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I'm teach business owners and blogs how to leverage the power of blogging to grow their businesses without relying on social media.

Proven techniques to grow your traffic, elevate your brand and build a lasting business.

I'm Blair Staky

web designer, blogger, artist, mom & wife

How to Easily Create Beautiful Instagram Reels with Photos and Videos

I'm a web designer, blogger, mom, wife and serial entrepreneur. I 'm sharing my best tips and advice or building a life and business you love.

I'm Blair Staky

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woman's shoes and pants showing instagram reels with photos

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that Instagram reels are the next big thing, and Instagram likes when you use their latest tools. Video content is taking the world by storm and while I’m not suggesting you make everything a video, it’s in your best interest to dabble in video and Reels in particular. So, I’m going to show you how I make Instagram Reels with photos and videos.

If you’ve already tried to make a reels, you might have experienced the app crashing, losing all your video and having to start all over again. I’ve been there, done that and knew there had to be an easier, more efficient way to do it!

Thankfully, there is!

This process has made it so much easier for me to create reels that I actually look forward to doing them because I know it’ll be a breeze. You can use photos and videos and get better about planning your content in advance. In fact, I actually look forward to making Reels now that I’ve discovered this method!

If you’re new to video content, aim for at least 1 Reels per month, even better if you can do 1 a week—I’m still working on this too, but I do see a boost in engagement when I use Reels regularly.

How to Create Instagram Reels with Photos & Video

Loosely Plan Your Reels

First up, what is the point of this reel? Take people from A to B, and how are you going to do that. Loosely plan out the type of shots you want, how they progress, and transitions, etc. Get it on paper if it makes it easier for you!

Just because you’re planning it does not mean it needs to be complicated! Here was one of my favorite Reels I created. You might only need a few shots to get the point across!

Shoot Video & Photos

No need to shoot in the Instagram app, just use your regular camera app. In my experience, the Instagram app crashes way too often and this is a foolproof way of making sure that doesn’t happen. You don’t want to lose content, get frustrated and give up!

You can create Instagram Reels with photos and videos. There’s times when I want to use photos and video, and this is totally possible. I shoot all my videos and photos with the normal camera and then put them all together at the end. I find the quality tends to be better too—I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I swear I notice a difference in the crispness!

If you want to use photos from a DSLR camera, you can absolutely do that too. Just make sure you’ve emailed them to yourself or AirDropped them and saved to your camera roll.

Consider a Tripod & Lighting

I bought this tripod and ring light a few months ago and it has been a great investment. And, when I say investment, I mean a $37 investment. I love using it for my videos. It keeps the camera still and if I need some extra light, this provides AMAZING light with different brightnesses and color shades (bright and more warm).


Before you shoot, consider lighting! Dim, dull lighting is going to result in a video that’s not as crisp, and isn’t going to draw people in to watch it like a beautifully, well-lit video does!

Natural lighting is the absolute best and will give you the truest color, best resolution and the prettiest final results. If that’s not always an option, definitely grab that ring light I mentioned, it makes all the difference!

Edit with InShot App

Once you’ve got all your video or photo elements, it’s time to put them together! Normally, you would be doing all your editing in Instagram, but I am here to tell you there’s a better way.

Honestly guys, this right here is the secret sauce of making amazing Instagram Reels!

We’re going to edit in the InShot app—a video editing app that has changed the game for me with Reels. I actually look forward to making them now because this app is so easy to use, doesn’t crash on me and gives me so much more control.

I can remove sound, brighten the video, speed it up AFTER I film it and do so many more things. Just trust me, if you’re making Reels, you absolutely need this!

Once you’re in the app, put your videos together, change speed, volume, brightness, transitions and so much more and when it’s all done, export it! If you’re planning on adding text or music, wait until you’re in Instagram for that.

You can add video and photos, the whole process is just so much better than Reels. Now that I’ve used it several times, it’s so fast because I know the usual setting I like.

Use Text & Music

It’s not always true, but I do think that adding text can help draw people in, at least on that opening shot—it lets people know whaat you’re about to show them or teach them.

Music is fun and I do think the Instagram likes when you use all their features, so go for it! Consider your audience when picking music and personally, I try to avoid songs marked with “E” meaning explicit lyrics.

Captions & Hashtags

Don’t forget a caption! I personally don’t read captions as often with Reels, but it’s still important for those who do and for search purposes. And, if you don’t use text in your reels, you’ll need to explain what’s going on—here you can get into more detail than you can in your video anyway.

Lastly, use 3-5 hashtags that best describe what’s in your video! Lately, I’ve heard that less hashtags is better. Don’t get hung up on this step, the advice seems to be all over the board.

That’s it! I hope it helps you with creating your Reels and makes the process easier and more streamlined.

BTW, how to plan your week to actually get stuff done, and how to receive signs to know you’re on the right path.