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Frequently Asked Questions about Creating Video Memories

Photographs
Video
Special Effects
Music
Events
Adding Text
Ordering
DVD Format
Mailing My Pictures
Slideshow Length
Miscellaneous

Photographs

Q. How many pictures should I include?
A.
You can include as many pictures as you want. See Prices for more details.

Q. Do I pick the order in which the pictures are shown?
A.
Yes, if you prefer. You understand what order makes most sense. To make sure we understand how you want your pictures organized, use a pencil to gently number the back of your pictures in the order you would like them presented. You can also use yellow stickies. If you submit them on a CD, you can number them, starting with "001" for the first file, "002" for the second file, and so on.  If you need to insert a picture between two that have already been scanned then add a letter after the number, “001A”, “001B” – by doing this will keep them in order you wish them to appear in your show.  If you'd like us to select the order, we are happy to do that as well.  Our slideshow creators have plenty of experience doing this as well.

Q. What size pictures can I send?
A.
We can work with any size of pictures up to 8"x10" in size (3x5, 4x6, 5x7).

Q. Can I send you negatives or slides to make pictures from?
A.
Yes, we can work from any type of photographic materials such as prints, negatives or slides. We can also use other types of paper media that can be digitized on our flatbed scanners. This would include items such as announcements, newspaper articles, brochures, flyers, ticket stubs, cards and letters, etc.

Q. Can I scan my photos myself and save a little money?
A.
Yes. Many clients prefer to scan their own photos at a local photo processing lab such as Wal-Mart, CVS Pharmacy, etc. to avoid having to send their pictures through the mail. We accept photos in .jpg or .bmp format. If you do not have a scanner or other means of having your photos scanned, we will be happy to scan your photographs.

Giving us digital photographs is often more convenient and will accelerate the design of your video album. In fact, you will receive your finished DVD slideshow sooner if you scan all of the pictures yourself and send us the digital files. Just scan them and burn them to a CD.

Q. Does it matter what resolution I scan my photos at?
A.
Yes. If you are scanning the photos yourself, we ask that you scan them at a resolution that will allow us some flexibility with the pictures. Remember, the higher the resolution, the better your photos will look on the screen. Follow these guidelines:

Size of Photo

Scanning Resolution

wallet size or smaller

600 dpi

3x5 to 6x8

300 dpi

8x10

150 dpi


Less than 100 pixels/inch will result in a very grainy picture. You need to save the images as JPEGS. The higher the resolution the better your pictures will look on your television set or projected screen.

Q. How many photos can fit into a DVD slideshow?
A.
You can fit several hundred photos on a DVD without any problems. It's entirely up to you how many pictures. However, a typical wedding slide show viewed by guests at their rehearsal dinner and/or reception should not exceed 15 minutes. You want your audience to have adequate time to view each photo for several seconds. So, a 15 minute slideshow may have up to 150 photos. Usually the package choice for a wedding is our Ruby or Sapphire for wedding rehearsal dinner/reception.

Q. How many photos do I need to make up a 5, 10 or 20 minute production?
A.

  • 30-50 photos: 5 to 8 minutes
  • 100 photos: 8 to 12.
  • 150 photos: 12 to 15
  • 500 photos: more than an hour
  • 1000 photos: two hours

Q. Can you restore old photos that are in poor condition?
A.
Before creating your video album, we make every effort to adjust the colors, light intensity, contrast, etc. in your photographs. We can brighten dark photos, correct over-exposed shots, eliminate red-eye, and restore photos are that are faded, crooked, scratched, torn, and yellowed with age. We'll do everything possible to bring them back to life! We can lighten or darken pictures to make them much more appealing. We can also alter color photos (using our software) to make them black and white. Sometimes, black and white pictures create a very dramatic effect. We can also take out any red-eye in your photos. If your photos have suffered major damage, we can work magic on most photos that are slightly torn, wrinkled, and have spots on them. If they have major damage; i.e. torn in half, faces that are covered with wrinkles or spots, we suggest you take them to a professional restoration company.

Video

Q. Can short video clips be included with the slide show?
A.
Yes, you can add one or several short video clips to the DVD slide show. Just include your video clip or tape and fill out the section of the order form for this. Make sure your video is in a format we can work with. If you are submitting a tape or DVD, the video must be converted digitally. You can do this yourself or we can do this for you at a nominal fee.

You can include a short clip of your family movies taken on a VHS camcorder along with still photographs. The effect is often dramatic!

