How to make a photo slideshow

photo slideshow

Photo slideshows are a great choice for a celebration. And why not? They're personal, fun and can be very moving. Let's see how you can make an amazing slideshow for a loved one that makes everyone watching feel involved.

Finding photos that are suitable for photo slideshows

Photos and videos from various occasions and events are perfect for turning into a slideshow, which you can then present on video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo, or on your own website. Let’s take a look at some occasions that not only will produce great photos for a slideshow, but which you can dedicate an entire slideshow to.


Weddings are undoubtably the most photographed events in anyone’s life. Some feel like they're almost staged specifically for high-quality photography. Engagement photo shoots and official wedding and reception photos are now very popular, which means hundreds of beautiful pictures will be taken by a professional photographer by the end of the event.

On top of that, you’ll also have hundreds more photos taken by you, your guests, and anyone with a camera phone. Sure, they may not be as good as the professional photographer’s pictures, but they deserve to be cherished too. For that reason, weddings are the perfect events for photo slideshows.


Birthdays are also great for photo slideshows. They're fun, uplifting, and show personal growth. You can make photo slideshows of each birthday, as well as a “retrospective” slideshow showing photos from the person's first birthday up to the most recent one. It’ll surely make everyone who sees it feel nostalgic. 


Photo slideshows for funerals are a great way to honor your loved one's memory. Slideshows can be played at a memorial after the funeral ceremony, or even as part of the funeral itself. They're the perfect way to help everyone present look back on the wonderful life your loved one lived, and you, too, will get the reminisce as you create a respectful and beautiful photo slideshow. 


Vacations are among the most photographed events in our lives. Photography and vacation go hand-in-hand. There’s a reason why travel photography is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, types of content on social media. Instagram was practically built on travel photos. So, gather those thousands of vacation photos, and create slideshows for each vacation, staycation or trip.

Company events

Slideshow videos are also great way to capture company events. Whether it’s a conference or team building trip, a slideshow will show your company’s growth and personality, as well as boost the team’s morale.

Company events

How to make a photo slideshow

Step 1: Collect the photos

Start by collecting any photos you can find of the event or occasion you want to feature. Contact your family and friends who may have pictures to add to your collection. 

A shared Dropbox folder will be a big help when you’re collecting photos. You can easily share the folder through email with friends, family, coworkers — anyone who might have photos for the slideshow.

Step 2: Organize the photos

To ensure the slideshow does not run for too long, you’ll want to select and order the photos that best reflect the event you're depicting. 

Pick photos that create a narrative. Choose photos that present an honest emotion, rather than something posed for the camera. You can always include text — or even a voiceover, since slideshows are typically presented in video format — to add context to the photo.

Finally, order the photos chronologically or by event to give the slideshow some sense of structure. Again, the safest route is to frame the photos as a story with a beginning, middle and end. 

Step 3: Select the best software to create your slideshow

There are various video editing programs on the market, both free ones and more expensive ones like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. If you use Windows, your computer should already come with the Windows Movie Maker. For Mac users, the iMovie is typically pre-installed on your MacBook or iMac. If not, you can easily download it from the App store. It’s free just like Windows Movie Maker. However, if you’re familiar with Adobe Creative Suite programs, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro for creating the overall photo slideshow video. To edit the photos, you can use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom

It's important to choose the right software when creating a slideshow, as each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is crucial to preview the slideshow before showing it to the public. This will help you iron out any mistakes or aspects that can be improved on.

There are also programs that are specifically designed for creating slideshows, and they're generally easier to use than photo and editing software. 

To learn more about the best slideshow software programs, check out our guide, 5 Best slideshow software programs.

Step 4: Select music for your slideshow

This is where you get to set the tone for the slideshow.

Slideshows are more than just a collection of pictures. They tell the story of life, and the experiences that shape us. If life is a movie, then your slideshow deserves an awesome soundtrack. 

It’s best to use MP3 audio files. If you’re going to host your slideshow on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms, be warned that you might receive a copyright strike. YouTube, for instance, will flag your video. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, might let you keep the video up, but sound will be muted for certain countries. 

Step 5: Upload your photo slideshow

Now, the best part! Upload your slideshow online so that you can share it with your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. You can even share it with the world, if you want. 

You can host your slideshow video on websites like Memories, YouTube, Vimeo, blogs like WordPress, and just about every web host that exists. Keep in mind that web hosts like Squarespace and Wix might only allow you to embed YouTube or Vimeo videos, as they don’t typically allow you to upload directly on their website. 

Say cheese!

Whatever event or occasion you’re creating a slideshow for, remember that the most important thing is that you record all those beautiful memories you've collected of it.