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Creating A Memorable Slideshow For A Funeral Service

Everyone has a different relationship with technology, so depending on your level of confidence, compiling a slideshow of images for a funeral service or memorial ceremony, can be an exciting or terrifying experience.

At Picaluna, we are fortunate to have experts on hand to assist families in funeral slideshow creation, in addition to our livestreaming professionals. If this is a task you are happy to take on yourself, here are some helpful hints and advice in creating a funeral slideshow that is truly memorable.

Whether traditional or non-traditional funeral service, both music and images are important parts of a ceremony, particularly with the slideshow. One of the first questions our Picaluna funeral directors and celebrants are often asked is “How many songs do we need for the slideshow?”

Here’s how to make it all happen….

Start by choosing the music you’d like to use. One or two songs or pieces of music of average length (about 3’30”), or one longer song, is typical. Aim for the slideshow to be between 5 to 8 minutes long.

Watching a slideshow during a funeral service can evoke a myriad of emotions and can sometimes be quite intense for many of those watching. Be mindful of going beyond 5- 8 minutes, understanding that sometimes the old adage ‘less is more’ can apply.

Consider the curating of the photographs in such a way that the images you choose cover the most territory. It can be helpful to ask:

  • What does this photograph say about the person at this time in their life?
  • Does it show them as part of a chronology or at a pivotal point in time?
  • Who is in the photograph with them? Are they a significant part of their story?
  • Does the photograph depict them doing something your person is known for?
  • Does the photograph show their personality and passions?

A good number of photos to pick for the slideshow tribute is between 60 and 80. You can work out how many photos you’ll need by adding up the duration of the chosen music. Allow 4-5 seconds per photo.

For example: if you have two songs totaling 8 minutes, you’ll need 96 photos.

If you have 6 minutes of music in total, you’ll need 72 photos. And if you have one song lasting 3 minutes, you’ll need 36 photos.

If you have any short video clips, add them in too! Technology has advanced so much in recent years the ability to include video has been made much easier. Video is a wonderful way to show someone in all their glory.

If you are finding it challenging curating the images to a limit of 8 minutes, you might also consider putting together a different compilation of photos especially for the wake. This collection can then run in the background of the wake for a longer period of time and does not need to be embedded with set music.

If You Are Creating The Slideshow for the Funeral Service

If you are creating the photo slideshow, please export the finished presentation into a video format. Picaluna and most crematorium chapels prefer .mp4 files. Check your creation software for instructions.

For example, if you are using Powerpoint on either Mac or PC, you can save the slideshow as a video from the FILE > EXPORT menu. Please ensure the music is embedded into the slideshow and save it in good quality. The finished file can usually be 250 to 500MB.

Please do not send these files to Picaluna or the Chapel via email as they cannot be accepted this way. Often media files are too big to email, or they are automatically sent in a reduced file size or low resolution which means the quality is too low. Importantly, please be sure to send the final slideshow to your funeral director, celebrant or to the Chapel at least 48hours prior to the funeral service, so that it can be tested and approved.

If We Are Creating The Slideshow for you

If Picaluna are producing the slideshow for you, pick the photos and songs to accompany them as above. We’ll source the music files for you. Just tell us exactly the song/s you’d like and leave the rest to us. You can tell us the music choices by email. We need artist and title, or a YouTube link. If there’s a particular version of the song, let us know too.

When you are putting together the photo files, if you can, please name the photo files clearly, eg:Terry Brown_Slideshow 01.jpg Terry Brown_Slideshow 02.jpg

Please do not send these files to us by email as we cannot accept them this way. Often media files are too big to email, or they are automatically sent in a reduced file size or low resolution which means the quality is too low. Ask your Funeral arranger to supply the link for uploading.

In Either Case: Favourite Photo

Please pick your favourite photo so we can use it to open and close the ceremony, and have it on the screens in the venue too. We call this the ‘holding slide’. Often, this is the photo you have chosen for the front of your Order of Service Booklet. Name this file something like JOHN SMITH_FAVOURITE PHOTO so we can spot it easily.


Ceremony Music

Finally, you can upload your music tracks for the ceremony with Picaluna too. This music is different to the slideshow music. For example, there is usually Opening Music and Closing Music and usually a piece of music for Reflection.

Please label the files clearly, eg John Smith_Funeral_Opening Music – Canon in D – Pachabel.mp3

Should you have any questions about putting together your slideshow, please contact your Picaluna Funeral directorwho will be able to advise you.

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