Tips for a Wedding DVD Slide Show

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Creating a DVD Slide Show that you can enjoy for years can be difficult. Through careful planning a slide show can be both memorable and entertaining. Here are some lessons that we've learned at Photo Field Imaging while creating our slide shows.

1. Know who your audience is.

Try not to show just pictures of the happy couple but also pictures of their families, extended families and friends. Also, if you intend to use humor in your slide show, make sure that you get a second or third opinion to verify that it is both tasteful and appropriate. We recommend that you get permission from the intended target too, just to make sure.

2. Shorter is sometimes better.

Most people have a limited attention span and, as with most weddings, there will be parents in the audience with children in tow. It has been our experience that video slide shows that are between 8 - 12 minutes in length are ideal for most occasions, including wedding receptions. This usually works out to about 3 songs and 75-100 pictures. While you can certainly display more photos during your slide show, you want to be careful not to overdo it.

3. Choose quality photographs.

Although we are good at what we do, there are practical limitations. Though you may have an old damaged photo that you wish to have edited/restored and used in your DVD Slide Show, this could add both significant production time and cost to your DVD Slide Show. Pictures that have the proper color, lighting and exposure, will look great when displayed. Pictures that are, dark, grainy or out of focus may not display the best. Make sure to choose a company that can make digital enhancements to your pictures.

4. Choose a Variety of Photographs

Try not to use too many pictures of one item or person in your slide show. Instead of showing 10 pictures of your first car, you may wish to limit it to 2 or 3. Remember, people have a limited attention span and you need to maintain audience interest.

5. Landscape pictures show better than Portrait pictures

Given the standard 4:3 dimensions of television monitors, photographs that are in landscape mode as opposed to portrait mode show better on a TV. While portrait photographs certainly should be used in the DVD Slide Show, you should be aware that there will typically be a black border that appears around the photograph. It's best to use these sparingly throughout the slide show and not clump them all together.

6. Music

Choose music that has meaning to you and whose lyrics are appropriate for the pictures being displayed. Also pay attention to how long the music is that you're choosing. If you're only showing 30 pictures, you might not want to choose a 8 minute song. We recommend that each photo be displayed for no more than 5.0 seconds with a 1.0 second fade in and 1.0 second fade out. For a song that is 4 minutes long that would be approximately 34 pictures (240/7).

7. Add motion to your slide shows

Consider having your slide shows created using the "Ken Burns Effect" that Pan and Zoom on each photograph as this can assist your with focusing on the subject, or subjects of your photographs. Keep in mind that the implementation of such effects may increase the cost and time to produce your DVD Slide Show.

8. Add transitions to your DVD Slide Shows

Transitions such as fade in/fade out (our default method) and dissolve are effective ways to move from one photograph to the next. Be careful not to get too carried away with transitions. It has been our experience that simpler is better.

9. Add short video clips.

Think about adding perhaps a 10-15 second video clip in the middle of the slide show. The video clip can help break up the video montage and is a great way to keep your audiences interest. Make sure to choose a slide show company that can convert your video clips.

10. Check. Double Check. Sanity Check.

Test, test and retest. A big event such as a wedding requires that you make sure that ALL your equipment is not only work prior to the big day, but on the big day. Give yourself enough time to setup and test everything before guests arrive. Make sure that you have a screen that is big enough for the room so that everyone to see, sound that is loud enough for everyone to hear, a reserved table that is solid enough to put everything on, spare cords, cables, adequate power, etc. If you are doing this at a reception where there will be a DJ or band, communicate with them what you are wanting to do. Allot of times they are more than willing to help out.
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