Sharing Your Photos with a Slideshow

An image of creating a slideshow of baby photos.
Have fun together with a slideshow of the family baby photos! Is everyone recognizable?

It’s holiday time and this year will be different than most. Friends and family won’t be traveling to get together but that doesn’t mean they can’t be together! Zoom is one way to meet across distances so why not bring our photocrafting to the party? Let’s create a slideshow to share.

I wanted to see how quickly and easily I could put together a slideshow to share with a friend. We’d gone on a trip to Yosemite together last year (pre-pandemic) so I thought it would be fun to add photocrafting to sharing our memories. Of course I had a pile of photos from the trip!

Seven photos of Yosemite in a collage image.
I had fun going through all the pictures from our Yosemite trip and picking out some favorites.

To make it easy (and free), I used Google Docs. On your computer, go to drive.google.com. You’ll see “My Drive.” The + lets you start a new document (Doc), spreadsheet (Sheets), slideshow (Slides), and surveys (Forms). Start a new Doc and begin uploading your images. (There are certainly many more features to explore but we’ll leave that to you.)

It took me about an hour to put the Yosemite slideshow together and have it ready to share on Zoom. There is, of course, much you can do to make a more beautiful and smooth presentation. One of my friends creates beautiful slideshows for our church services on Zoom. Darlene uses Microsoft Powerpoint and takes the time to add backgrounds and arrange the images artfully. Recently she collected photos of many ways we enjoy water:

Five images, all showing water (two ocean photos, one faucet with water flowing, and two rivers.
Darlene collected a large number of water images that varied considerably in colors, orientations, and themes.

For each slide, she first chooses which images she’ll include on that slide. Then she chooses a background color (often using a gradient with colors from the photos themselves); she sizes the photos and shapes them (e.g. square shapes or oval shapes for a more organic feel). She might change the perspective on one image or use a background that is itself an image as shown in the bottom slide below. She looks overall for a consistency of feel even though the photos themselves are different. These slides illustrate several of her techniques.

Darlene adds audio but makes sure to have copyright permission for any public sharing. (Add audio to a slide using INSERT audio slide.) You can play across slides, loop, etc.; estimate the approximate length of the audio as 8 seconds x #slides. Darlene can run the slideshow from PowerPoint but she can also save it as a movie (MP4) so that it runs on anyone’s computer. It’s a bit tricky to get the timing right though. She recommends 7-8 sec per slide with no text and a bit longer per slide if text is included.

We’ve illustrated two of many ways to create slideshow presentations (e.g. another is Adobe Photoshop Elements). There are also several ways to share the slideshows. Zoom is a particularly good environment since it also allows you to be together with family and friends to watch together.

You can’t create a slideshow in Zoom but you can show any slideshow in Zoom to the other participants in your Zoom gathering. You do this using “SHARE”. When you are in a Zoom gathering, go to the bottom of your Zoom window and click on Share Screen. This will bring up a window on top of your Zoom window that shows you all the things you have open on your desktop. (NOTE: you should already have your slideshow open on your desktop.) Click on the image that is the slideshow and then click on SHARE in the lower left. Your slideshow will now appear on everyone’s screen.

A big part of photocrafting is being creative so why not think about fun and interesting slideshows you might put together for the holidays. How about gathering baby pictures of the people you’ll be seeing for a good time of laughs and memories? Or maybe photos of a trip you might hope to take together in the future? What about creating a story together with drawings from one of the younger members of your group? Let your imagination run wild

However you choose to spend the holidays, enjoy your time with family and friends — and don’t forget to leave a little time for photocrafting!

P.S. Special thanks to Darlene for providing photos and slides from her presentation on water.
Many thanks to Unsplash and photographers Colin Maynard , Valeria ZoncollSuke TranAlvin Mahmudov, and Reynardo Etenia Wongso  for providing the darling baby photos .

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