I helped a client create a slide show for a funeral service this weekend. It was my second time making anything like this so I thought I’d share some tips I took away from the experience making it and the things I learned.

Guide the Family on the Right Photo Choices

The most important part of creating a successful funeral service slideshow is choosing the right photos. These images should tell a story about the deceased’s entire life – from childhood to adulthood and beyond. People often get overwhelmed by this step because they don’t know where to start or how to narrow down all the possible choices. Here are some suggestions for selecting your funeral service slideshow photos:

Start with baby photos and progress through adulthood.

Select images of them with family members, friends, pets and other loved ones. This helps paint a vivid picture of their personality and their relationships with others.

Try to select images that feature them performing different activities, job-related photos, vacations, etc. This gives viewers an idea of what they did and how they spent their time on earth.

Have patience, work with kindness

I would love to tell you it’s easy and that all grieving families have a thumb drive full of pictures ready to go, but that isn’t realistic. The first thing to be aware of is from a designer perspective s that images will most likely be gathered by the family from many different cellphones, computers, some times you might have to scan it from an old physical photo album. It is important to remember that the family has asked you to participate in honouring someone that was very special to them, and they are going through a lot. Work with kindness, leave space for last minute additions and changes, and explain what you do in clear and simple terms to reduce the emotional load.

Co-ordinate with your audio/visual (AV) team

Running through before hand is imperative. Make sure you have all the right cables, laptop chargers, projectors and speakers working in sync. If you have someone speaking to the photos as they are displayed, the best way to do this is to schedule a rehearsal with the person giving the eulogy, showing them each image in turn and how long it will remain on screen, as well as the music that will be playing during each photo.

It is also helpful for you to explain why you selected certain photos and what you want the speaker to say about them, if anything. This can help them create a more heartfelt and personalized speech.

The picture slideshow can be a sacred part of honouring someone’s life and memory, and it is important to apply attention-to-detail to this task so that you can create something worth remembering. Slide shows are important. If you haven’t planned your own memorial service or seen a slide show of one before, don’t hesitate to reach out to Wild Slide for samples that have been put together for loved ones. Imagine the variety of participation and emotion that will unfold in your own funeral service when you utilize this beautiful way of remembering someone special who has passed away.