Instagram Reels: The Only 4 Apps You Need

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Photography business coach creating Instagram Reels

You may be scrolling your feed thinking you can’t create Instagram reels because you need all of these fancy apps or to learn a bunch of new programs.

Don’t get discouraged. While you could, you don’t have to at all. In fact, I only use 4 apps when creating my reels for Instagram (and even Tik Tok!). Most of the time I’m really only using 3. I’m going to share these 4 apps along with a couple of easy tips for each one.

Ready to learn which apps you need to make effective Instagram reels? Let’s go!

The most obvious app for creating reels is Instagram.

I have lots of kids and little time. I don’t want to be spending more time then I have to on a task. Instagram is perfect for creating Reels. Whether I film directly within the app (what I do most of the time) or film on my smartphone camera and bring it into Instagram, it’s super easy. I trim clips right within the reels builder, use their subtle filters for clips of my face, and add text right there over top.

Here’s an example of a reel I created completely within Instagram.

Another important app for photographers to use is Dropbox.

Okay, this might feel like a stretch as I don’t actually use dropbox in creating my Instagram reels. However, as a photographer, including my work is key. I keep a folder in Dropbox of all of my images ready to use for social media, reels, and more. I have the app on my phone so I can easily download the images onto my phone to include for example photos as well as cover photos.

The next favorite app to use is Canva.

As a family photographer and an educator for photographers, Canva is a favorite tool. Canva can be used to create presentations, stories, and even covers for your Instagram reels.

It’s easy to use, plenty of templates (though I use the super clean ones) and you can even set up brand colors and such to stay on brand. I also use this app to create my cover photos. You can have the app on your phone and log in on the desktop to create wherever is easiest for you.

See another example of my cover photos on my Reels Page on Instagram.

Extra perk is that it saves your created designs, so it is easy for me to create a new cover by just updating a current design.

Finally, CapCut is a great app when you want to create fancier reels for Instagram.

This is one you probably hear about often in the instagram world. I will be honest, I hardly use it. Again, I like to keep it simple. Yet, I do love it for creating voice over videos like the one here. While you can create voiceovers within Instagram, I find CapCut easier to use. You’re able to move sound and cut clips.

That’s it! I’m sure you could find plenty of other apps to use, but why?! You don’t need to create production quality Instagram reels, just show up. The easier it is, the more likely you’ll do it, so get a system in place with just a couple of apps.

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