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Creating video slideshows

If you search the internet you’ll find instructions on creating your very own wedding day slideshow. The trouble is none discuss how to make a video people will actually want to watch. As a DJ, Robert Benda has watched about 100 videos, made 25 and has advice for those who hope to regale their guests with pictures of their childhood.

Photo by Milestones Photography

From DJ Robert:

The point of a wedding day slideshow is sharing something personal for all of your guests to enjoy. But the fact is most slideshows are not very fun. Inevitably they end up being ten minutes of every picture someone could find with either the bride or the groom in it, set to three slow songs (if they’re not slow, they’re usually either “Small Town” by John Mellancamp, “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart, or “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen).

Here are a few tips to create a great slideshow:

First, find every single picture of you, your fiance, your wedding party, your parents, and anyone else who has ever been important to you. Search old photo albums, ask friends, your friends’ parents, and family members. See if you have your parents/grandparents’ wedding photos or photos of wedding party members when they were kids.

You will not be using all the photos you find. Rather, now you have a great pool of photos to work with. Eliminate anything repetitive (that photo of you playing at age 6 is essentially the same as the one of you playing at age 7). I often see repetition with the bride and groom’s photos. There is always a series of the same photos: The couple looking at the camera in front of a generic background — the only thing that changes is the bride’s hairstyle from photo to photo. Cut them down to just one or two.

With each picture displaying for about 5-7 seconds, you’ll want to end up with about 50 pictures total for about five minutes, though exceptions can be made if you are lucky enough to have a lot of great pictures.

See if there is any surviving video or audio from your youth. One bride had tapes of her singing when she was 2. Another couple had video from the 80′s.  Or record one or both of you telling a story to lay the audio over the top of the pictures (any story, about a parent, a specific memory, the time you met).

Photo by Milestones Photography

There are lots of creative ways to use the photos. Maybe have a younger (preferably funny or embarrassing) photo turn into the recognizable one of your bridal party members. Or if you have all your school head shots, you could create a quick flipbook style, through-the-years thing (that means each photos shows only briefly, not seven seconds each).

Lastly, the music. Music can really change the tone of your video. Please don’t feel limited to slow songs. Or Springsteen’s “Glory Days” (not actually a ‘fond memories’ song). Look through songs you like and think about if you have any songs that trigger childhood memories (like a dad who used to sing “Rainbow Connection” or a daughter who always played “The Music Box Dancer”).

To put your slideshow together, you can probably find a friend or relative who’s got a thing for technology to create it. But if you’d rather have your guests relax during the reception, see if your DJ, photographer, or venue provide a slideshow option. Sure it’s great to have family or friends take care of the slideshow but it’s even nicer to let them enjoy the party.

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Robert Benda is a master of ceremonies and disc jockey for weddings (and charity events) in the Red River Valley. You can check out his web site here : Robert Benda

How long have you been in business? Since 2005, but DJ’ing since 1998

Who is your ideal client? Couples who expect more from their DJ.  People who are open to fun ideas and a are looking for a personal touch.

What is your favorite part of your job? Hmm, that’s very tough. The occasional dance-off or the Worm is good, but really, I’d have to say getting to see people on their best day.

Did you go to school for your job or are you self-taught? There are schools? No, I learned on the job at a big company. It was about two years before I started to figure out I could do better than the status quo there.

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