How to Create a Funeral Slideshow

Dec 27, 2023 | Funerals

Funeral and memorial slideshows are a popular way to remember treasured moments and memories in the life of someone who has passed away. They often have photos or videos depicting important or warm moments from the individual’s life which many guests may not have seen before. If you’d like to learn how to make a memorial slideshow (with music), here are the steps to take.

Step 1: Gather your photos, songs, and text.

Depending on how long you’d like your slideshow to be, this step can take the least amount of time or sometimes, the most amount of time. There is no single length of time that’s “acceptable” for a memorial slideshow, and depending on the way you’re presenting it, the slideshow could essentially be infinite. Typically, a memorial slideshow can last between two and seven minutes. A good rule of thumb is to time the music, then gather enough photos to cover the time – generally speaking, 20 photos per minute.

You also have the option of having the slideshow contain a large number of photos, songs, and text and keeping it going throughout the service. In this situation, you’d ideally want to gather a large number of photos, text, memories, and songs so that it wasn’t repeating the same photos multiple times throughout the service.

Here’s some tips when it comes to how to gather photos and memories for a slideshow:

• Try to focus on photos that show the personality, character, or passions of the person who passed away. If they loved fishing, show off their catches! If they were a fan of theater, try to get some photos of them in character.
• Ask your community for help. If you don’t have many photos or want to paint a broader picture that includes photos of their life that you don’t have access to, ask your friends and family to send you photos that you can use in the memorial slideshow.
• Show them at different stages in life. Organizing the slideshow in chronological order so that it shows them growing up and going through the different stages in life can have a very powerful effect.
• Gather photos around big events or moments in their life. Including photos from celebratory or historic events in their life can help friends and family remember some of the best times they had with your loved one.

When it comes to music, there are a few ways you can put together a creative or meaningful playlist to accompany your funeral slideshow. Here’s some ideas to help you pick out some great funeral slideshow songs:

• Look at their Spotify, Google Play, or Apple Music playlists. What were their most played songs? What’s their favorite band? Did they have a theme song? These can all be great ideas to include in the slideshow.
• Go for classic songs. There are many songs that are frequently played at memorials or funerals that you can include in your memorial slideshow. Check out the attached list of funeral songs for some inspiration.
• Ask for song submissions. Ask your friends and family to send you one song each that reminds them of the person who passed away and include these in the memorial slideshow. If you don’t want to have a collaborative playlist, simply pick music that you find appropriate for the slideshow.

Once you’ve gathered your photos and song(s), you can start thinking about accompanying text. There are many options when it comes to text you can include in a funeral slideshow and depending on the funeral slideshow template you’re working with, you may find yourself wishing there was more or less text. Try to choose a template or style that works with the amount of content you’d like to provide. When thinking of text to use for the funeral slideshow, here are some ideas:

• Consider including quotes from their favorite books, movies, authors, singers, or songwriters.
• Include quotes they’re known for saying or phrases that accurately describe them.
• Include memorial quotes or other famous quotes about passing that feel important to you.
• Include memories or stories that were posted on a memorial website that was put up for the person who passed away

Step 2: Select a funeral slideshow maker

While this step might feel slightly overwhelming due to the choices out there and the vast amount of features, styles, templates, and qualities each funeral slideshow maker comes with — try not to spend too much time on this part. You essentially just want a slideshow maker that possibly comes with funeral slideshow templates, memorial slideshow templates or celebration of life slideshow templates. If they don’t come with any templates, it still doesn’t mean they’re not the right program. Select a program that gives you the ability to put photos, songs (if desired), and text into a slideshow format and easily lets you upload it or download it wherever you need to, and you’ll be good to go.

An obvious first choice for Mac users is to use Mac’s Keynote, for Windows users, Powerpoint, and for those who would like something else — Google Slides. These are the big players in the slideshow game and you can always find templates by Googling (funeral slideshow template powerpoint, for example) or looking in their premade template galleries.

Step 3: Put it all together

Before you start putting it all together, it can help to have an idea of what you want your funeral slideshow to look like. This can be done through following a template or it can help to look at examples.

If you’re using a site with premade templates or a program that has a template gallery, putting it all together can typically mean just putting images, songs, and text into the designated areas. If you’re freehanding it, it can sometimes help to have a plan of how you’d like the slideshow to look before getting started.

In any case, a memorial slideshow mostly consists of photos, songs, and some text all put together in a way that memorializes the person that passed away. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific or “right” order of photos or memories, so feel free to get creative with it. Most chapel require you to convert the slideshow to an MP4 document, upload it into Dropbox the day prior to the service, and have it on a memory stick on the day just in case there are any issues with the Dropbox version.