DVD Photo Montage Frequently asked Question and Answers

Which Photos Should I Choose to Include in My Project?

Choose pictures that are candid and show character.

1. Choose a mix between close-ups and group photos. Choose photos that show the most important stages in someone’s life

2. Choose more horizontal shots than vertical shots. The reason for this is that tv screens are wider than they are high, so horizontal shots fill the screen and look much better. Vertical shots will appear on the tv screen with black borders on each side (or will need dramatic cropping). There’s not a problem with the borders, but too many vertical shots one after the other won’t be as pleasing to look at as horizontal ones.

3. Stay away from photos that are too small or out of focus.

What are special effect transitions?

Special effect transitions are the way the slide show moves from one picture to the next. The song you choose typically dictates which transition effect you’ll use. With a slower song, a simple fade in/fade out usually looks the best. For an up-tempo song, a little livelier transition may go well. If you don’t specify which you’d like, we will choose which looks the best.

How many photos do I need to make up a 5, 10 or 20 minute production?
  • 50 photos result approximately in a 6 to 8 minute production.
  • 100 photos result approximately in a 8 to 12 minute production.
  • 150 photos can be 12 to 14 minutes long.
  • 500 photos…more than an hour
  • 1000 photos…two hours
What size pictures can I send?

We can work with any size pictures up to 8 x 10’s.

We can work with any size pictures up to 8 x10's.

You may scan them and burn them to a CD and mail it to us, or if you’d like, you may upload them to our web server.

If you are scanning the photos yourself, please keep the following in mind. The higher the resolution, the better your photos will look on the screen, so up to 300 pixels/inch is great. Unfortunately, less than 100 pixels/inch will result in a very grainy picture. You need the save the images as JPEGS, please give them an identifying name or number.

Can I send photos to you still in their frames or scrapbooks?

Please remove photos from the frames or scrapbooks prior to sending to us.

How should I choose the order for my photos?

We will prepare your project in the exact order that you send the photos to us. You can choose to organize them in two different ways. For wedding Slide Shows, most people will show pictures of the groom growing up, pictures of the bride growing up, and then pictures of them together. For other pictures you could do:

  • Chronologically, for example, baby pictures, childhood pictures, high school, college, dating.
  • By theme, for example, Mother’s side of the family, Father’s side of the family, baby’s firsts, etc
Should the photos I send be vertical or horizontal?

Horizontal photographs or landscape photos will look the best on a TV screen. Vertical photos still look good, but there is a black border around the photos when shown on the TV. It’s usually best to space your vertical photos throughout the show if possible.

Will you digitally crop my photos?

Typically, we will not crop each of the photos unless it makes sense to for a better viewing experience.

How long will each photo appear on the screen?

Each photo will appear for between 4-6 seconds, 6 seconds is normally the most suitable but this can vary depending on the nature of the photos, the tempo of the music and the special effect transitions we’re using.

How should I choose my start and end photos?

Make these your very best shots, as often they will appear in the screen the longest, or will have titles overlaid on them.

How do I know you will return my photos in the same condition as you received them?

We can understand why you would be worried, because we know how important your photos are. It’s because we know how irreplaceable photos and the memories they evoke are that we treat your photos as if they are our own. We guarantee your photos will be returned to you in the same condition as we received them, unless something catastrophic happens that is out of our control.

To put you further at ease, we employ all manner of precautions in our studios to protect your photos (including no liquids or food allowed in the work room). Due to the shipping process being totally outside our control, we do need to ask you to sign a waiver on our order form that absolves us of any responsibility for your materials during the shipping process.

How should I protect my photos while they're in transit?

Package your photos well using hard cardboard on all sides to provide a solid shell for your photos. We also recommend you use a plastic Ziploc bag to contain each section of photographs to protect them from any spillage during the delivery process.

Do I need to watch the DVD on a computer only?

No, the DVD that we create can be watched with a set-top DVD player or a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive. All you need to do is to insert the DVD disk into the DVD player and play to watch on the TV. Note: No all players will be able to play

Do I have to manually forward the slides?

