How to make a GIF using Lightroom and Photoshop

I love adding GIFS to my lifestyle family photography client galleries for a little fun, whimsy, and surprise!

Making these is pretty simple. Start at your session by putting your camera in high drive mode (burst mode) and taking a quick series of images. Have you clients do something fun, like dancing, twirling, jumping, etc. You want some good movement to bring your GIF to life! Alternatively, if there’s movement in the background, you could also get your client’s to stand perfectly still and create the motion using background elements: think wind blowing trees, water, large crowds of people. Have fun with this!

Here’e the video or keep reading for the step by step!

If you’re not using a tripod, try to stand as still as you can so your images line up better. It won’t be perfect, but definitely good enough. I never use a tripod.

Start by editing your images. The way I do this is, in Lightroom, I edit the first image in the series using North Presets, then, I sync all the other images so they have the exact same edit.

Next, export your images as JPGs.

This is the fun part!

Open Photoshop.


When this window opens, click on BROWSE and go grab all your JPGs that you exported from Lightroom earlier.

Once your images are loaded, click on OK

At the bottom of the screen, click on Create Frame Animation. If you don’t see it, go to the menu, click Windows, and click Timeline

Once you’ve clicked on Create Frame Animation, one image will show up in your timeline. Go to the hamburger menu (3 lines) on the right side of the timeline and in the drop down click on MAKE FRAMES FROM LAYERS

Now that your photos are all in the timeline, you want to tell the GIF how long to run each image. I usually go with 0.1 seconds. To do this, select all the images in the timeline, go to the duration dropdown under one image and change the 0 to 0.1 seconds. MAKE SURE YOU SELECTED ALL THE IMAGES, or the change will only be applied to that frame.

In the bottom left corner, set your GIF to loop Forever

Now click Play to see your GIF! If any of the frames don’t work or if it’s too long, you can remove frames by clicking the frame and clicking the trashcan.

You’re done! Now, export your file either as a GIF or as a video for sharing on Instagram or elsewhere!

To save as a GIF, go to FILE – EXPORT – SAVE FOR WEB and select GIF

To save as a VIDEO, go to FILE – EXPORT – RENDER VIDEO

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