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12 Steps To Successful Slide Show Productions

Planning is the key word for creating successful slide shows. This includes wedding slide shows, graduation slide shows, anniversary slide shows, birthday slide shows, memorial slide shows, etc… This is not difficult, but does require time and effort on your part before hiring a professional slide show creating company to create your unique video slide show. Here are some steps you can follow to insure a beautiful slide show production.

1. Determine how long you want your slide show to be. The length of your slide show will determine how many photos you can use. If you are using the simple fade-in fade-out style, you can usually use about 80 pictures for a 10 minute show. And that is about all most audiences can handle. However, if you choose a slide show creating company that has more creative elements included in the slideshow production, then you may only be able to use 50-60 photos for a 10 minute slideshow. However, the upside of this is that a more creative slide show can last longer and seem shorter. A 20 minute creative slideshow can feel like only 10 minutes, where a 10 minute fade-in, fade-out slideshow can feel like 30 minutes to a lot of people. As we all know, we don*t always enjoy viewing one another’s photos for long periods of time. So, the more creative the show, the longer it can play and your audience will not even realize how much time has passed.

For instance: Sands of Time Multimedia Creations did a video slide show for a church that went on a mission trip. They were given hundreds of photos to work with and the end results were a one hour video slideshow presentation. As the youth gathered around to see this, they were not at all excited at the prospect of watching photo after photo for one straight hour. However, as soon as the video started they noticed immediately that this was not your photo-after-photo slide show. Their attention was captured from the beginning to the ending as they laughed, cried, and cheered. At the end they were surprised it was over and stated that they had no idea an hour had passed! They all purchased their own copy of the video. Creativity – the key to a truly great slideshow presentation!

2. Pleasing Your Audience * If possible include some photos of the people who will be viewing the presentation. Everyone loves to see themselves light up on the big screen! It will make them feel a part of your special event and keep their interest peaked to see who will be showing up next.

3. Decide Your Theme – Choosing your theme will help you choose your photos.

A. Do you want your slideshow to span the life of an individual?
B. Is more than one person’s life going to be featured in this slideshow? If so, do you want their lives shown separately or simultaneously?
C. Is the slideshow going to focus on a specific aspect of the person’s life such as
a sports video, a particular hobby, or a particular quality aspect of a person’s life such as in a Mother’s Day Slideshow or Father’s Day Slideshow?
D. Is the time frame very specific as in a vacation slideshow? Or Christmas slideshow highlighting the current years events?

4. Choose and Organize Your Photos* These are very crucial steps and also very challenging. After all, almost every photo of Jane or Bobby is truly unique and beautiful and shows different character qualities. Sometimes it’s good to have a friend help you because they can be more objective. As cute as Jane or Bobby is, most people get the point after about 3 – 5 pictures in a certain time frame. Organize your photos chronologically or by theme, or depending on your slideshow, both. Ask a slideshow consultant for advice

An example for choosing your photos * Becky is doing a slide show of her daughter’s graduation. She wants the photos to be from the day she was born to the day of her graduation. She goes through her photos, picks out her favorites and organizes them according to the year. Then she goes back and selects her very favorites from her favorites. Sometimes a third time is necessary, by then you will need to determine which ones MUST be in the slideshow and which ones can be omitted.

5. Choose Quality Photos * This will help you in the choosing process. Ask yourself these questions:

A. Is the photograph clear, not blurred or hazy? The blurring and haziness will be enhanced the more enlarged the photo is.
B. How is the lighting? Too dark or washed out?
C. Is the photo too grainy? Grainy photos do not scan well.
D. Has the photo been cut in an odd shape? * Although these work great for scrapbooking, they work poorly for slideshows.

Though some photographs can be somewhat fixed and corrected the better quality you start with, the better the finished product.

6. Choose Your Captions * Captions can add to the appeal of the picture for the audience to help them understand what is happening in that particular photo. They can also add to the humor or sentimental value of the video. Not every picture should have a caption; for the most part the photos should be able to speak for themselves. Your audience may not enjoy the slideshow as much with too many captions. However, in certain circumstances, such as creating a slideshow for a loved one who is away serving in the military captions can be quite effective.

7. Choose Your Music Carefully * Hollywood producers will tell you that the right or wrong music can make or break a movie production. Choose the music according to the feeling you want to give your audience. Happy, sentimental, funny, nostalgic*. it’s all in the music. Choose music that means something to you or the person you are creating the slideshow for. Check the length of the music to the number of photos you want to use and the type of slideshow you are choosing.

8. Add Video Clips * Adding short video clips to your slideshow can help break up the slideshow and 10 * 30 second video clips can enhance any slideshow.

9. Use Voiceovers * This can add a sentimental touch to any slideshow. This can be done using a video camera, or with some digital cameras that take video. Just be sure to tell your slideshow company that you just want to use the voice, not the video.

10. View Samples, Choose Your Slide Show Company, and Place Your Order*There are many slide show companies to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for you? Always view the online samples. If you are looking for the simple fade-in, fade-out slideshow, any slideshow company can do that. If you want the Ken Burn’s effect with the pan and zoom this is very nice and some slideshow companies can do that. However, to narrow your search even more look for unique and creative slideshows. Very, very few slideshows can do this. Combining the Ken Burns effects with creative elements, scenery, and backgrounds make the best slideshows. Creativity and uniqueness*key elements to any truly stunning slide show.

11. Back up your photos. Are you sending film photos? Make sure you have copies of your photos or the negatives. Sending scanned photos on disc? Make sure you have a copy. Sending videos * make a copy. Slideshow companies are not responsible for what happens to your photos while in the mail. And unless you have a back-up, photos are irreplaceable.

12. Pack your photos with care. Use proper packaging material. Always place 5×7’s or 8×10’s between pieces of cardboard. Make sure the photos and other material is packed tightly to avoid moving around inside the box. When packaging your photos place them in Ziploc baggies. This will protect them from any possible water damage and also works great for separating your photos chronologically. You should also place your discs or videos in Ziploc baggies. And always insure your package. Although lost or damaged mail is a rare occurrence, it’s always best to be prepared. And always opt for priority mailing services. The less time in the mail * the better.

This is where your slide show company now takes over. They should be in constant communication with you and you should have a good idea when to expect your slideshow to be finished. Your slide show creators should work closely with you to help you receive the ultimate slideshow. With Sands of Time Multimedia Creations your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Submitted by:

Sandra Clukey

Sandra Clukey has years of experience and an intense passion for turning still pictures into beautiful, sentimental video albums for people everywhere and is the lead slideshow creator for Sands of Time Multimedia Creations. View her samples here: