Milestone events are usually celebrated with family and friends. Everyone is in a festive mood and the celebration is underway. At some point during the event a toast is given and the focus is on the guest(s) of honor – people bring gifts or cards and some don’t (because the invitation said not to) regardless, now is the time to unveil your gift – a personalized video slideshow.
If you follow these 3 steps you too will be able to give a gift that will be a timeless keepsake and will be remembered (and watched) long beyond your celebration.
1) Make a timeline: Putting together a video slideshow will require some planning. Depending on the celebration you may need to gather photos that span over a long period of time. You need to consider:
- Who might have these photos and how to contact them to get copies
- The condition of the photos – they may need repair or restoration
- What format the photos are in – they may be slides or prints so you will need to allow time for them to be scanned
- How many photos you will need – based on a standard slideshow time of 6-8 minutes you will need between 110 – 130 photos. If your slideshow is longer add 10 photos per minute. Here is a fun tool to use to help with number of photos – it is a video slideshow calculator!
2) Consider your audience: The duration of the show is key – who will be watching the slideshow and in what setting:
- Formal sit-down event with a large group – keep your show to 6-8 minutes. Any longer and your audience is going to get a bit restless.
- Open-house where the video is playing in the background – feel free to have a show that is longer (possibly 30-45 minutes) since people can move freely by and an not feel obligated to sit and watch in its entirety.
- Intimate family group in a casual setting – 20 minutes or so is a nice balance.
3) Decide on a budget: You can design your own video slideshow, have it made by a friend or hire a professional. Consider what is the best use of your time when making your decision.
- Professional – Hire a company. This will result in a show that is designed with a variety of effects and transitions which are the elements that keep a slideshow interesting. Music of your choice is synced to the show. Custom title and ending slides with your personal messages are an option along with adding captions to slides. As with any slideshow you will need to dictate the order for your photos. Cost will vary depending on number of photos and music and other custom work – but for a standard 6-8 minute show you should have a budget of a minimum of $400.
- Semi-professional – You purchase the software and design. You need to consider cost and learning curve if you make this choice. Most software is available for under $100. You also need to consider the cost of music and the guidelines associated with with using the music for this purpose.
- Free – You can likely create a slideshow with software included on your computer. This software is usually pretty easy to use and includes royalty free music.
I have designed numerous slideshows and each one is unique and special to the family and the occasion. The story that is being told is capturing a period of memories that is forever documented and treasured. They will be truly touched by such a personal gift.