what is it and how to do it

The article has been updated. First published: January 24, 2018

Time goes by – content becomes more dynamic to grab attention instantly. But will the user focus on the product or service you’re offering? This question is solved by “live” photographs – these are static images on which only part of the frame moves.

A few examples:

from Instagram @toutifr
from Instagram @flixelphotos
from Instagram @flixelphotos

“Live” photos, as well as animated photos, are not found so often in social networks, if only because not everyone knows how to do them.

How “live” photos differ from boomerangs, gifs, animations or videos

In “live” photographs, attention is immediately focused on one specific subject – this is an ideal way to interest the user with any product. GIFs and videos do not have this effect. Animation of photos beautifies and attracts rather than emphasizes attention.

In addition, GIFs are difficult to upload to Instagram, and to shoot a full-fledged video you need a full-fledged script and many other problems. “Live” photos are taken from the phone literally in minutes, without any skills.

from Instagram @flixelphotos
from Instagram @flixelphotos

How to take “live” photos yourself

Let’s not torment and get down to the main thing. Cinemagraphs are done using Photoshop, but this is difficult, especially for those who have no experience with this program. There is an easier way – use one of the special applications.

For iOS users:

Cinemagraph Pro

The most powerful application in the field. Not cheap: an annual subscription costs $ 199, a perpetual license is $ 299.

Read also:   5 minimalist Instagram accounts

The Flixel company, the creator of the application, is great on Instagram: you can subscribe and get ideas there.


The application is simpler and more accessible: 149 rubles. No new updates, but working
The application is simpler and more accessible: 149 rubles. No new updates, but working


Free app with in-app purchases.
Free app with in-app purchases.

For Android users:


The application is shareware, purchases are made in it
The application is shareware, purchases are made in it

Any photo with movement is often called “live” photo. We call that a photo made from a video. And not vice versa – when effects are superimposed on the photo, creating imitation of movement.

The basic principle of creating a cinemagraph

We buy the application and think over the video frame. First, shoot a video, and only then make a live photo out of it. Think in advance about the light and the arrangement of objects. Shooting with a tripod is important, otherwise the final video will float.

Shooting video… Make it long enough for you to choose from a frame to work with.

We process the video in the application. A certain film is superimposed on the frame we need. Erase this tape in the place that should come to life.

Do not erase too large a surface to prevent the video from floating.
Do not erase too large a surface to prevent the video from floating.

Upload video to Instagram… To do this, save your work in video format.

Open GIF
Open GIF

Extra chips… If you need additional processing, please use other applications such as the paid version of VSCO. In it, apply filters and work with color correction. Add lettering and logo to Splice or Hohot, glitter on photos with Canva – take animated photos.

Read more about how to animate a photo or make an animated collage of photos in the article “Idea for a post. Animation ”in the SMMplanner blog.

Which accounts are suitable for “live” photos

First of all, “live” photographs sell the subject well: jewelry, shoes, clothes. Such content looks great in the catering industry or in food-related accounts. The dishes really seem to come to life in the photo (imagine moving steam over a cup of coffee or running bubbles of champagne).

Read also:   8 Tricks That Will Increase Instagram Engagement

However, no one limits your imagination if you work with accounts of a different subject. Take a free online course Social Media Design with Crello from SMM.school and learn how to effectively use visual content for professional and personal promotion. Take inspiration from someone else’s ready-made photos and adapt them for yourself. Most importantly, do not forget that a lot depends on the quality of the original video: light, composition, static.

Register now in SMMplanner and schedule posts on Instagram and Instagram Stories.

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