How to make your wedding slide show look AMAZING, Part 3 – Organization

Now that you have scanned your old photos and made a few quick edits on them, it is decision time. Which ones will you include? How long do you want the show to be? You will need to check the quality of digital photos you are including and make sure that if you are using ones from facebook, that you have acquired a copy of the original file.

There are two basic types of wedding slide shows. The most common is the slide show produced to be shown as part of the formal reception program. Generally, short and sweet are the rules to live by. Plan for the slide show to run anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes and no more. The other type of slide show will run in a loop without audio on a TV monitor or other playback device in a common area at the reception, perhaps by the bar or the guest sign in table. You may include as many photos as you would like here and let it run all night.

Each slide should be on screen for 5 to 7 seconds including transitions between slides giving everyone a chance to focus on the image. You will be choosing 9 to 12 pictures per minute of run time.

If you opt for the 7 minute slide show, you will probably have 2 sections and 2 songs in the show. The first section likely will be mixed photos of both of you growing up and the second section will be of both of you and your friends and family in more recent years

With a 10 minute show, it is often set up with 3 sections; the Bride growing up, then the Groom growing up and finally the two of you together. A different song is often chosen for each section.

You have some choices to make now. Which photos will make the cut? First, find photos of similar subject matter and choose the best ones. Next, look at the photos from a guests point of view. Each photo should tell it’s own story and be able to stand on it’s own. Will a guest not familiar with the photo be able to tell what is happening in the picture?

Keep working at it until you have chosen about 55 – 60 photos for a 7 minute show and 80 – 90 for a 10 minute show. Your next step will be to decide the order. Chronological order is the best. All of your chosen photos should be in one or more folders on your computer. Now, create folders for each of the sections of the slide show. Number the files in the order that they will appear, for instance, I will use B001, B002 and so on for the bride, G001 for the Groom and T001 for together. This will also keep them in order should they happen to end up in a single folder somewhere down the line.

If you do a Google search for wedding slide show music, you will find many sites with popular choices, or you may already have a favorite song in mind. You will also need to consider whether the song will fit the timing of it’s particular section of the slide show. The song can be shortened if necessary, but will be much more difficult to lengthen, but it has been done.

The next big question is will you be incorporating video into the slide show. Again, keep the content short, but with enough footage to clearly show the reason you have chosen to include it.

You have now chosen which photos will be shared with your guests and the music to go with them. There are many different choices when it comes to the program that you might use to put the slide show together. You can use ProShow Gold for a PC that will give you a wide variety of good quality tools at a modest price or iPhoto on your Mac.

This may be the point where you decide to hand it over to a pro that will deliver a high quality presentation at a nominal cost.

I am comfortable with either working from your scanned photos if they are done correctly or taking on the full job including scanning and editing. Each printed photo will take anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes to scan at a high resolution and perform the quick edits discussed in previous posts. Digital photos will be less time of course.

The next and last blog post is presentation. You’ve gone to all this work, but if the guests can’t see it or hear it? Check back for the last installment.

With a great deal of time and energy, perhaps even money to purchase professional software, you can achieve great results by tackling your slide show yourself. Wedding professionals you are already dealing with have the expertise and tools to deliver outstanding results with only a small effort on your part. Whenever possible, consider hiring a professional that will create an experience that make your guests say Wow!, that was awesome!

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About Patrick Smiley Weddings

I have been entertaining at weddings in the Canadian Rockies for over 2o years and I can't imagine myself anywhere else. OK, Hawaii would be nice too!
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