How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

How To Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow

Video Montage Expert Jenny Herrero of Storyteller Productions explains how to take the pictures from your latest trip and quickly and easily turn them into a vacation photo slideshow.

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

As summer arrives, everyone looks forward to enjoying a vacation or special holiday weekend with friends and family. Tons of pics will be taken with our smartphones or DSLR cameras… and a few of them might even be uploaded to Facebook. That said, even though we’ll enjoy our snapshots in the recent days after our vacation, they quickly get buried underneath newer photos if we don’t somehow showcase them sooner than later. So make them into a vacation photo slideshow! Here’s how to get started…

Before Your Vacation:  Follow These Tips

  • Make sure your smartphone or SD camera card has plenty of space.
  • If you’re the photographer, make sure you get yourself in front of the camera too.
  • When taping video clips to go along with your photos, move your hand SLOW AND STEADY so the footage you taped will be usable and not shaky.
  • When taping video with a smartphone, do not hold your phone vertically (as many people do). Taping vertical will result in your video having 2 black vertical bars along both sides of your video, which is not aesthetically pleasing while viewing on Youtube, Vimeo or an HDTV. Hold your phone horizontally, and then press the record button. (Watch this PSA to avoid vertical video!)
  • Some vacation spots might offer to take your photo professionally! So whether you’re going on a cruise, zip-lining or at Disney World…don’t be afraid to invest some money in buying that PhotoPass or the professional group shot that was taken. Professional photos will make the slideshow more dynamic!
  • Selfie sticks are great. When there’s no one else around, this gadget can make your shot so much wider and creative looking. My husband and I loved this shot of the Eiffel Tower (see below), taken with our selfie stick. Granted, I realize it’s not the most flattering view up of our faces….but it sure was fun trying to get the tower in the shot with the two of us!

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

After Your Vacation: Let’s Get Sorting

  • For family vacations with other members outside of the immediate family, you might want to swap photos with each other. There are so many options for sharing, but some of the more popular ones I’ve used have been Dropbox, Google Photos or Apple’s Shared Photo Albums.
  • Cull those photos down to the best 10%. Sometimes 10% is very hard to do and your best might be around 15% or even higher, but we want to get rid of the clutter and focus on the best of the best which will be remembered in the years to come. Example: I went to Disney World last year and we took around 200 pics and 6 video clips. From that, I culled it down to about 20 pics and 4 video clips. Those will be in the slideshow, photo album, prints or digital photo frame that I will share with friends and family. 

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

Choose your favorite vacation photos and make a slideshow. Here's how. Click To Tweet

Choose Your Slideshow Software

There are so many great slideshow options now that it is hard to choose which one to use for your vacation photo slideshow. Everywhere I look, there are new software applications popping up for making slideshows. I’m listing my very favorites below. To show you some of the different options to compare, I’ve edited the same photos from my family’s Disney Trip last year in all of these different programs so you can “skim” the differences of how they might look.

Photos

If you own a Mac, you can make a slideshow right within your Photos software! There are several options for making either simple or more complex slideshows. My favorite templates include Ken Burns, Vintage Prints or Magazine templates. This software is good for both short and long slideshows with one or multiple songs. To view a glimpse of the vintage template in the Photos software, you can view my Photos Disney Trip slideshow here.

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

  • If you have a Mac, it’s free! There are no fees.
  • If you’re already using the Photos software to store your photos and videos, it’s super easy to make an album of your selected media, and create a slideshow.
  • There are several templates along with a music library (or use your own music).
  • You can re-order photos and control the timing of the pictures.
  • You can insert video clips but there is no option to mute the video clips. In my sample, I found the audio distracting and wanted to mute my video clips. So I actually found it easiest to export the slideshow from Photos, import it into iMovie, and edit the audio there.
  • You can output via digital file directly from the software
  • In my opinion, Apple has great tech support. If you need to troubleshoot something, you can either call or chat with their tech support group when needed.

Proshow

If you’re looking for something which will give you more options for effects and more control, Proshow gives you the most bang for your buck. This software is good for both short and long videos with one or multiple songs. I actually use this Proshow Producer for all of my client projects, not only because of the amazing effects, but also the control I have if I want to change ANYTHING within the slideshow. Proshow also has a wide variety of outputs and their technical support is stellar if you need to troubleshoot something. You can view a different version of my Disney Trip slideshow, using Proshow Producer here.

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

  • There’s a free 15 day trial to try the software out.
  • For Proshow, there are several different options which you can view here based on your preferences and budget.
  • Proshow Web is $48 yearly fee (Mac or PC). Proshow Gold is a one-time fee of $69.95 or Proshow Producer is a one-time fee of $249.95. Both Proshow Gold and Proshow Producer are desktop platforms which are PC based. So if you only have a Mac, you will have to run Parallels software to use the desktop platforms. Or just use Proshow Web (Mac or PC).
  • They have awesome templates along with a music library (or use your own music).
  • You can change the individual effects to an effect that best suits the photo.
  • You have a ton of control to change timing of slideshow, mute video clips or make your own effects.
  • Output options include via digital file, DVD or Blu-Ray discs.
  • Photodex has amazing customer support. I’ve probably called Photodex tech support over 50 times in the past several years for a general question or troubleshooting. This is pretty fabulous, especially if you have a deadline. A few of the times, they actually logged in remotely to my computer to help me with easily fixable issues.
Programs like @apple Photos, @photodex, @Animoto & @Magisto make great vacation photo… Click To Tweet

Animoto

Animoto is all web based, so you’ll need an internet connection. I find that Animoto is best for videos which are under 30 photos and a few short video clips.  It is the easiest for 2-3 minute videos with one song. Animoto is a huge time saver and can whip out videos that look fabulous without much tweaking. However, there is a monthly or yearly cost so it comes with a price.

