Around this time each year, we get a lot of questions about how to make slideshows for family and friends. Whether it is a graduation, wedding, retirement, or celebration of any kind, here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to creating slideshows in some of our favorite programs (in no particular order)!

Photos App (Mac)
Free on Mac computers - replaced iPhoto
This is a great and easy solution for off-the-cuff slideshows where you don’t need too much control over where the individual songs start and stop. It also has some awesome graphic effects (themes) that it fits your photos into so you can look super professional at your next gathering. 

Pros: Sweet graphics options, fairly user-friendly, can pull music straight from iTunes library, can rearrange photos to suit your needs, can play directly from photos app or export a movie file for sharing and uploading

Cons: No control over music placement other than what order, limited titling ability, can’t change the duration of individual photos, only mac based


iMovie (Mac)
Free on Mac computers
If you want greater control over music placement and/or want to add additional titles, iMovie might be the right option for you. You’re able to start and stop songs wherever you want to as well as add titles anywhere in the slideshow. This program still can utilize themes for a uniform look or you can start from scratch and create your own with all of the funky transitions you want. This program has a great balance of assistance and allowing the user to be creative.

Pros: More control over music, can add more titles than in the photos app, can vary transitions between images, mixed media (photos, videos, titles, etc.), draws from Photos app and iTunes, can control amount of time each photo is on individually or as a group, auto or manual Ken Burns effect

Cons: Limited control over title placement


Adobe Spark (Web)
Free for all users online (also has paid features for Adobe CC customers)
This is the coolest thing that I never knew about! I stumbled upon this while researching for this post and actually found it really helpful. It seems like an online version of iMovie which is great because it will have the advantage of being cross-platform (able to be used on many different operating systems). Click HERE to go to Adobe Spark.

Pros: Online, can connect to other services like google drive and dropbox for media, can use their music or your own, uses themes and effects for a polished look, can add voiceover, can mix media (photos, text, and videos)

Cons: Looks like you can only use one song (valuable for short slideshows but not for long ones), can only upload one photo at a time unless connecting to an outside service like google drive, unable to change title position or size, some titles cut off when it goes to two lines, branded with a free account (mention of adobe spark in a watermark or at the end of the slideshow)


Kizoa (Web)
Free for all users

This is another online based slideshow creator that we just uncovered and it seems pretty cool! It is also pretty user friendly and boasts features such as animated effects and a great array of title options. You can use their copyright free (and YouTube approved) music or your own tunes from your computer. You can find Kizoa by clicking HERE

Pros: Online based so anyone can use it, allows customization while offering built in effects, easy to use with tutorial screens each time a new tab is opened, can use multiple songs

Cons: Unable to adjust music levels, have to create an account to download creation, could get bulky if making a very long slideshow

The above are some awesome options for creating truly stunning slideshows, but if you want total and full control over every aspect of the production, we would recommend using either Apple’s Final Cut Pro XAdobe’s Premiere Pro, or other paid applications such as Filmora. These are paid video editing applications but you’ll have every feature you could even dream of when creating slideshows! If you’re looking to make a slideshow that we can also air on our channels, you can even use our computers and software for free to create your masterpiece! 

Even if you aren’t creating something that you’re ready for the town/world to see on our channels and YouTube, we’re still happy to answer any questions you have along the way!

Have you used any of these editors or do you have another that you love? Tell us in the comments below!

AuthorKaty Woodhams