Q. Can I Use Older 8mm and Super 8 Reel to Reel Movie Clips in my DVD?
A.
Unfortunately at this time, we cannot convert the older 8mm reeled movies into a digital format for use in the DVD. Should you want to include clips from those movie reels, we suggest you take them to a reputable camera shop for cleaning and conversion to VHS. We can then capture the clips you would like to use them from a DVD.

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Special Effects

Q. What are transitions?
A.
Transitions are the way the slide show moves from one picture to the next. Transition effects are used to create movement between photos creating a smooth flow from one photo to the next. They also help to accentuate each photo. They can be as simple as a fade in/fade out or can be something as dramatic as an animated bat swinging at a ball. The song choice 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 more livelier transitions may go well.
Q. What transitions between photos can you do?
A.
Too many effects can be distracting to the photographs, so we often use a subtle transition such as a gradual fade from one photo to the next in the slide show because we feel it is the most elegant transition. Let us know your preferences and we will do what we can to make it happen.
Q. Can you zoom in on certain photos or pan across a wide panoramic photo?
A.
Yes! We recommend adding pan, scan, zoom, and Ken Burns Effect to your slide show. The movement of the photo adds considerably more visual appeal to the slide show without detracting from the photos. One of the trademarks of our production is our ability to add zoom effects, zoom-out effects, panning from side to side, panning from top to bottom, and much more. All of our packages contain zooms and pans as we find this a vital element in any quality show.

Q. Do you have any special effects that will make my show unique?
A.
Yes! We have a multitude of slide styles, video and image backgrounds that range from simple elegant effects to effects that are very unique and entertaining. Many of our slide styles use more than one photo per slide in combination with timing so that each photo can be appreciated by you and your audience and is what sets us apart from the “cookie-cutter” shows.

Q. Can I pick some of the transition and slide style effects?
A.
Sure! If you'd like a certain picture to be a zoom transition, or another a pan, we can definitely accommodate your requests. After watching our Sample Slideshows you have an idea of what our slide style effects have to offer, and how they will make your show very unique. Our expert DVD show designers are also great at picking the best effects for your slide show.

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Music

Q. How do I choose which songs to include?
A.
When selecting music, it's very important to think of the mood you want to create. Song selection is critical because it is the background music that will ultimately create the emotions the viewers will feel. Remember to pick songs that best suit the occasion. We will discuss music selection with you. If you have a specific song in mind, just send us a copy of that song on CD. Remember to mail a CD of the songs you've chosen, OR we can purchase them for you. We can also recommend songs that have been popular and well received.

Q. What background music would you recommend?
A.
Choose musical styles that the person you are creating the slideshow likes, whether that's 1940's big band jazz, classical, Southern Gospel, or popular love ballads. You can also consider using instrumental music (songs without words). Song lyrics tell stories and mention details that often conflict with the people and events in the photos. Instrumental music sets the mood without distracting lyrics that don't fit. Music sets a mood. If you choose fun, up-beat pop music you will convey a light-hearted playful mood. If you choose romantic love ballads or slower songs, you will convey a more serious, emotional mood. We have several song suggestions for you based on music that has worked well for our customers.

Q. How much music do I need?
A.
It depends. Upbeat, fast-paced music requires more photos to look good (plan on 4 seconds of music per photo), and slow-paced peaceful music requires fewer photos (8 seconds of music per photo). You may want to plan for a medium-paced video where each photo stays on the screen for about 6 seconds. Include the appropriate amount of music for your slide show. If the amount of music is too long for the number of pictures we will either have to increase the duration of the photos or fade the song out early. We will do our best to find a good point in the song to fade out. Use the chart below to help you plan how many pictures to include with a song.


Time length of music

Number of photos

 

30 sec.

Fast-Pace
8 pics

Medium-Pace
5 pics

Slow-Pace
4 pics

1 min.

16 pics

10 pics

8 pics

2 min.

32 pics

20 pics

16 pics

3 min.

48 pics

30 pics

24 pics

4 min.

64 pics

40 pics

32 pics

5 min.

80 pics

50 pics

40 pics

For each song decide the following:
Length of music: ________ Number of photos: _____ Preferred pacing: _________

Q. Can I use copy-written music?
A.
In order for us to use copy-written music in your video album, you must supply us the original CD or we can purchase a copy from a legitimate vendor for you for as little as $1.00 per song. You must agree also, that you will not copy the DVD, and that the viewing of this is for personal use and not for resale, to be enjoyed with your family and friends at no charge.

