First of all, you may be wondering, what are GIF photo animations?

Have you ever taken a series of photos that aligned so well, you wished you could turn them into a video? I have often thought that would be cool when looking back through what I captured from my shoots. In the past, it was only a thought. More recently, I figured out how to make fun photo animations with the photos that I capture. All it took was COVID cancelling all my plans and giving me extra time while in quarantine to learn how to make these fun animations. I’m so excited to share this new skill with my clients!

If you are booking a shoot, make sure you ask about GIFs so I can include some in your package, sometimes it just takes a little extra planning with intentions to capture these moving photo animations.

These photo animations aren’t a common thing that you’ll find other photographers include with their photo packages. I’m always striving to push my creative boundaries so this new skill has been a surprise and delight for those who book me for a shoot with me. Sleeping_Bear_Sand_Dunes_Nature

When I send your edited album of photos from our shoot on Zenfolio, you’ll find a link at the top “Download your GIF Animations Here.” By clicking that link, you will be taken to Google Photos where you’ll find a folder with your photo animations enclosed and ready to download.

Seems easy enough, right?
Here are just a few tips to make sure it’s easy.

This article should help you quickly download and share your GIFs to share online. My hope is that this will also answer some questions if you’re having technical issues too.

There are a couple ways to download your GIF photo animations…

In most cases, you will download the MP4 video files to share online. I try to label and sort the two formats so you know which is which. You can easily distinguish the videos because they say how long the animation is in the top right corner. The videos are usually only a few seconds long.

From your phone: Download your photo animations by holding the video you want to save down from the main screen until a menu pops up, giving you the option “save to device.”

You can also tap on the video from the main screen to enlarge and view the selected video. Find the download arrow in the bottom left corner of the video preview. Click on the download arrow and it should also give you the option, “save to device.” These will only play once from your phone, just like a standard video, then stop.

From your computer: Click on the video or GIF you want to save. It will enlarge it. In the top right corner you will see 3 vertical dots. When you click on the dots it will open a menu where “Download” should be one of the options. A shortcut you can use to download the video after opening it is (Shift+D). These files should show up as downloading on the bottom of your web browser. Once saved, the files can be found in your downloads folder.

Glen Haven Canning Co Photoshoot

Now to share your GIF photo animations…

Instagram: When posted on instagram the videos will replay infinitely. They look great posted alone, or in a carousel with up to 9 more photos from our shoot together. Please do not add a filter because it will degrade the quality and make it more pixilated. Please do choose the best frame for your cover if you are posting only a single video so it still looks great in your feed when not playing.

Facebook: You can make a post and add the video you choose, the same as if you are updating your facebook status. It’s eye catching and fun to share both a video, and some photos from our shoot together in the same post. If there are multiple videos in the same post it will do one run, then play the next but will go back to replay the other again. I recommend posting only one video in a post with some photos after to keep the video playing continuously in a loop like a GIF.

Traverse city portrait shoot in natureIt is my goal to make sure downloading and sharing your GIFs is seamlessly easy, even if you aren’t tech savvy.

I’ve figured most of this out by research, trial, error, and client feedback. If there is anything I missed, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I can’t find a solution to an issue I don’t know about. However, I hope by then end of this article you fully understand how to download and share your GIF photo animations online.

Love your GIFs? Where did you share them? Learn something new? Any questions or issues downloading or sharing them? Please, feel free to share something that’ll help others feel inspired, or any tips or tricks that you’ve found to be helpful as well.

I’d love your feedback.

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