Steps to a Successful Slideshow Production
By Sandra Clukey
Planning is the key word for creating a successful
slideshow. This is not difficult, but does require
time and effort on your part before hiring a professional
slideshow creating company to create your unique
video slideshow. Here are some steps you can follow
to insure a beautiful slideshow production.
1. Determine how long you want your slideshow
to be. The length of your slideshow will
determine how many photos you can use. If you
are using the simple fade-in fade-out style, you
can usually use up to 85 pictures for a 10 minute
show. That is about all most audiences can comfortably
handle with such a simplified slideshow. On the other hand, when you choose our traditional plus or creative
packages that has more creative elements included
in the slideshow production, then those same 85 photos may turn into a 12 minute slideshow.
The wonderful thing is that the more creative a slideshow is, the longer it can last because the time will actually seem shorter to
the viewers. A 20 minute creative slideshow can
feel like only 10 minutes, where a 10 minute fade-in,
fade-out slideshow can feel like 20 minutes to
a lot of people. As we all know, we don’t
always enjoy viewing one another's photos for a
long period of time. So, the more creative the
show, the longer it can play and your audience
will not get bored or restless and will not even realize how much time has passed. From the beginning of the slideshow to the end it will be immensely fun and enjoyable to your audience.
Here's one story: Sands of Time Multimedia Creations
did a video slideshow for a church that went on
a mission trip. We were given hundreds of photos
to work with and the end result was 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 slideshow. 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 and they
all purchased their own copy of the video. Creativity
- the key to a truly great slideshow presentation!
Click here to view a short sample of a Sands
of Time creative style slideshow: http://sandsoftimemultimediacreations.com/samples/Opening1C.htm
2. Please 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 your special event
and keep their interest peaked to see who will
be showing up next. In addition, include credits
in the slide show when applicable, such as for weddings. Give credit
to mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters,
friends, bridal party, and anyone else to whom
credit is due.
To view a sample of a Sands of Time slideshow
credits page click here:
3. Decide Your Theme
- Choosing your theme will help you choose your
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
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 Your Sands of Time Multimedia
Creations Slideshow Consultant for advice
An example for choosing your photos – Becky
is doing a slideshow 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
D. Has the photo been cut in an odd shape? –
Although these work great for scrap booking, they
work poorly for slideshows.
E. Sands of Time Multimedia Creations, Inc. does
not charge extra for scanning your photos for
you, but If you choose to scan your photos and
place them on CD here is a guideline that should
be used: 4 x 6 or larger should be scanned at
a minimum of 300dpi, 3 ½ x
5 at a minimum of 400 dpi, 2 ½ x 2 ½ at
a minimum of 600 dpi, any smaller than this should
be at a minimum of 720 dpi. The higher the dpi,
the better the quality. If too small of a
dpi is used, then the picture will not look
good when displayed at a large size for television
Even though a high quality slideshow creating
company such as Sands of Time Multimedia Creations
can fix, enhance and correct your photos, the
better quality you start with - the better the
Click here to view some samples of photo corrections:
5a. Organizing Photos: There
are different ways to organize your photos. Very
Important: Please do not use a regular
marker to mark your photos because these can
bleed through the photos. Use pencil or photo pens specifically designed for this purpose. Also, do not place sticky paper on top of the photo, place it on the back of the photo.
1). If you want a definite
order then each photo will need to be numbered.
You can write on the back of the photo with a
pencil or photo pen. Or you can place a small
sticky note on the back of each photo.
you want to sort the photos by song, and don’t
care about any particular order within the song,
then just place those photos in a plastic baggie
and tell us the name of the song you want with
those photos. A good
rule of thumb to use is 9 seconds per photo (which
includes transaction time). So, if you go to
I-Tunes and find a song you want to use and you
see that the song is 3 minutes long, you will
multiply 3 x 60 (60 seconds in a minute) and
then divide that by 9. You will see that you
can have approximately 20 photos for that song – give
or take a few photos. If the song is
a really fast up-beat song, use 7 seconds instead
3). You can sort by time frame. For example:
All the photos in this baggie are from the year
1979 and the order doesn’t matter. You
can do that for each year and then just add up
the amount of photos you have in total to figure
out approximately how many songs you will need
for your slideshow using the same formula as
above with 9 seconds. For example: if you have
a total of 350 photos. 350 photos x 9 seconds
= 3150 seconds. 3150 divided by 60 seconds
= 52.50. You will need approximately 53
minutes worth of songs.
Almost always, people do care about the first
photo and the last photo. So definitely let us
know what they will be.
Note: Sands of Time Multimedia
Creations Inc. can organize your photos for you,
but because of the great amount of time involved
in this process there is an additional fee of
.50 cents per photo. So, if there are 500 photos
in your slideshow it will cost you an additional
$250.00 above your package price. So in order to save on this fee, please organize your photos if desired and possible.
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 and their focus will be more on the wording instead of the photo.
But in certain circumstances such as creating
a slideshow for a loved one who is away serving
in the military – captions can be quite
effective. Ask a Sands of Time Multimedia Creations
consultant for their expertise in this area.
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….
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. A Sands of Time slideshow
specialist will be able to help you determine
how many songs will be needed after you have
selected your photos. Visit Sands
Of Time's Slideshow Song Page for some
8. Add Video Clips – Adding
short video clips (1 - 3 minutes at most) to your
slideshow can help break up the slideshow and
10 – 30 second video clips can enhance any
View a sample of a Sands of Time slideshow with
an added video clip: http://sandsoftimemultimediacreations.com/samples/wedding.htm
9. Use Voiceovers – These are fun and
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.
View a sample of a Sands of Time slideshow with
a voiceover http://sandsoftimemultimediacreations.com/samples/star.htm
10. View Samples, Choose Your Slideshow
Package, and Place Your Order –View
our on-line samples and choose which package
will be best for you. Please keep in mind
that the samples on our site is just a small
sampling of what we can do. We have hundreds
of styles and templates available for us to
use to make your slideshow uniquely yours.
Then visit our pricing page and choose a package.
If you don’t
see a special pricing package that works,
call or email us and we can create a custom
package just for you.
View our samples now and experience the difference!
11. Back up your photos. Are
you sending film photos? If possible, try to have copies of your photos or the negatives.
Sending scanned photos on disc? Make sure you
have a copy. Sending videos – make a copy.
Sands of Time Multimedia Creations is not responsible
for what happens to your photos while in the
mail, and although lost mail is an uncommon
occurrence, unless you have a back-up, photos
12. Pack your photos with care.
Use proper packaging material. Always place
5x7's or 8x10'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 or overnight mailing services. The
less time in the mail – the
better. Also, when possible use the carriers
boxes which are often available to you
This is where your slideshow company now takes
over. Our creators will be in constant communication
with you and you will have a good idea as when
to expect your slideshow to be finished. Sands
of Time Multimedia Creations Inc. slideshow
creators work closely with you to help you receive
the ultimate slideshow. Your satisfaction is
Sandra Clukey, Sands of Time Multimedia Creations Inc.
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"12 Steps to a Successful
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