By submitting an order form and agreeing to our terms of service, our customers agree that they have purchased and possess their own original copy of all music used in their video. Under copyright law, customers may then display their video album for personal family and friends. Mass production of a video album is strictly prohibited without purchasing the additional copyright licensing per song used.

Q. Where do I get the music for my slideshow?
A.
We can accept song selections on music CD's or MP3's that you own. Please obey copyright laws on the music you send us, and understand you have agreed to be responsible for copyright compliance with this order. To avoid copyright issues, all music must be purchased. If you do not own the music we can purchase it for you. We will return your music CD's to you when the DVD is shipped.

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Events

Q. Can I show the slideshow presentation at my wedding reception?
A.
Absolutely!! And what a wonderful way to introduce the bride and groom to all your family and friends! Especially those who came from miles away and may be meeting your new spouse for the very first time. We'll start your photo montage slideshow video with childhood pictures and work up to the time you met all the way to your engagement. What a beautiful way to capture your love in the hearts of all your guests.

Q. What type of events do you create slideshows for?
A.
We can develop a slideshow for just about any type of event – Birthday, Graduation open house, Retirement, 10th, 20th, 50th Wedding Anniversary, Family Reunions, Memorials, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Holidays,... the list goes on. Planning is the key to any successful event so don't wait until the event; send us your pictures now. The sooner the better, to guarantee that your slideshow will be there for your special occasion.

Q. What about memorial service slideshows or funeral service slideshows?
A.
Absolutely! A video slideshow is a beautiful way to celebrate the life of a loved one and to keep their memory alive for future generations. (Please contact us for ideas). Overnight express your pictures and videos to us. Your package will be done immediately and overnight expressed back to you.

Q. Can you make a DVD to be shipped to someone stationed overseas?
A.
Yes. We will mail the finished DVD to you to send to your loved one overseas. If you are ordering a DVD Video Album for an active member of the United States military we offer a $20 discount. This can be combined with any other discounts we are offering to give you extra savings. It's a way for us to say "Thank you" to the brave men and women who serve to protect our rights and freedoms.

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Adding Text

Q. Can I add text to my DVD slideshow?
A.
Yes. You can add poems, personal letters, quotes from family and friends ... the possibilities are endless. Just send us your messages and we will be happy to include them in your slideshow video album presentation.

Q. How do I add titles and captions to my slideshow?
A.
To make your slideshow more entertaining and help the audience follow the story being told, you can add captions to your video album. We can incorporate any descriptive information you send us. A caption is a label or quote next to one specific photo. A title is text that introduces a group of photos. To add captions to your slide show:
1. Do not write captions on the back of photos or in the filename of digital images.
2. Include a document or send an email with the photo numbers next to the caption.
3. Unless you're using an important quote or poem, it is best to keep your captions short and sweet! Fewer than 10 words works best.

Q. Can I add a voiceover narration on my DVD?
A.
Yes. Just provide us with the recording and instructions on how to use the recording. Please record it onto a CD in either MP3 or WAV format. Contact us for additional information if you would like to do this.

Q. What are Captions and how are they different from Title Pages?
A.
A caption is text that appears on screen and is used to provide names, descriptions and other information about the photo. Title pages are used to separate sections of your video. For example, you could add a title to a section called "The Early Years”

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Ordering

Q. I don't live in your area. Can I still use your service?
A.
Absolutely! We create slideshows for people from many states. Much of our correspondence takes place online, allowing us to serve clients all over the world! After you fill out our order form, we will contact you to discuss the details of your video album. We will guide you through every step of the process!

Q. How long will it take to get my DVD?
A.
Once we receive your materials, we will typically have your video finished within 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. Please ask if you have specific time line requirements. We will do everything we can to accommodate your needs. For all projects, how quickly you can provide us with all of the required source information and materials will reduce how long it takes to complete your DVD. We can also rush your order if you need it by a certain date.

Q. Can you rush my order?
A.
Rush processing is available by request due to unforeseen events such as funerals. Anything less than 10 business days is considered a rush order. If you need to place a rush order, the turnaround time is approximately 5 business days from the time your photos are received. The charge for this service is 20% of your package price. Because each situation is different, please contact us for more information!

Q. Can I get more than one DVD with my order?
A.
Yes. Each additional copy is an exact duplicate of the original and includes the same customized DVD case and label. Copies can be ordered when placing the initial order, or within 3 months after the order. Each additional DVD will cost $20. This includes the custom DVD case and cover. A great value for gift giving!