No, once you press play button on your DVD player, the presentation will play just like a video.

Can my old black and white photographs be transferred to DVD?

Yes. Hard copies will fade and become damaged. We advise transferring as many of your old photographs to DVD to digitally archive them. We offer this service at the cost of $30 per 20 photos. This will include restoration beyond what is offered in the slideshow packages. This is a separate service from creating a slideshow presentation. However, if we scanned and enhanced your pictures for you for the purpose of being used in the slideshow, you can also purchase your scanned photos for the price above.

How long will it take you to complete my project?

This of course depends on the length and contents of your video and our schedule. We generally want 3-4 weeks if we are doing it through the mail. Times will be shorter if you are local or via email. We can rush it and have it done in 3-5 days, including return shipping. The rush order begins the day we receive your material, which will be confirmed by phone. There will be a $50 rush fee.

How much time do you need to make a slideshow?

Don’t worry! We can expedite orders! Any order needed in less than 10 business days is considered a “rush order.” If you need to place a “rush” order, the turnaround time is approximately 3 business days from the time your photos are received. The charge for this service is $50, which includes priority shipping.

How do I send you my photos?

You may mail them or scan them and put them onto a CD. Either way, please see Where to Begin and Ordering for details. If you have questions about scanning, please give us a call. There are several retail stores that you can take them to and scan them yourself. Be sure to scan your photos at a resolution of 300dpi or higher. Also be sure to scan each photo separately in photo mode, so there are no borders around the picture. We will be happy to do it for $.50 (fifty cents) each.

Is it safe to send you my photos and videos?

Yes! We will return your materials, packed safely using every precaution. We treat everything you send us as if it were our own.

What if I don't organize my materials?

You are the best judge of when events occurred and what order you would like your photographs. If however, you send material unorganized, we will use our best judgment for placing them in order.

What if my DVD doesn't play?

On average 98% of all players will play back our DVDs. You can check to see if your DVD player will support DVD-R/+R at the www.vcdhelp.com web site. If your DVD does not play we will do everything we can to give you a solution that will work.

Will you keep a copy of my DVD?

We will keep the master of your DVD on file for 1 year, for purposes of reordering, unless you specify that we don’t.

What about Photo Retouching?

We will do some minor photo retouching of digital images to enhance the DVD slideshow. This will include color correction, cropping, straightening, red-eye correction and enhancing the detail and lighting when needed. This will be done as part of the service to insure that your DVD slideshow is a truly moving experience.

Who picks the music?

We will be glad to select music, or you can supply it. If you choose to supply it, you must provide us with a copy-written original, which will be returned to you upon completion of your slideshow. If you do not have a copy, we can purchase it on your behalf, for $1.00 per song.

Can you work from negatives or slides as well as photographs?

Yes, for a charge of $0.50 per slide or negative we can transfer your images to be used in your slideshow or archived onto CD.

I do not live in the Albany, NY area. Can I still use your services?

Yes. The majority of our clients live several states away! Much of our correspondence takes place online, allowing us to serve clients all over the world! After you fill out our online contact form, a 518 Entertainment Consultant will contact you to discuss the details of your video album (sending photos, payment, video personalization, etc.). Your personal consultant will guide you through every step of the process! We aim to ship your video album at least 10 days prior to your special occasion – giving you plenty of time to review our work before presenting the video to your friends and family! Shipping is a flat fee of just $15 for standard turn around and shipping, and $50 for expedited orders. This flat fee covers your entire order – no matter how many copies you need!

I would like copies of my slideshow.

We make these videos for you the customer. It is illegal to mass produce copies of it without obtaining permission and paying for the copyright. For $10 each, we will be happy to make copies for up to 6 months after your original order. Copies will include the LightScribe laser etched title.

I have some specific questions that I want answered. How can I go about it?

You can write to us, or call us and we will be glad to answer all your questions.


Call: (518) 243-8335