Otherwise known as a slide-show… These image displays have been around forever for weddings, funerals, 80th birthday parties, and people who are way too proud of their vacations. In most cases what saves these shows is the subject matter. Pictures of the bride when she was 3? How can you go wrong?! Great Grandma Bertha just after the camera was invented? That’s going to capture your attention. But honestly, these things tend to be pretty bad.
I first started putting slide-shows together to recap special Youth Ministry events, like service trips to Guatemala. It might have been a quick and easy task, but I was almost compulsive about them. I couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t leave well enough alone. It finally dawned on me. These were little works of art for me, just in a new medium. I had never called well enough alone with a painting, a sculpture, or a wood carving. So, I wasn’t about to treat these visual experiences as if they didn’t matter.
Then I started to notice just how bad some of these montages are…especially when it is for a funeral. Unfortunately many funerals are unexpected and it leaves little time for grieving families to sort through decades of snapshots to showcase the best of the best. As a result often there are far too many pictures displayed, animated with clunky transitions, and put to music that feels inappropriate for the viewing experience.
All of that goes to say that these have become a bit of a specialty for me. Funerals and weddings often have these, but I think the medium is a great way to display family photos in a way that doesn’t involve a refrigerator. Distant family can pop in a DVD or just get online and view. These montages are also a great way to solidify an experience like your family’s adoption process (a clip from my own family’s adoption process can be found with the links below), the birth of a new baby, and major events in a person’s life, like graduating from High School or reaching a 60th birthday.
Below are a number of examples of my work in this area and some details about how to begin yours.
• Approximately 30 to 50 photos
• *Scanning not included, but can be if required…best option for Retouching.
• Minimal color correction and retouching (red-eye removal, contrast, color saturation, etc.) performed on all photos in need, and as the slide-show requires. Dust removal and other such retouching must be performed at the scanning stage.
• Slide-show edited with sophisticated software and a creative eye. This will not look like anything PowerPoint is capable of creating.
• Slide-show returned in DVD format plus a high definition web accessible file, hosting fees included.
• Music chosen and provided by the client and/or purchased on their behalf. (generally 1-2 songs)
• Two DVD copies: 1 for display, plus 1 backup.
* Scanning services for the above project – additional $100
** Optional HD Blu-ray version for an additional $25
For additional photos I’d first give my creative opinion… More photos isn’t necessarily a better thing. I would highly suggest a “best of the best” approach to the images. And I’d suggest that longer isn’t better either. Beyond about 6 or 7 minutes people start to get antsy. However, I realize this can be a bit of a dance when you have many images that mean a lot to you. So, a rate increase can be discussed on a case by case basis for additional photos.
Photos should be as high resolution as possible (for digital pics). They can be supplied to me on disc or through a free service like DropBox.
Decisions take time. What I need is for the photos to be numbered, in the order in which you want them displayed (sticky notes on the back of prints works great…or numbered in the file name of a digital picture). Captions/labels also take time and can be a point of discussion…not automatically included. The “vibe” of a particular slide-show normally comes from the occasion and from the images themselves. Generally I decide on the style and structure. But, I’m also open to discussing what individual clients hope to see. Entirely new, custom templates are also possible.