Q. What kind of payments do you accept?
A.
We accept payment via money transfer on PayPal, money orders, and cashiers checks. You can pay safely and conveniently online using PayPal Checkout. To pay online or to learn more about payments visit our Pricing Page.

Q. How can I get started?
A.
It's Easier Than You Think. STEP 1: Download our print order form STEP 2: Organize your photos and choose your music STEP 3: Mail everything to us. STEP 4: Enjoy your DVD Slideshow!!

Q. Why should you choose Angel Video Memories?
A.
We make a commitment to our customers to provide them with the highest quality service. Each of our customers will receive a DVD that is customized to their preference so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. We are committed to creating the highest quality product. We want our customers to get a slideshow that exceeds their expectations. All our slideshow packages have quality features included, just as we would do if we were making them for our own family and friends. We don't charge extra for things like transition, motion effects, plastic cases, cover artwork, photo optimization, DVD scene selection menus, etc. Our prices are competitive with the best DVD slideshow companies on the Internet. We custom-design each slideshow. We don't use a "cookie-cutter" approach. We don't have pre-built templates for you to choose from. The last thing you wish for your special celebration is to get "Just-Another-Generic" slideshow made from pre-built templates. Your slideshow should express YOUR style. We offer you something fresh and innovative - a slideshow that is custom designed for you. You should love your DVD slideshow. It should be something you are going to cherish and enjoy for years. So we work hard to ensure you are going to be overjoyed with it.

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DVD Format

Q. Will my DVD play in my DVD player?
A.
Our DVD’s can be played on both a standalone DVD player as well as on a computer. All you need to do is to insert the DVD disk into the DVD player and play to watch on the TV. Over 95% of all DVD players on the market support our DVD format. If you purchased your player in the last 2 to 3 years, you should have no problem playing your DVD.

Q. Can I view my DVD on a computer / laptop?
A.
Yes, we provide you with a DVD that is compatible in both your home DVD player as well as your computer. As long as your computer had a DVD drive, you will be able to view your slideshow on it.

Q. Can I create sections in a DVD so I can watch selected sections?
A.
Yes, we can create a menu that points to individual sections of the DVD. Then you can watch your favorite part over and over again.

Q. How do I project my slideshow onto a large screen?
A.
You may want to project the presentation onto a screen large enough for your audience to see. If you are presenting your video album during a wedding ceremony, consult with the church where you plan to marry. Several churches now have a full projection system installed, and are able to project it onto a large screen. If they do not have the proper equipment, they'll be able to provide you with a list of vendors that provide this service.

If you plan on presenting your video album somewhere else (e.g. at a hotel or reception hall), speak with your contact person from that establishment. Several hotels have a projection system that can be rented and set up for a small fee. If a projection system is not readily available, they can be rented (check your local yellow pages under "Projection Rental" - you'll need an LCD projector). Several clients have opted to rent big-screen televisions (check in your local yellow pages under "Television Rental") that set up nicely at a reception, rehearsal dinner, or anniversary party (depending on the number of guests).

Q. Will your DVD's play on the new Blu-ray disc players?
A.
Yes. The new Blu-ray disk players are backwards compatible with the DVD format. Several leading consumer electronics companies (including Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Pioneer, Sharp and LG) have already demonstrated products that can read/write CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs using a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical head, so you don't have to worry about your existing DVD collection becoming obsolete.

Q. Can my DVD be converted to a Blu-ray disc once they stop making DVD's and DVD players?
A.
Yes, your DVD can be converted to Blu-ray disk in the future. We backup your media to storage drive for 2 years so that we can generate a new disk from the original Master files at any time. Also, the new Blu-ray disk players are backwards compatible with DVD.

Q. Can you make slideshows that play on Blu-ray disc?
A.
Yes. However, the consumer market for Blu-ray disc (BRD) is still in its infancy. As with any new technology the first generation of products are quite expensive due to low production volumes. Most people don't own a Blu-ray disc player yet and are waiting for the price the come down. A handful of players are now available but they cost quite a bit more than standard DVD players and are not widespread. However, as production volumes increase the production costs should fall and eventually be comparable to DVDs.

Q. What is a Blu-ray disc?
A.
Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc.

Q. Will Blu-ray discs replace DVDs?
A.
Yes, eventually. However, the two formats (Blu-ray and DVD) will most likely co-exist for quite some time until HDTVs become more widespread.

