Tips for a making the best dvd slideshow How many songs do I need for my photo montage
Montages can incorporate Ken Burns effects
We can use your video clips in your montage

Creating a fascinating DVD photo montage may seem overwhelming and difficult at first. 

With thoughtful pre-planning and using the outline below, you will be able to assemble a collection of the best photos and music that will produce an exceptional DVD photo montage that you will enjoy for many years to come.

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Next Step, Start Your DVD Photo Montage

1. Who Are Your Viewers?
The first question to ask is; who will view your DVD Photo Montage? This may seem like a basic question but is often neglected. Many times we want to show an event or celebration, but we are too focused on the high point of the event. For example, showing 100 slides of the birthday child is only appealing to the child's parents.

2. Develop a Storyboard
No, you don't have to draw out a storyboard as in the movies but your viewers are expecting to be told a story, through photos. Your story should document an event or follow a theme. On paper, write an outline describing the sequence of events, the outline is your storyboard. For example, a wedding ceremony follows a certain sequence, bride and groom preparing for the ceremony, guest arriving, procession down the aisle, exchanging of vows, announcement of man and wife, the kiss, greeting the guests, waving goodbye, etc. Having a storyboard greatly helps you to collect your thoughts, photos, and assemble them into the proper order.

3. Photo Selection Should Be As Diverse As Possible
Now that you developed your storyboard, try to avoid exclusively using "close-up" photos for every slide. Keep your viewers interest by also inserting photos of "long shots" and surrounding areas. This will help the long distance relatives have a better visual of the atmosphere during the wedding ceremony.

4. Video Duration
Lets switch our viewers to non-family members, for example, you want to show a DVD photo montage at your wedding reception highlighting how you and your fiancé met and how the relationship ensued. Determine how the DVD photo montage will fit into the celebration as a whole? Will it play a small part or be the center point? Now decide on the appropriate length of the DVD photo montage. Approximately 7 - 8 slides will be displayed for each minute of the photo montage. Considering each slide will be displayed for about 8 seconds, 10 - 13 minutes equates to 75 - 100 photos.

5. Photo Selection Should Be The Best Quality Possible
For the most appealing DVD photo montage, select photos that are clear and sharp, have correct lighting and exposure, subjects properly framed, clean of fingerprints and smudges, and physically intact. Red eye, cropping, straightening, adjusting photo exposure and contrast can be digitally corrected to get the best looking photos, however, some poorly shot photos may be extremely light, dark, or grainy and uncorrectable resulting in an unsatisfactory slide. The subjects of the photos should be centered as much as possible. Avoid photos where the subjects' heads have been "cut off" or parts of their bodies are off-camera. Avoid photos with severe damage (major cracks, severe moisture damage, ink-marks, etc.).  We always review each photo (digital or scanned) and adjust if necessary so your DVD photo montage experience can be the best it can be.

6. Photo Orientation Selection
Which should you use? What will look the best in your photo montage? It really depends on your preference and the type of story you are going after. Landscape (horizontal) photos will fill the television screen completely and are typically best suited for a DVD photo montage while the portrait (vertical) photos will have some solid color on the left and right sides. It is suggested to use a combination of both landscape and portrait. If your story depicts an event or celebration, lean towards more landscape photos. If the story depicts a person, lean towards more portrait photos. Quotes layout very well with portrait orientated photos.

7. What Music Should I Use
Music brings about emotion. Select music that is meaningful and creates the mood you desire. Do the lyrics complement your story? What is the length of your song? How many songs will you need for your DVD photo montage? You have already determined the approximate length of your DVD photo montage in tip #4, this is also the minimum length of all the songs added together. The length of the individual songs can be found on the CD or CD booklet and if the song is stored on your computer, the length is displayed in the computers music player when you play the song. Approximately 7 - 8 slides will be displayed for each minute of song. Need suggestions for your event, please refer to our Music Suggestions page. Looking for an instrumental music piece, has a great royalty free selection.

8. Voice Messages or Sound Effects
Voice messages or sound effects are a great way to add that personal touch or that extra punch to your DVD photo montage. Capturing that special message, a commonly heard phrase, or a child's wish and playing it over their photo greatly add to the emotional feeling. Playing sound effect clips, such as wedding bells ringing during the beginning of a wedding, enhances the celebratory feeling of the event you are creating. Sound Effects can be easily obtained by searching Google with search term "Free Sound Effects". Any voice message or sound effect in a digital audio file format (wav, mp3, etc.) may be incorporated or optionally you may record your voice message to a cassette tape. We recommend using a new high-quality cassette tape and record with a cleaned cassette tape head.

9. Give Life To Still Photos
Ken Burns is well known for his style in documentary material, making use of original prints and photographs. In his documentaries, Burns often gives life to still photographs by slowly zooming in on subjects of interest and panning from one subject to another. For example, in a photograph of a baseball team, he might slowly pan across the faces of the players and come to a rest on the player the narrator is discussing. This has been called the Ken Burns effect.  We incorporate the Ken Burns effect in most of our DVD Photo Montage Packages.

10. Photo Montage Slide Transition
Transitions can enhance the emotional connection your viewers have with your DVD photo montage. Soft transitions such as dissolve or fade in/fade out provide relaxation and enjoyment. Introducing starburst, hearts, wipes, fans, circles, etc. transitions promote excitement. A cut (no transition) develops harshness and increases anxiety if a story depicts sorrow and pain.

11. Home Video Clips
Do you have a combination of photos and home videos documenting your event? A 10-15 second video clip inserted in your DVD photo montage is a great way to enhance and help keep your viewers interest.  We can incorporate any digital, tape, or disc video clip (MPEG, AVI, MOV, QT, DV, VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, DVD, VCD, or SVCD) into your DVD photo montage.

12. Test Your Equipment Before Showing
You find yourself at a family event or in a conference room in front of your co-workers and the equipment does not work. It is very embarrassing trying to get your prized DVD photo montage to play, all the while losing your viewer's attention. Always test ALL the equipment prior to the big day if possible. Make sure the projector or television, DVD Player or Laptop, and sound equipment are working properly.

Creating a fascinating DVD photo montage can be done successfully keeping these items in mind. Photos that are preserved to DVD can be enjoyed for years to come. 

Partnering with an experienced DVD photo montage company like Create My Lasting Memories will help produce a DVD photo montage you’ll be proud to show again and again.


Next Step, Start Your DVD Photo Montage