How to Make a Photo Slideshow in Photoshop for Instagram Stories


Explore your creativity with individual stories on Instagram. In this tutorial, learn how to create a short photo slideshow from scratch using Adobe Photoshop and video editing apps. You’ll learn:

  • How to choose a theme
  • How to create and select your photos for the theme
  • Slideshow templates
  • Making your own slideshow from scratch in Adobe Photoshop

And for more great tips, learn how to Get Started with Instagram Stories.

Choosing a Theme

There are all kinds of applications for a quick slideshow, from presenting a new project to teasing an upcoming announcement to sharing pictures your trip to the beach.

Make it Personal

If you’re sharing your life with your Instagram followers, then there is no better topic to cover then something personal. The beauty of getting personal is that it allows people into your life. So involve your followers in the major triumphs and celebrations of what makes you, you!

Recently I traveled back to my hometown in Long Island, New York, to welcome the birth of my little nephew, Max. So to personalize my story, I brought my followers along the journey from start to finish with a simple slideshow.

Example Project: a Slideshow Scrapbook

Just like flipping through the pages of an old journal or scrapbook, the next part of my theme will involve a slideshow in the form of a book.

This look can be achieved from scratch using your own materials or by downloading the appropriate editing app to your device. Consider the transformation that takes place when you put a little more effort into your Instagram and truly sell the moments behind your stories.

Shooting Your Images

Looking to create a slideshow-based Instagram Story? Here are a few things you need to know.

What You Need

  • A book: I used an old yearbook that I later edited.
  • A digital camera: Your regular smartphone device will do, but for high quality photos I used my Samsung NX2000.
  • A tripod (optional): If you find yourself with shaky hands, consider carrying a small tripod when you travel. When in doubt, steady yourself against a sturdy surface for clear photos.
  • Slideshow apps: If you prefer an easier route, try a video-editing app instead.

Look for the Special Moments

What should you look for when you shoot images and how do you capture special moments?

It’s easy to get into the habit of over posting. That unbelievable urge to share the same moment, from the same angle, with the same composition can truly suck the life out of your images with the same old monotony. Even if each image looks great on it’s own, try to consider what the whole picture will look like in a series.

Don’t let your stories get muddled by over posting the same photos.

As you shoot pictures or video, consider how you need to look for those special moments that make you smile or deliver the mood you desire. Keep the camera handy so that those moments don’t pass you by, and you capture them to share with everyone.

Keep your eyes open for special moments that help to tell the story.

If you’re photographing something as special as a birth (or wedding, retirement party, or other family event), remember to be as respectful as possible. Not only did I ask my sister certain questions about what she would like me to shoot, but I also made sure she was okay with me posting something so personal online.

Organize the Story

Every great story has a beginning, middle, and end. Collect all your images and cycle through them on your hard drive or smartphone. Organize the photos in order, separating them into different piles that illustrate the beginning, middle, and end to your story.

A little organization goes a long way, so number your pictures in the order that you would like them to appear.

Choose the images that best represent the feeling you want to create for each part of your story. Rename the files and add numbers so that they show up in sequential order.

The first part of my story begins with my travel back home to Long Island. I’ll illustrate this with shots of my luggage, as well as my journey by boat and bus.

The second part of my story is waiting for the little one to get here. It’s normal that you might forget to take certain shots, so take a moment to scan your environment or even jot down ideas when they occur to you. Here, I decided that photos of the waiting area at the hospital would suffice.

The third part of this journey is the build up to the final reveal of my sister’s beautiful baby boy. This will be showcased by presents from the gift shop, the baby’s tiny footprints, and finally, the pictures of little Max.

Share the progression of your story in the order that the events occurred. Create a build up to the final reveal.

How to Create the Slideshow

Whether you prefer something a little hands on, or just a quick and easy slideshow, there are several options available to help make your stories stand out.

Use an Existing Template

Instead of Googling around for “pixel size of Instagram story” and then tinkering around in Photoshop to arrange the content, you can use a starter template with easy-to-fill placeholders. The best place to source these

from is Envato Elements, an all-you-can-download service that provides starter templates.

In this quick example, I’m going to use the Instagram Stories – Promotion Pack. This package includes 24 pre-built files for Photoshop that are easy to update and upload to Instagram.

In the example below, you can see how easy it is to take the starter design (left) and transform it to your own needs. I simply updated the

text and dropped images into the placeholders from my own collection. 

If you aren’t a Photoshop user or want to try out other styles, here are

three more projects to build Photobook slideshows for Instagram:

  • For the fitness minded, check out the Gym Instagram Stories package for Adobe Illustrator.
  • After Effects users can try out the Instagram Stories project which is specifically targeted toward promotional sales.
  • You can even build out an Instagram story package in PowerPoint (yes, really) thanks to the Animated Instagram Stories Creator project.

Create a Template from Scratch with Adobe Photoshop

You can create your own slideshow in the form of a book by just using your Photoshop skills. First take a couple of photographs of a plain book against a solid white background. I chose to use my old yearbook since I didn’t have many books to choose from.

Fill in the book with color on the original layer or use a layer set as a Clipping Mask like the example above.

Open each photo into Photoshop and use the Selection and Magic Wand Tools to delete the background from the photo. Change the cover by creating a New Layer and using the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to fill in the cover and any marked pages with the appropriate solid colors. Layer each book image into one .psd file so that you can make sure they are aligned correctly.

Apps for Creating Video Slideshows

You can also create a video slideshow by downloading the appropriate app. Choose an app like the following:

  • Pixgram
  • Photo Grid
  • Slideshow Maker
  • Music Video Maker

Add filters, stickers, music, and text to personalize your slideshow, then upload it to Instagram Stories. You may need to trim the video or upload the slideshow in several parts in order to get the full story, so keep this in mind when going for the easier route.

Editing the Story

Once you’ve prepared your book in Photoshop and it’s ready to use, insert the photos for your slideshow onto
each page. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to position them into place.

For more drama, you’ll notice that I have a theme that transitions from black and white photos to color. This also adds to the reveal of the baby and I created these edits easily using simple Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop. Add text, emojis, or stickers to personalize the pages even
further. For the cover of my slideshow, I decided to add a quick border and text to welcome baby Max into the world.

Finish the book by setting it against a solid background,
choosing a simple texture like this Wood Grain Stock from Pixabay, or selecting from our wide variety of stocks available on Envato Elements.

Choose a solid background or add a nice texture or pattern.

Just like before, save each slide in numerical order and transfer the new images to your device so that you’re able to access them easier by

swiping down when creating your story.

And don’t forget, with Instagram Stories you always have the option of adding filters or decorating your slides with drawings and so much more. But for simplicity sake, I’ll keep my edits the way they are.

The Final Slideshow Story

Though it takes a little more work, creating your own slides gives you more control with what you’re posting to Instagram Stories. So celebrate the best parts of your life with a creative slideshow to let others know more about you!

Check out my final story in this quick video below:

What are some fun ways you like to use Instagram Stories? Let us know in the comments, and share links to your own profiles below!


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