One caveat with the Animoto software that I’ve noticed is that if there are some effects within a video version that you dislike, you might go crazy trying to fix it because Animoto is very automated. To workaround this, I sometimes remix several versions that I output. After outputting them, I string the best parts in another editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut. It is an extra step that you can ultimately decide is worth it or not. You can view a different version of my Disney Trip vacation photo slideshow, using the memory box template in the Animoto software.

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

  • There’s a free 14 day trial to try out the software.
  • Animoto can be paid monthly or yearly, depending on the plan that you choose. A Personal Plan is $8 per month paid annually but only outputs a 720p digital file. I’m a stickler for wanting 1080p HD, so I have the Professional Plan for an annual fee of $22 per month.
  • There are several templates along with a music library (or use your own music).
  • You can re-order photos BUT have limited control with timing of pictures.
  • Once a show has been mixed within a template and previewed, you can either output it or revert back to edit changes. However, if there were effects there prior that you liked better in the first version, they may not be there for the next version because Animoto essentially remixes the effects which were used and they are not kept the same with different versions.
  • You can insert video clips, using the original audio or muting the audio.
  • Output options include via HD digital files and standard DVD .iso files.
  • Animoto has an email listing for tech support, but sometimes it’s taken them weeks to respond to my technical glitch problems. I’ve basically just had to figure out problems on my own by re-mixing the slideshows.

Magisto

Magisto is all web based, so you’ll need an internet connection. Magisto is similar to Animoto in that it’s a speedy process with less work because it is very automated. Magisto’s templates are super impressive and professional with lots of bells and whistles if that’s what you’re looking for. I get giddy watching my own slideshow (which was generated in minutes) and how cool it looks! However, that comes with an annual price and it’s very automated so if you like to tweek things to perfection, this might not be the software for you. Watch a different version of my Disney Trip vacation photo slideshow, using the Magisto Memories Template here.

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com

  • There’s a free 7 day trial to try the software out.
  • Magisto has various annual plans ranging from Premium ($2.49 monthly), Business (9.99 monthly) or Advertisers (49.99 monthly). Premium is the most reasonable but you are limited to making a slideshow no longer than 2:30 timewise. I have the business plan because I wanted to make longer videos, however, it is limited to 4 minutes and I can only output to a 720p digital file. For full 1080p HD, you’ll need to have the Advertiser’s account which didn’t make sense for me on a personal level.
  • There are LOTS of professional templates along with a music library (or use your own music).
  • You can re-order photos BUT have limited control with timing of pictures.
  • Like Animoto, once a show has been mixed within a template and previewed, you can either output it or revert back to edit changes. However, if there were effects there prior that you liked better in the first version, they may not be there for the next version because Magisto essentially remixes the effects which were used and they are not kept the same with different versions.
  • You can insert video clips, using the original audio or muting the audio.
  • Magisto has a contact form for tech support, and they generally respond within 24 hours. So if there’s a glitch and you’re on a deadline, that’s not so good. But otherwise the software works great!

I recommend taking advantage of free trials of the different software to learn the pros and cons of each one according to your preferences. There are lots of different choices depending on your budget and needs. Either way, your videos will turn out great with any of these programs! Do you use a software which wasn’t listed here, that you’re happy with? Please share.

Have a great vacation and have a great time making and sharing your very own vacation photo slideshow!

How to Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow | ThePhotoOrganizers.com


If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.


Jenny Herrero of Storyteller ProductionsOriginally from Indiana, Jenny Herrero moved to New York in 2001 to begin her career in post-production at MTV Networks by creating presentations through videos, photos and music. She became an expert in organizing and archiving media, including photographs, video and film. After speaking with various friends and family who were always complaining about their own disorganized media collections, Jenny formed Storyteller Productions in 2010 – a place which helps busy individuals and families organize, preserve and showcase their special photos and videos.

2 comments on “How To Create A Vacation Photo Slideshow”

  1. Thanks for sharing your vacation video Jenny. I love how you demonstrated the difference between each software program with the same photos and videos. Great review!

  2. This article is very informative and it has inspired me to include slideshows as an additional service to compliment my business. I personally would probably use Proshow since you emphasize the amount of creative control an individual has with that particular platform. I could see Animoto and Magisto being excellent time savors but it would bother me if I couldn’t make necessary tweaks if necessary. Thank you for comparing and contrasting each program and giving a quality in-depth review Jenny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *