Countdown to Christmas IV


#It’s just nine days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

A perfect photo keepsake…#

I can’t explain it. There’s no logical reason. It doesn’t even make sense. Take a photo that you’ve seen every day… maybe it is framed and sitting on your dresser and you pass by it every morning for twenty years without giving it a second thought. But if you set that same picture in motion and put it to music along with other photos, suddenly these familiar pictures will take on such a new life that it is like seeing them again for the first time.

A photo video keepsake uses photographs, video clips and music and, through the magic of video editing, is able to tell a story that touches the heart, triggers the mind, and enriches the soul. It is quite unlike any other media experience I know.

If you are planning to gift someone with a photo video keepsake here are some tips to remember:

  1. Cull through the photos. Eliminate the duplicates. And remember that something a little too short is far better than something way too long.
  2. Strike a balance between posed shots and candid shots.  Remember we want to tell a story that resonates. Too many photos of people behaving like mannequins won’t tell much of a story.
  3. Figure on approximately 10 photos per minute so a 100 picture photo keepsake would run about 10 minutes long.
  4. Audio is in some ways more important than the photos. Spend some time picking the perfect songs to accompany your pictures.
  5. Songs will typically run between 2.5 to 4 minutes so for a 100 photo keepsake, you would need between 3 and 4 songs to use as a soundtrack.
  6. As a rule, landscape oriented pictures work better than portrait oriented pictures – although any editor should be able to work with portrait photos as well as landscape.
  7. Spend extra time deciding how to open and how to close the keepsake. The first image and last image sets the tone for all that comes after or before and is what people tend to remember.
  8. Title slides can be effective as can narration if they are planned and properly done.
  9. Don’t forget humor. These keepsakes tend to become emotional and humor can go a long way towards releasing emotional tension in a positive way.
  10. Don’t tackle the project alone. It may seem that it should be easy but it can quickly drain your time and your resources and cause unwanted stress. Besides, professionals have a few tricks up their sleeves that will help enhance your project to the enjoyment of all.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories, including creating photo video keepsakes that bring both joy and tears to those who choose to trust us with telling their family members’ stories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

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