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Making Videos and Books From Your Photos

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I shoot a lot of photos. I try to block time here and there to enjoy them because sometimes I feel I shoot more images than I can look at. After a shooting, there will be a moment, either right after or during the same week, where I will transfer the images to the computer, open Lightroom, select, remove, adjust, flag and note. Nothing special here, it’s part of the whole process.

There you have it, your photos are ready. Should we stop here? I would usually take one or two other good looks at the best ones from that shoot, export them, make an upload to a cloud and then post on social media like Instagram. This is where my photos will end up usually, at least in the last recent years. Also Facebook.

I have a hard time with this process. It doesn’t really make me happy. Of course, getting great comments or likes on a picture gives a small emotion, but it will last just a couple of minutes. Is there something better or different we could do?

Printed Books and Prints

Canon 7D, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM at 70mm, 1/250, f/8.0, ISO 100

One other way to showcase my pictures is taking more time, again, to create a printed book. It could be the best quality book on the market or simply a standard photobook printer, you chose, but receiving that box over the mail, opening it, and discovering that book of yours, that piece you have put so many hours of work and energy into it, on the photo-taking process, on Lightroom, on that final-final selection, building up the book pages layout… for me, this feels very good.

I get a lot of good vibes from doing this complete process. Plus, I get to pull that real-physical item of mine any time, flip the many hand-picked best shots I took. So worth it.

I also like to print and hang pictures in my office. I see these all the time. They remind me of great souvenirs and make me proud of my art, of what I had created. Plus visitors can see them too and it sometimes starts an interesting human-to-human conversation, in real life.

Here is a page spread of a photo book I made as a past year’s recap. The book was sent to print and I kept a PDF version of it that I transformed into JPG images so that I could create a blog post on my site displaying a slideshow where visitors can simply flip the pages one by one. Easily doable with many CMS, like WordPress.

Videos and Slideshows

My newest thing is creating a video from my photos. Lately, I was trying out phone apps to make one in a very easy way as I didn’t want to do the whole process of it in iMovie or Adobe Premiere. These are great software, but I was hoping for simpler. Couch simple. So I’ve tried iMovie for iPhone and it was okay for a family year recap souvenir, mixing video and photo files. Then I tried Adobe Spark, Premiere Rush, Canva, plus a couple more.

I ended up falling in love with Canva and I made another quick video on the new app. Then I found it, the same Canva, but on my computer browser, and still free. From my test, it was the easiest app to simply add photos, adjust them on the page, fix the timing, add music, text and save as an MP4 file and as a JPEG for the video thumbnail. The experience is the same on the phone as on the computer for this app. Of course, I produced slideshows over the years. These could be created using many different programs, and you can often save them as a final video file too, so a 2-in-1 step.

No matter how you build it, the result is a finalized video file showcasing your top pictures. Plus you are forcing people to watch for the timing you have decided (10 seconds maybe, that’s way more than an image on Instagram), and with a song of your choice. You can publish it on video sites like YouTube or Vimeo, and on social media as Reels, Stories, or posts. You can watch it on your connected TV too in a huge format.

I feel very good having a video file I can watch over and over, and share. There is something different with that medium. And just like a printed book, I can escape the whole world for a short moment, fly back to that shooting day — I remember, I am full screen, no distraction, just beautiful imagery and a calm song. So worth it!

Blog and Gallery

What can have maybe less reach than an Instagram photo over one day, but could have more reach over time, or could also help to bring clients? Your own website portfolio, gallery, or blog. It could be worth it to spend extra time to showcase your latest shoot’s best images or your summer recap’s best. If you have created a photo book or a video, as above, this is a great item to add to your website too, and why not write a blog article related to that selection of your greatest pictures, putting words into your craft?

In Conclusion

I think we should always look to be happy in photography, and try new ways to be it. Finishing your collection with a final selection to print a book or to upload a video has helped me enjoy it even more.


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


About the author: Rene-Pierre Normandeau started photography because his father did not want to lend him his old Minolta 35mm, a camera that eventually became his tool for several years. Influenced by sports, action, speed, and movement, he mainly focuses his art on these subjects, but also on landscapes, nature, and travel. His company Polar Media is based in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec in Canada. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.

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