ‘₯ Showcase Your Best Content

Flaunt photo Reels front and center on your profile to entice potential partners. Give brands a preview demonstrating your creative skills and abilities to promote their products artistically.

πŸ’° Negotiate & Track Campaigns

Manage messaging, review offers, negotiate rates and handle collaborations end-to-end all within the Ainfluencer platform. Receive on-time payments safely via integration with PayPal.

So don‘t wait – set up your Ainfluencer profile today so you can start securing profitable sponsorships as soon as you‘re ready!


Key Takeaways

Follow this Instagram photo Reel cheat sheet to start capturing attention and unlocking opportunities:

Photo reel creation checklist

Shoot well-composed, captivating photos β†’ Import into Canva / Inshot to make an eye-catching Reel β†’ Enhance with music, captions and hashtags β†’ Share on Instagram β†’ Partner with brands to monetize your growing audience!


I hope you feel motivated and equipped to begin leveling up your Instagram presence with sensational photo Reels made the right way.

Have any other questions on mastering photo Reels in 2023? Drop them below and I‘d be happy to help!

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