Video Tips

How to Make a Live Photo a Video: 3 Easy Steps

Eliza Talvola



Getting the perfect shot is made easy with Apple’s live photos. They bring your photos to life by turning them into gif-like 1.5 second videos that capture the moments before and after snapping a photo. Instead of having one static photo, it captures the real life movement and background sound so you can choose the precise moment in time of your best shot.

But showing the full scene of a Live Photo on social media or with an android user is impossible without first converting your Live Photos to a video.

Keep reading for a quick how-to guide to make a Live Photo a video plus tips to make your videos stand out.

What is a Live Photo?

Live Photos are 1.5-second videos that capture the moments just before and after hitting the shutter button. These GIF-like videos capture the movement, energy, and sound that went into your photo-worthy moment.

Apple then chooses what it thinks is the best frame from that video and makes it the “Key Photo”. If you don’t like the Key Photo, you can easily choose a new one from the many other frames within your Live Photo.

How to Make a Live Photo a Video: Example Live Photo

Live Photos were first introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6S. Most iPhone users today should have access to this feature by simply clicking the “LIVE” button within the camera app. We’ll share more on that below.

Why convert Live Photo to video?

The process of shooting a Live Photo is the same as taking a normal static photo but it offers so much more to work with! Rather than one blurry, crooked, or unflattering photo, Live Photos let you choose a specific moment when your subject looked its best. They capture the laughs behind the camera, the music in the background, and the subtleties of blowing wind or light peeking through the clouds.

Instead of snapping multiple photos back to back, Live Photos save you energy and storage space and help you get the perfect shot.

Whether taking an #ootd photo, capturing moments at a concert or recital, or sharing the awe of a beautiful view, it’s a safe bet to take a Live Photo. The trouble is that when you share these to social media or with a non-Apple user, they don’t automatically share as a video. Instead, they only see the Key Photo and none of the movement and energy that surrounds it.

Today, virtually all social media platforms prefer video. Luckily Live Photos serve as a two-in-one photo and video. By converting your Live Photos, you can share these special “behind the scenes” moments anywhere and with anyone. It’s a better way to tell your story and a better chance at stopping viewers mid-scroll. Once converted to a video, you can share it with anyone on any device.

How to make a Live Photo a video in 3 easy steps

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss how to take a Live Photo. Live Photos are captured in the same way as taking normal photos on the iPhone. First, navigate to your camera. Then, make sure that the “Live Photo” icon (the concentric circle icon between the Flash and Timer icons) is yellow. Once this feature is turned on, simply hit the shutter button to capture your Live Photo!

Animoto How to Make a Live Photo a Video (8)

Once you’ve taken your Live Photo, you’re ready to convert it to a video and start sharing! You'll know it's a Live Photo if it has the "LIVE" icon in the upper left hand corner, but you can long tap on the image to make sure. Navigate to the Live Photo that you’d like to convert then follow the instructions below.

Depending on what version of iOS your phone is running on, the layout may be different but the icons should remain the same.

Launch your Photos app and choose the Live Photo that you want to share. Tap the share button. Scroll down to the option that says "Save as Video." Your video will be saved to your Camera Roll and in the Video album.

How to Make a Live Photo a Video - Save as Video

And just like that, you have a video clip that can be shared far and wide! You can share the video as-is, stitch it together with other video clips to make a longer video, or trim and edit your video as you please.

How to edit Live Photos online with Animoto

With Animoto, you can turn your 1.5 second Live Photos into professional videos for free, complete with animations, text, music, and more! Whether you want to create a slideshow video to recap your wedding or trip abroad, or turn product shots into a shareable product video, you can do so all within Animoto. To start creating high-quality videos from your Live Photos, follow these simple steps.

1. Convert your Live Photo to video:

Your camera reel is a gold mine of video content! See the steps above to turn your Live Photos into videos.

2. Choose a template: Choose any of our free templates as a jumping off point. Or, start from scratch to create a video that is 100% unique from start to finish.

3. Upload your video to Animoto's online video editor: Upload as many video clips and photos as you’d like! If there are any gaps in your story, you can fill them in with licensed content from our Getty Images stock library.

