Making Square Videos For Instagram

Easter2014 - Facebook header

A few months ago in my post Seven Alternatives to Posting Photos on Instagram, I mentioned using a 15 second video trailer. While I had shot and edited Instagram videos on my iPhone, I had not actually made a video using off camera editing. Easter is always a good time to try new things…but where to begin?

I use Adobe’s Premier Pro as my video editing software and the tutorial Creating High Quality Instagram Videos Using Adobe Premiere Pro CC by  WhoIsMatt was extremely helpful. He has step-by-step instructions showing you exactly how to setup your computer for editing and export Instagram videos (for both iOS and Android).

Once the video is exported, just email it to yourself (15 seconds of 640×640 video is about 10MB), save it to your photo library and upload it to Instagram like normal. If you didn’t add Instagram like filters it in the editing process and want it, you can add them here before uploading.

I was pleased with how painless the process actually was. It’s just like editing a normal video…but square. Depending on the cropping, you can’t just use same HD video (which is very landscape) and expect it to work. This is especially true of text. You have to massage it. Sometimes you have to create something entirely new.

For example, I had created this short Easter teaser.

For Instagram, while I use use a similar idea, I couldn’t actually use us ANY of the same footage. I had to start from scratch.

Join us on Easter Sunday at 7:45, 9:30 or 11:15 am as we celebrate our risen Lord! #easter #inlandempire #redlands #jesus #heisalive

A post shared by Trinity Church – Redlands, CA (@trinityredlands) on

Now that I have the presets saved, in the future, making these will be even easier. Shooting and editing video is inherently time consuming. While you’re in “editing mode” and you have easy access to the files, you might as well make the most if it and include making a 15 second Instagram video part of the routine.

PS. Here is another Instagram video that I had done earlier of a caravan of  white vans leaving on a short term mission trip to Mexico. For this video I needed to speed things up so it would fit in the allotted 15 seconds. It reminds me of the stream of circus clowns that keep climbing out of an itty-bitty car.

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2 thoughts on “Making Square Videos For Instagram

  1. Great post and great tutorial! Are you using Adobe After Effects for the lyrics and background on the song, or is that footage you found online (aka youtube)?

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