Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines Day: a custom video is a great way to express love, say thank you, and share memories on a special occasion. A slideshow of photos reminds others of the experiences you’ve had together and gives them a nostalgic digital artifact of your relationship.

You can also make slideshows with music to commemorate events, illustrate the passage of time, or visualize a topic/theme. By bringing together different images, montages can be informative and are a great tool for teachers to reinforce lessons, brands to reach new audiences, or companies to onboard new employees.

In this article, I’ll describe how you can take a series of pictures and combine them together into a video with music.

This tutorial shows you how to make a video with pictures and music using a free website called Kapwing. There are four steps to creating your video:

  1. Open Video Canvas
  2. Upload Pictures
  3. Add Music
  4. Create and Share

Note: The tool I use in this tutorial, Kapwing, works on all devices: iPhones, Android phones, Macs, Windows, and Chromebooks as well as iPads and Android tablets. The slideshow maker is free and helps you combine photos together and add music on top to make one cohesive video (MP4 file).

Step 1: Open Video Studio

To make a video with photos, you first need to find a video editing program. I recommend Kapwing because it’s free, online, fast, and simple to learn and use. Start by opening the Kapwing Video Maker and clicking “Get Started.”

Blank Slideshow Studio in Kapwing

You will see the video preview along with upload controls. Before you've uploaded any pictures, the slideshow preview is blank.

Size: With the "Aspect Ratio" buttons, you can resize your canvas to be the whatever aspect ratio you want your output video to be. By default, you will get a square, 1:1 canvas, but you can choose 9:16 for your Story, 16:9 for YouTube, or set a custom size. In my example, I used 5:4 for a landscape Facebook video.

Video Options in Left Panel

Background: You can also change the color of the background to match your brand or the vibe of the video. Creators can choose one of the preset color swatches or enter their own hex code. I used a light green for my picture slideshow.

Step 2: Upload Pictures

Next, upload the first picture. You can either drag and drop files or click the “Upload” box to find the picture on your phone or computer. Kapwing allows you to upload multiple pictures at once to make a multi-scene video.

Once the images upload, you will see options to duplicate and delete each picture. Drag the files to rearrange them so that they have a different ordering. Creators can also choose to insert a blank scene if you want to design a custom title or outro slide.

To make the slideshow move faster or slower, use the "Edit duration" button to adjust how long each picture lasts. From the drop-down menu, you can make a specific scene last more or less time, and you can apply the same setting to all pictures in the video with the "Apply to ALL IMAGES" button. By default, each picture is shown for three seconds.

Select the duration for one image or to apply to ALL IMAGES

Use the purple "Play" button below the video preview to watch what your slideshow video will look like. Each of the pictures will play one after another for the specified amount of time. Kapwing will highlight each photo for you as it plays.

Example picture slideshow in Kapwing

Step 3: Add Music

After you have finalized the visuals of your video, the next step is to add music! Click the "Edit in Studio" button to open the main Kapwing Studio.

After I click "Open in Studio"

Here, creators can add music with the “Audio” tool in the main toolbar.

Add Audio to Video tool in Kapwing

The first step is to choose the music you want for your video. Browse through YouTube and other music libraries to find the song you want, then copy and paste the URL to that video or download the audio file. You can import a popular YouTube song, record a voiceover, or use a custom MP3 file.

Back on Kapwing, upload your audio file or import from a pasted URL. The music will load, and you can adjust the start time of the soundtrack in your montage. You can also trim the audio down, if you only want it to appear for certain sections, and loop it if it’s too short. Finally, you can adjust the volume of the music. I turned the background music down to 50%.

Adjust volume tools

I decided to use the intro of the song “Wake Up” by Travis Scott. If you’re going to publish your video on social media or use it commercially, make sure you have the rights to republish the song. Even if you qualify under fair use, make sure to attribute the original artist by adding a text watermark on one of your scenes.

In the Studio, you can also make other edits to your video slideshow. I chose to add text - titles, labels, subtitles - with text animations to caption each picture. You can change the font, size, color, background, and style of your font with the text options and position handles.

Adding text in the Kapwing Studio

Step 4: Create and Share

Watch your video all the way through to make sure it’s in the right order and that the photos match up well with the music. Once your video looks right, click the “DONE” button to process your finalized video. After a few moments, Kapwing will make your video available for viewing. Here's what my photo slideshow with music turned out like:

You can share the URL to the final video page, publish the video on Twitter or Facebook, or download the video to share the MP4 file directly. Or, you can click "Edit" to return to the editor and make changes the the video. People using Kapwing for free will be able to re-edit their video for up to 7 days after it is created.

Kapwing is free to use with no watermarks! The first time that you use Kapwing, there will be a small Kapwing watermark on your output video. You can remove the watermark and save your new video to a Kapwing Workspace by signing in. You can also subscribe to Kapwing Pro to get unlimited no-watermark access to all of Kapwing’s tools.

That’s all! I hope this article helps you make montages from photos and music. For an extra like and follow, tag @KapwingApp or #kapwing when you publish your picture slideshow with music on social media. The Kapwing Studio supports GIF and MP4 scenes also, so you can make multimedia collages and layouts. Looking forward to seeing the creations that come it.

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