There is rarely a feeling as powerful as the love a person feels for their child. This instinctive love and need to protect is what has made parenting one of the most satisfying activities for our species. What other type of love would keep a person awake for literally months on end looking after a helpless little child that can’t even feed itself? Only parents can ever know what this feeling is like, as it is something that is unironically indescribable in any language known to man.
And once your child grows up and starts to handle their everyday business by themselves, you will fondly remember the times past when you were their only lifeline. This is why it is so highly recommended that you cherish the time you have with your child, and create memories that you can look back on in the future that bring a smile to your face. And perhaps there is no better way to do this than by taking as many pictures and videos of your child as you can before they grow up.
The Importance of Keeping a Treasure Trove of Memories
Ask any parent who skipped taking pictures and making videos of their child when they were young and you will most likely hear regret. Sometimes, you don’t realize the value of something until it no longer remains, and the bond a parent shares with their young children is definitely one of those things.
As you and your children grow older, they will start to go their own way and forge their own paths in life. When this stage hits, it is a mixture of pride and longing for the old times. During these times, as your children move out one by one and you’re left in an increasingly emptier house, you will fall back on the photos and videos you made all those years ago as a form of emotional support. It would be then that you will recognize the true value of these pictures and videos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grasp their importance now and start preparing.
A Slideshow is a Great Medium for These Memories
A slideshow of these bygone times is one of the best ways you can use to preserve these precious photos and videos. A slideshow is something you can watch at any time without the hassle of sorting through hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos. But even better, a slideshow can be played at family gatherings so that everyone can share in the reminiscing of the past.
Slideshows of a person’s earliest years also make for excellent and incredibly thoughtful gifts. You child, whether they be a pre-teen or a fully independent adult, would highly appreciate the thought you would have put in to making the slideshow. Younger children might be embarrassed at some of the less flattering images of their life, but they will all eventually realize the love and effort put in to that slideshow.
How Long Should a Slideshow Be?
When first starting work on the slideshow, you might want to include every picture you have to better conserve every single memory. This would be a mistake in multiple ways; for starters, though your parental love would make even the longest of slideshows endearing to watch, other people would most likely get bored pretty soon if multiple pictures from the same time keep flashing across the screen. Other than that, the slideshow will lack substance. Yes, it will include everything and thus the most substance, but it will lack that variety that would keep people watching.
But a slideshow doesn’t have to be too short either. If the slides come to an end too soon, everyone might be left thinking if that was it. Some might then ask questions to fill in the gaps that were skipped during the slideshow, or they might even think that you didn’t want to put in too much effort. Striking a nice balance between important moments of the baby’s life and the duration of the slideshow will be something you will have to experiment with. One easy way of doing so is by choosing the song you want to play during the slideshow beforehand, and then structuring the slideshow around it. A song – and thus by extension, the slideshow – ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes would be ideal.
Include Moments of a Baby’s Firsts
One type of pictures and videos to include in a slideshow would be the times when the baby did something for the first time. From the day the baby was born, to the day the baby tried to pronounce their first ever word, to the day when they tried to walk, to their first ever birthday. All of these are significant firsts in the baby’s life, and would make for important inclusions in to the slideshow so the whole thing covers the most important and defining moments of the baby’s life.
Include Smaller but Unique Moments
The whole slideshow cannot consist of just the first ever times the baby did something. If that were the case, the slideshow would be incredibly short. Other moments that had been worthy of getting pictures taken would need to be added in as well. These could range from anything like the time the baby got food all over their face, to the time when they smiled in the cutest way possible. These small moments would make for a break from the more defining moments of the baby’s life, and stir up conversation about the circumstances surrounding those moments.
Include Short Videos with Captions
The slideshow doesn’t have to be all still images. Videos of noteworthy moments should be included as well, but in strict moderation. Around 3 to 4 videos of around 5 to 7 second clips would suffice. These short clips would have to be of something that could not be captured in images, like the time the baby scared the cat by grabbing its tail. These short clips would also benefit highly from small captions that explain what is happening in the opening few seconds of the clip. The audio of these clips would have to be balanced so as not to drown out the song, but not be inaudible either.
Add a Gentle Melody or Song Alongside Smooth and Simple Transitions
The song you add to the slideshow would understandably have to be a calm one. Faster and louder songs would be quite jarring in this kind of slideshow, and so a gentle symphony or a slow song about love or life would do perfectly as the background. As for the transitions between the images and videos, simple ones would be preferred over flashy ones with tons of special effects. Gently blending in to the next slide, or slowly sliding to one side to make way for the upcoming slide, would make for a better viewing experience compared to some flashy transition that breaks down the current slide in to a million pieces and then stitches them back together with the new slide.
Making a baby slideshow isn’t hard at all, and all you really need to look out for is not making it too boring or too short while also managing the most important moments you have captured. Playing around with how long a particular slide stays on screen is also worth doing for images that are slightly more packed than the others and require more time to fully appreciate. If you’re looking for advice on how to take the aforementioned family pictures, look no further than this post. For help choosing the perfect song to play during the slideshow, our post on finding songs for the soundtrack of your life might help.