How to Make Moving Pictures (Just Like Harry Potter!)

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Snape. Malfoy. Hogwarts. Horcrux.

If none of those words make any sense to you, you’re not a Harry Potter fan.

The rest of you know that in the Wizarding World, people in photographs don’t stand still. They move, wave at you, wander out of the frame for a cup of tea…

In honor of the new Harry Potter movie (eeeeee! we can’t wait!) we’re teaching you how to make your own moving pictures.

It’s so easy, even Muggles can do it!
(That means you.)

How to Make Moving Pictures a la Harry Potter

p.s. We just snatched up the much anticipated Eye-Fi PRO Wireless Memory Card for the Photojojo Shop. Hooray for RAW uploads!

Um… Did That Picture Just Move?

As much as we like “capturing a moment” we’d still love it if the faces smiling up from our photo frames could move or wave or wink at us.

Turns out they can! And you don’t even need a special potion to do it.

All you have to do is take a short video, loop it, and play it in a digital frame.

Why on earth didn’t we think of this sooner?!

(If you can’t see the image on the right, click here to get QuickTime.)

What You’ll Need


  • A camera that can take videos
  • A tripod
  • A computer and basic video editing software: iMovie, Movie Maker, JayCut, Movie Masher, whatever.
  • A digital frame that can play video files such as .mp4, .avi or .mov.* Many 7-inch or larger frames have this capability, including ones by HP, Smartparts, Opteka and Kodak.

*Mac users may find that, in defiance of all logic, .mov and .avi files have the same names but are formatted differently for Macs and PCs. Conversion software like Prism should fix the problem.

Happy? Or Creeeeeepy?

Moving pictures can be happy, with smiling, waving, jolly people prancing about.

Or they can be creepy, changing just enough to make the person watching unsure whether it’s moving or not.

So what do you say? Smiley happy time, or creepy Scooby-Doo-style portrait with moving eyes?

How to Shoot a Moving Picture

  1. Set your camera up on a tripod and pose your favorite person in front of it.
  2. Set your camera to video mode.
  3. Take 15-30 seconds of video.

The person can smile, wave, move around, or just stare at the camera.

No talking, though — it’ll look weird. And no chewing gum unless you brought enough for everybody.

Editing Your Moving Picture

editing-smWhen you’re done, load your video into whatever video editor you have.

Here’s how to create a loop of your moving picture:

  1. Select the original video clip, copy it, and paste it at the end of the original clip.
  2. Select the pasted section and set it to play backwards. (In iMovie, open “Window” -> “Clip Adjustments” and check the “Reverse” box where it says “Direction”.)
  3. Now you have a loop of one forward and one backward repetition.
  4. To make a longer loop, copy both clips and paste them at the end of the first loop. Repeat this until the loop is as long as you want.

Showing Moving Pictures in a Frame

Now to show off your tricksy moving picture!

Save or export your moving pictures as one of the file types your digital frame supports (.avi, .mov, etc.), then upload the file to the frame.

Set the frame to play video. To show one moving picture continuously, set the frame to repeat (this is the default on many frames, including Kodak’s M820). It will keep playing your moving picture until you tell it to stop.

If you want to show multiple pictures, edit each one until the is loop as long as you want (say 5 minutes), then load all of them into the digital frame and set it to play video. The frame will play each loop, then move on to the next one.

Showing Moving Pictures on Your Computer

You say you don’t have a digital frame?

That’s okay — you can show moving pictures on your computer instead.

Just play the moving picture full-screen on your computer. Set your computer to never go to sleep, and it’ll just keep playing the clip over and over.

If you have trouble playing the moving picture, load it into iTunes, add it to a playlist and set it to repeat. Then play the moving pictures full screen, and you have an instant digital frame.

Sharing Moving Pictures

Want to share your moving pictures?

Upload them to Vimeo, Flickr or YouTube so your peeps can see them and save copies for themselves.

You love love, and you love it big time. So, go BIG this Valentine’s Day.

Print up a 3 foot x 4 foot Engineer Print to show your love BIG time.

Read along to see three fun ways to spread the love to friends, crushes and soulmates using photos!


1. Mailbox Surprise

Just fold up your Engineer Print, pop it in an envelope and mail it to your long-distance love.

Parabo Press’s EPs (as the cool kids call ‘em) are printed on extra thin paper, perfect for easy hanging and mailing too!

Yeah, your print will get creases in it, but we just love the idea of your giftee unfolding and unfolding and unfolding to reveal the biggest Valentine they’ve ever received.


2. Pin the Heart on the Babe

We may have spent a bit extra time on this part of the photoshoot in the Photojojo Office … this game is serious fun! Everyone gave it a go.

Print up a photo of your favorite heartthrob, cut out some hearts, procure a blindfold, give the first contestant a good spin, and watch them just try to find their way to that cutie’s heart.

It’s the perfect pastime for a Galentine’s Party or a cozy night in – just you, mood music, a box of chocolates and an EP of Michael B. Jordan.


3. Surprise! I love you!

Engineer Prints (available in color and B&W) are the perfect width to tape in your
standard door.

Tape your face looking into a room with an inward opening door to give your favorite someone a BIG surprise.

Just make sure your intended recipient is in the room when you stick up that print.



What are you waiting for?


Three Lovely Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Using Photos

We get it. You need the perfect costume idea.

Whelp, if you like snapping photos and having fun (you sound like our favorite kind of person) look no further!

Check out four easy costume ideas that’ll get you all the best candy (full size only).

Inspector Gadget

Fill a trench coat with gizmos and give your friends a fright followed by relief when they realize you did not dress as a streaker.



Hang the Photo Rope from your neck and use magnets to hang your favorite photos. You’re everyone’s favorite stream of photos. *Liked*


  • A Black Outfit
  • Photo Rope
  • Square Prints (get ‘em free from Parabo Press)

A Beautiful Unicorn

Throw magical colorful clouds around, wherever you go! The more color you fling the more colorful your costume will become.


A Real-Live Photo Booth

Document your favorite costumes and hand out prints as you go. You can even charge your pals for print … just like a real photo booth.


Do you have a super photo-related costume idea? Tell us over on Instagram – we’re @photojojo. Or, show us with #photojojo.

Simple and Silly Costume Ideas for Photographers

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