8 Tips for Amazing Graduation Videos

As graduations approach, my thoughts turn to the best way to celebrate the accomplishments of your high school or college graduate – a Graduation Photo Video Keepsake. Photos and videos put to music are the perfect way to celebrate your child’s graduation. These videos will be the highlight of any party and a keepsake that will be around and enjoyed for years to come.

Here are 8 quick tips for making amazing Graduation Photo Video Keepsakes:

1) Keep it Simple. Be sure to outline what you want to do and then keep your video focused. The worst thing is to make it too complicated, get overwhelmed and then never finish. You can still capture the memories and emotional impact you are looking for without making it overly complicated.

2) Music. Pick music that everyone watching will enjoy, not just your graduate. Hey, I was a teenager, I know what kind of music I used to like. Don’t make the mistake of picking music that will annoy others during playback. There are plenty of great songs that will achieve the emotional response you want and will appeal to a wide variety of people

3) Photo Selection. Always use a variety of photos and be sure to include photos of friends and family members who are a part of your graduate’s life. People love to see photos of themselves and will be much more interested in your presentation if they are included.

4) Length and Speed. Don’t make your video too long or too short. I recommend creating videos that are 10 to 15 minutes in length. This will equal about 100 to 150 pictures using 3 to 4 songs. Proper pacing is important to keep your audience engaged. Show each photo on the screen for 3 to 5 seconds to give people a chance to view the photo without losing the momentum of your presentation.

5) Scanning Pictures. A lot of your recent pictures will come directly from your digital camera so they may already be on your computer or a CD. But if you plan to use non-digital pictures you will definitely need to scan them in order to transfer them to your computer. If you scan too small, your pictures will look fuzzy and pixilated when enlarged to fit the TV screen. If you scan too big, you will be over-loading and slowing down your editing system. Remember, your standard TV is 640 x 480 pixels; so for best results, scan your pictures just a bit larger than that.

6) Pan & Scan: The Ken Burns Effect. Adding slow zooms, pans and transitions to your images will make a world of difference in how “watchable” and engaging your final video will be. Make sure your editing software has this ability and definitely spend the extra time to learn how to use it. Some software will even perform these edits automatically, but be sure to check that it is not cropping out any portion of your photos.

7) Presentation. Ok, so you’ve spent hours creating your masterpiece and now it’s time to show off your work. Make sure you have a good TV monitor and great speakers that match the size of your potential audience. If you are throwing a big party you might even consider renting a projector and screen. Hey, for as much time as you have put into this, you may as well make it look as amazing as possible! Don’t underestimate the emotional impact of a well-presented video.

8) Copies. After blowing everyone away with your video, I can promise you people are going to want copies, especially if they are in it. You should plan ahead and make copies for grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. It is an especially good idea to send a copy to someone who could not make the graduation.

So there you go. Just follow these 8 tips and you can produce the perfect Graduation Photo Video Keepsake that is guaranteed to be the hit of your graduation celebration and something your family will cherish for years to come.