Make a Graduation Photo Slideshow

pink and black graduation cake with graduation cap on top

A graduation is a huge milestone in life. When planning a party to celebrate, consider making a graduation photo slideshow to make the day even more special. A slideshow will surprise and delight your graduate and be a fun part of your celebration. Making one is easy. Just follow a few simple steps and you’ll be done in no time.

  • Gather Your Pictures

    Gather all of the pictures of your graduate in one place. Ask family and friends for pictures as well. A file sharing service like Dropbox works great for this, especially if family members are in different geographic locations. Choose photos that are tasteful, in focus, and have good lighting.

    Hopefully most of your pictures are in digital form already. If not, you’ll need to scan them before use. If you don’t have a scanner, many local drugstores and department stores have photo departments that can scan pictures for you, or even offer machines where you can do it yourself.

    Look for pictures that are at least 3×5″ in size. Make sure to scan your picture at 300dpi or higher if possible. Remember, you will be showing your pictures on a large screen TV or projector. The higher the quality of your scans, the less likely they are to look jagged and pixelated on a big screen.

  • Choose a Slideshow Maker

    You have lots of choices when it comes to creating your graduation photo slideshow. There are 3 main ways to create a slideshow video:

    Online Website
    Pros: You can start building your slideshow immediately because there is no download or installation of any software.
    Cons: You are limited to working on your slideshow video only when you have an internet connection.

    Phone App
    Pros: You can create your slideshow video anywhere even without an internet connection; may have more advanced capabilities than you find online.
    Cons: For large slideshows, it can be difficult to create a slideshow video on a device with a smaller screen; there may be a subscription involved.

    Software Download
    Pros: You can create your slideshow video anywhere even without an internet connection; may have more advanced capabilities than you will find online.
    Cons: Programs downloaded from the internet can carry malware or spyware; may be expensive to purchase; more advanced capabilities may mean a steeper learning curve to fully using the software.

    Choose wisely based on your needs and time. We have a post that deep dives into the considerations when choosing a slideshow video maker.

  • Rearrange and Delete Photos

    Get your pictures in the order you’d like them to appear in your photo slideshow. Make sure to delete any duplicates. Rotate photos that aren’t right side up. Remove any that are low quality, in bad lighting, or out of focus. Aim for arranging the photos in chronological (date) order.

  • Choose the Right Length

    Aim for a slideshow that’s around 5 minutes. That’s a great starting point to keep your party-goers engaged and not too long that they get bored. Plan to show each slide for 3-5 seconds at a time. Your slideshow maker should show you the total time for your slideshow video.

    A good rule of thumb is to show each photo for 3 seconds with a 1/2 second transition between each. That works out to around 85 pictures for a 5 minute slideshow video. If you’d like a slightly longer duration for each picture of say, 5 seconds, that would be 55 pictures for a 5 minute video.

  • Spice It Up with Transitions, Music, Captions, and Stickers

    Add music, customize the timing, and add zooming and transitions to make your photo slideshow even more engaging. Captions and well placed stickers can make your slideshow even more memorable.

  • Create Your Masterpiece

    Nearly every high quality photo slideshow maker requires some processing time to assemble your finished video. Depending on the number of photos, this process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Make sure to allow enough time for your video to be created, and some additional time for editing if required.

  • Presentation

    After putting in all of this effort to create the perfect photo slideshow video, don’t forget to pay attention to the details when it comes to the presentation. Head on over to our presentation post that has 5 Tips For Presenting Your Slideshow Video.

Happy Graduation from all of us at! is a cloud based photo slideshow maker that lets users create a free beautiful slideshow in minutes. No phone app or download is required, just a web browser on a phone or laptop. Watch us create a wedding photo slideshow in one minute in this video.

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