How to make Reels with pictures

Instagram Reels are mostly known as short video clips – similar to TikToks. But can you also make reels with pictures? Let me show you.

At times, we may have better pictures to tell a story. Or we want to use our creativity to tell a story through a sequence of images. For example, I shoot videos and do livestreams of softball games. I rarely take pictures but was near the third base when my daughter was on second base. That allowed me to take some photos with my iPhone, which takes excellent pictures, but you can’t be far away.

I took several photos of her running from second to third, rounding it, and then making it home on the next pitch.


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A post shared by Christoph Trappe (@christophtrappe)

Remember that Reels are 9×16 and not 16×9, so for the best experience, take the photos with your phone in the vertical position.

From there, take the photos in sequence and:

  • Start a new Reel inside the app.
  • Add photos by clicking on the camera roll image in the bottom row.
  • Set the time duration for each image
  • Add music if you like. Music can help with increased reach
  • Keep clicking next to move forward
  • Add a caption
  • Publish

make reels with pictures time duration

How about TikToks with pictures?

Reels, of course, are Instagram’s version of TikToks, so I wondered if you can make TikToks with just pictures? There are two ways:

  • Save the Instagram Reel and use it on TikTok. TikTok doesn’t like that strategy, though, and might limit your reach.
  • In TikTok, select items from your camera roll in the order you want them to appear in the TikTok. Then keep clicking along to move forward in the process. The most significant difference between Instagram is that you select all the images at once. Make sure they are in the order you want them in.


selecting pictures in TikTok

selecting pictures in TikTok 2

When to use Instagram Reels with pictures

The short answer is that it depends. Use pictures in your Instagram Reels when it makes sense, tell a story, and when the photos work well together. Do not just dump a bunch of unrelated images into a Reel. But when you have pictures that could work well in sequence, this is certainly a strategy that is worth trying.

The one I posted seemed to be of interest to Instagram users. In the first 16 hours or so, it had over 6,000 views.

reel with pictures metrics

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