4. Personalize your video: Now comes the fun part. Once you’ve selected a template and uploaded your content, you can customize nearly any aspect of your video! Drag and drop your Live Photo videos into our Media blocks then edit your videos by trimming, adding filters, adjusting the volume, and more. You can add text on or beside your media and choose the colors and fonts that best tell your story. Make your video more cohesive by adding a licensed music track or even recording a voice-over to attract and retain your audience’s attention. Keep reading below to learn how to do this and more.

5. Download or share your video: Once you’ve adjusted and customized your videos to your liking, it’s time to start sharing! Click on the “Export” icon to choose how you want to share your video. You can download it directly to your device or click the “Share” icon to share it directly to your desired email or social destination.

Tips on how to edit a Live Photo

When turning your Live Photo into a compelling and professional video, you have a lot of options! Here are eight ways to edit your Live Photos and create a video that you can be proud of with Animoto.

1. Trim video clips to remove unwanted parts

Remove unwanted parts of your video like shaky videography or loud background noises by trimming your video. To do this, upload your video into Animoto. Then, drag and drop it into your desired Media block. From here you can click on your video clip then click the scissors icon to take you to the Trim Video window. Drag the video buffers on either end of your clip to make the video shorter or longer.

2. Add transitions to move through clips seamlessly

Have multiple clips that you want to stitch together? Use multiple Media blocks! You can choose your video transitions by clicking on the “Design” icon and then clicking on the “VIDEO SETTINGS” tab. From here you can choose from any of our 13 different Video Style transitions.

3. Add text to make your videos more engaging

Use text to call out certain features of your video or explain the story behind them. Click on the “Add text” button to add text boxes to your video. You can drag and drop the text into the perfect spot, choose a color that stands out, and pick a font that matches your brand or personal aesthetic.

4. Apply filters to customize the look

Make your video clips look cohesive by applying video filters. To do this, click on the “Design tab” and scroll to the bottom to the “Filter” section. Choose from any of the filters to instantly edit all your video clips and bring them all “on brand.”

5. Add music to evoke emotion

Music can help draw in an audience. Luckily with Animoto, we have over 3,000 licensed music tracks for you to choose from so your video will never be taken down for license infringement. To start browsing our library, first click on the “Audio” tab. Once in the Audio tab, you can sort our library of music by mood, genre, tempo, and more. Preview the songs by hovering over the song with your mouse. Apply them to your video by clicking on the track. Check out this video for a complete step-by-step guide to adding music to your video.

6. Add a voice-over to connect with your audience

Speak directly to your audience by recording and adding a voice-over track to your video! This will help your video stand out and make it conform more with TikTok and Reels trends that also use voice-over tracks to speak with their audiences.

7. Add a CTA to compel your audience to take a specific action

The best videos are actionable! Make sure to clear a bold, clear, and actionable call to action at the end of your video. You can do so by adding a text box. Make sure to make your text bold, bright, and easy to read.

8. Choose the correct video aspect ratio for different platforms

While nearly every social media platform prefers video content to static, the ideal aspect ratios can differ. With Animoto, you can choose the right aspect ratio for your desired social destination and transform your video with one click. Use the Square 1:1 ratio for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, the Landscape 16:9 ratio for YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or the Vertical 9:16 ratio for Facebook, Reels, TikTok, and Instagram Stories.

That’s a wrap

Make sure to turn on Live mode on your cameras to capture your most authentic, engaging, and exciting content yet. Then, take your videos to the next level with Animoto’s free video maker!

Do you have any questions? Want more video inspiration? Tune into the Animoto blog for more how-tos and video ideas or join our Animoto Social Video Marketing Community today.

Live photo to video FAQ

How to turn on live photos?

To turn on Live Photos, first navigate to your camera. Then, make sure that the “Live Photo” icon (the concentric circle icon between the Flash and Timer icons) is yellow. Once this feature is turned on, simply hit the shutter button to capture your Live Photo!

How to loop a live photo?

With iOS 15, you can turn your Live Photos into a loop, bounce (boomerang), or long exposure by following these steps.

  1. Open a Live Photo in the iPhone Photos app

  2. Tap the word “Live” from the top left

  3. Select Loop from the drop-down menu to create a video loop that replays again and again

Can I convert a live photo to a GIF?

When saved as a video file, Live Photos are essentially a 1.5-second GIF or video. Unfortunately, there is no way to turn a .mp4 file into a .gif within the iPhone Photos app. To do this, you need to use a third-party program such as giphy.