Getting started on your slideshow is easy!

Organizing your photos and choosing your music

So you’ve decided to purchase a slideshow from us. How do you get started? The first step is to determine what emotions you want your slideshow to invoke and what kind of story you want to tell. Many slideshows use pictures from childhood, pictures with family, pictures with friends, pictures on a trip or vacation, and couples pictures. Secondly, think about how long you want your slideshow to be. Longer slideshows give you the freedom to use all the pictures and music you want, but an audience with kids or older people may begin to get restless. Shorter slideshows will limit you in the story you want to tell.

 

Once you’ve determined what emotions you want your slideshow to project, now comes time to gather the pictures. Many of our clients have greater success gathering all the pictures they can. Then you can organize them into various categories based on how you want them to be displayed in your slideshow: baby pictures, childhood activities (sports, recitals, etc), teenage & high school years, college years, young adult, vacations, with friends, with family, etc. Keep in mind that you may or may not use all of these pictures. The idea is to have everything you can available. The actual pictures you use can be determined later.

 

Now is the time to select your song choices. If your slideshow is intended to be fun and exciting, higher tempo songs should be in your selection. If you want your slideshow to illicit emotion, slower tempo songs should be considered. Many times customers use both types of song choices. If you need some help in song choice, please refer to our Music Suggestion section for ideas on song selection.

 

Determining your package selection and any extras

Take a moment to review our Pricing and Options section. Based on the number of pictures you want to display in your slideshow and the number of songs you would like, there are many different options. If one of our slideshow packages doesn’t fit your exact criteria, we can tailor each package to your needs with our additional options. Additionally, some things to consider are if you will need extra DVD’s, do you want to have credits to highlight certain people in your video, etc.

 

Determine all the pictures you will use and estimate the length of your slideshow

Now that you have all of your pictures sorted, the songs you want in your video slideshow, and the package selection and extras decided, how do you start determining which pictures to use? The actual photos you choose will depend on what your slideshow is for. The number of photos will be based on the length of each song. Faster tempo songs usually need about 5-6 second a picture. Slower Tempo songs need about 6-7 seconds a picture. If your slideshow is for a birthday or memorial, the photos you choose should tell a story of whom a person is and what they have done. For weddings, your photos will be better suited to show growing up, family and friends, and life together. Overall, here are a few general guidelines to help you choose the photos to include:

 

Slideshow StarSelect photos that show character and personality
Slideshow StarSelect action photos
Slideshow StarWhen there is no one else in a picture with the subject, select pictures where the subject is in the middle of the picture
Slideshow StarSelect photos that make you laugh or evoke emotion
Slideshow StarHave a balanced selection of group and individual shots
Slideshow StarSelect pictures that are closer up rather than from a distance
Slideshow StarUse more horizontal pictures than vertical. Vertical pictures cannot fill up and entire screen unless zoomed in close, so to create a more aesthetically pleasing video, it’s good to have more horizontal photos.
Slideshow StarRefrain from “scrapbook” pictures that have been cut into shapes or are blurry
 

 

Sequencing your photos

Most slideshows are presented in chronological order, but your slideshow can be in any order you want (i.e. by childhood activities or sports). For original photos, many customers like to flip through the pictures in the sequence they have chosen. Digital pictures can all be placed in a single folder and use a picture viewer such as Windows Photo Gallery to flip through the sequence. We accept digital pictures in .jpg, .bmp, and .tif formats. Regardless of the method used, it’s always a good idea to go through your pictures to make sure your pictures follow the order in which you want them.

 

Scanning Original Photos

For your original photos, you can choose to either scan the photos yourself, have a local photo store scan them for you, or we can scan you photos. We encourage our customers to either scan their own photos or have them scanned by a local photo shop. There are two key advantages to this:

 

Slideshow StarShipping original photos can be risky. No matter what level of insurance you get for your package or how reputable the carrier is, if they are lost or damaged and you do not a have a copy of those photos, they will be lost forever
Slideshow StarShipping a CD or USB key with digitized photos can be more economical than a stack of pictures, particularly if you have hundreds of pictures.

 

If you choose to scan your own photos, here are a few tips to achieve the best results:

 

Slideshow StarBefore you begin scanning, clean your scanner with a dry, soft cloth (such as a t-shirt). Continue to clean after every 5 to 6 scans to keep the scanning surface free of finger smudges and dust
Slideshow StarScan pictures smaller than 4X6 at 600 DPI.  Scan pictures 4x6 or larger at 300 DPI. Lower resolutions may result in pictures being blurry or having a grainy/digital look to them.  Higher resolutions result in very large files
Slideshow StarBe sure the scanned photo is straight and not distorted. Discard and rescan if necessary
Slideshow StarSave your scanned images in the .jpg format
Slideshow StarMany scanners allow you to place multiple pictures on the scanning bed and save each one as a separate picture.  This can save a great deal of time compared to scanning each photo individually.

 

If you choose to have us scan your pictures, each picture must be no greater that 8” x 10” in size and should not be a “scrapbook” type picture that is cut into a shape other than rectangles or squares. We do not crop any pictures except those where cropping is needed to remove any unnecessary borders. In addition to returning all of your original photos back to you, we will provide a CD with scanned photos for you.

 

Sequencing of your photos for your order

If all of your pictures are to be scanned by us, please write softly on the back of the photo in pencil the sequence number of the photo. Be sure to write softly enough that you do not indent the photo and damage it. As an alternative to writing on the picture you can affix sticky notes to the back of the picture with the sequence number written on the sticky note. Do not to attach the sticky note to the front of the picture as the sticky residue may damage the photo.

If your pictures are all in digital format, use a 3 digit sequencing naming convention – i.e. 001.jpg, 023.jpg. It may be beneficial to copy each picture to a separate subfolder on your computer and rename the pictures in the subfolder.

If you are sending both digital and to-be-scanned pictures, for the digital photos, use the number sequence above. For to-be-scanned photos, continue with the numbering sequence using a pencil or the sticky note method. As an example, if you are sending 5 pictures, 3 of them digital and 2 of them to-be-scanned, the digital photos would be 001.jpg, 002.jpg, and 005.jpg. The original photos would be sequenced with a 3 and a 4 on the back.

 

Wedding Slideshows

Wedding Video Samples

 

Wedding videos tell a story of where two people came from and who they are now.  Our samples show the use of special effects as well as additional features like credits or messages of thanks.

 See the samples

 

Birthday Slideshows

Birthday Video Samples

 

Our birthday videos provide examples of how pictures, video, and special effects can create a true birthday treasure!  View our slideshow samples to see how we can turn a great birthday into a spectacular birthday

 See the samples

Anniversary Slideshows

Anniversary Video Samples

 

Anniversary videos evoke emotion and show the lives of two people being one over the years.  Milestone anniversaries always have lots of memories on film to be relived and rejuvenated.

 See the samples

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Get your video started with 5 easy steps:

Slideshow Step 1Select your slideshow pictures
Slideshow Step 2Determine your package
Slideshow Step 3Organize your photos and music
Slideshow Step 4Send us your order
Slideshow Step 5Enjoy your video!

Getting Started

 

Getting your video started is easy.  Get your photos together, determine your music, and decide on a slideshow theme.

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Ordering your video


Placing your video order takes very little time.  Organize your slideshow material, fill out the order form, and ship everything to us.

 Read more...

Music Suggestions

 

Having trouble finding the rights songs for your video?  Check out our Music Suggestions to help you make the right decisions

 Read more...