The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

5 Tips for Prepping Your Photos for a Family History Slideshow

Today’s post comes from Tracey Clayton, the first UK certified member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers ( and owner at Bless-ewe  Creations. Tracey shares her expert tips for getting your family photos rounded up and ready for a family history slideshow.

ProShow slideshows are an innovative and creative way of celebrating your family’s life through photos. But where do you start? Here are a few tips to get the show rolling.

  1. Sourcing Content. 

    How many family photos are in your personal collection? If you are short on material, approach other family members. Explain your project and ask for relevant contributions (if they can scan them it will make life easier for you). Set a cut-off date and then START. Don’t be lured into delaying your show with the promise of better photos If and when they ‘get round to it’. Remember done is better than perfect.

  2. The length of the show will determine the number of photos required. 

    Consider the audience for your show. As a rough guide, 25 -35 photos (depending on the speed of your show) works well on a 4 minute song. The young and the old have a very short attention span so don’t make your show too long and lose the wow factor.

  3. Concentrate on the changing features of your subjects. 

    Make sure you select the photos that depict features changing throughout life so your audience can see a timeline play out over the course of your slideshow.

  4. Space the decades. 

    Remember you will have more photos in the last 5 years than in the previous 60, so space the decades evenly. Tip: Organize your photos flowing from sepia to black and white and then ending with color photos. Edit your photos to fit with this color flow; you will most likely find that they do naturally.

  5. Include passions and milestones. 

    Photos that have strong memories attached to them, or tell a unique story will be extra special to your viewers. A first house, or car, a wedding, graduation or hobbies will all hold special memories for everyone watching. Remember to only include just a few photos from each occasion – don’t go overboard.

    The Reminiscence bump is a theory that concludes we have a bigger concentration of memories from our teens and early adulthood (typically 10-30 years). Maybe this is why everybody has stronger memories of that period of their lives, like clothes, music, smells etc. Thus, you are likely to get a stronger reaction from your audience if you focus on revisiting memories from this particular period of the subject.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your life stories started today and help your lucky relatives remember their ‘Good Old Days’.


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Amanda works in Photodex's marketing department and heads up the company's pr and events efforts. She loves photography, living in Austin and making slideshows.