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Mailing My Pictures

Q. How safe is it to send my photos in the mail?
A.
We request that you ship your materials using a service that enables you and Angel Video Memories to track your package, such as Federal Express or UPS. And always insure your package. We also ask that you require a signature upon delivery to Angel Video Memories to ensure that your package is promptly logged in and we can immediately notify you via e-mail that it has arrived safely. We will return your materials in exactly the same way and notify you as to what day to expect its arrival.

Q. How should I protect my photos while they're in transit?
A.
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 Zip-Loc baggies to contain each section of photographs to protect them during the delivery process.

Q. How do I know you will return my photos in the same condition as you received them?
A.
Our clients' photographs are irreplaceable. We take every precaution when dealing with your photographs. We handle your pictures as if they were our own. We leave them in the packaging until it is time to scan them and then we carefully place them back in the envelope. When we return them, they are shipped in a padded photographic envelope and your package is assigned a tracking number that will allow you to track the location of your photographs. We also suggest that you send us your doubles, if you do not have the negatives. You can have doubles made at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club for a very low price. If you are sending us your pictures on CD, make sure you have a copy. Many clients prefer to scan their own photos or have them scanned at a local photo lab (Wal-Mart's photo labs usually have the best prices), to avoid having to send their pictures through the mail. We accept photos in .jpg or .bmp format. Giving us digital photographs is often more convenient and will accelerate the design of your video album.

Q. Will I get my pictures back?
A.
Certainly! Once your pictures are scanned into our system, we will return your photographs along with your DVD Slideshow. We also use photo gloves when handling your pictures to ensure they stay in the condition in which we have received them.

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Slideshow Length

Q. How long will my DVD slide show be?
A.
That’s entirely up to you and how many pictures you choose to share. For example, if you were to include 100 photos it may be approximately 8-10 minutes in length. With 50 photos, your slideshow would last roughly 3-6 minutes. We can be very flexible to your requests, since every situation is unique. However, we do not believe that basing our shows on length is the best method to create a professional slideshow production. For example, if I promise you a 20 minute slideshow, I can give you a 20 minute slideshow. That's easy. I can make twenty photos last for 20 minutes if I want to. I can also take 300 photos and make the show 20 minutes long. But think about the quality production you would receive. The show would either be way too slow and bore your viewers to tears, or it would be so rushed through that it would lose all emotion and effect. This is why we do not base our shows or our prices on the length of the video production. Each show is uniquely made and created with each individual's needs and desires.

Q. Can you make my slideshow a specific time duration?
A.
If you have a limited time for your slideshow to be viewed, we will absolutely work with you to meet that timing deadline. Sometimes you may need to leave out some photos, or sometimes you may need to add. Either way, we will work closely with you to make sure all your needs are met.

Q. How long should my custom DVD show be?
A.
Different lengths are better for different occasions and purposes. It seems some of the longest DVD shows are weddings. Many clients who are interested in a DVD show of baby's first year (typically shown at baby's party) have found that (around 100 photos) works great to get a wide range of pictures displayed, while still keeping the audience captivated the entire show length. It's up to you, this is your creation!

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Miscellaneous

Q. I have some specific questions that I want answered. How can I go about it?
A.
Go to the Contact Us page. You can email us directly, call us, or use “snail mail”, whatever your prefer.

Q. I have an idea that I haven't seen in the samples. Can you incorporate my idea into my video album?
A.
Yes! If you can imagine it, we can do it! Contact us via email or phone to discuss your idea. We'd love to make it happen.

Q. What if I’m not happy with my video?
A.
We at Angel Video Memories are committed to making a production you will enjoy for years to come. If after you receive your finished video, you discover an error that you need us to fix, please let us know within two weeks after you receive it. If we have made a mistake with your order we will work with you to find a solution.

Q. What program do you use to create your creative slideshows?
A.
Almost anyone can purchase just one program and create an ordinary slideshow. However, we do not use just one program to create our slideshows. We have invested thousands of dollars in multiple software programs and equipment that we use in combination to create our slideshows. This is why our slideshows are all so different and unique - not your “cookie-cutter” slideshows.

Q. Can’t I create my own DVD Slideshows at home?
A.
Yes and no. Most new computers today come with a basic digital video production program of some type. However to produce the quality of production that you will receive from us, would take a great investment in time and patience that most people just don’t have today. We have years of experience using a multitude of video editing and image editing software and equipment. If you want a unique, professional multimedia DVD slideshow, then you can’t go wrong with Angel Video Memories.

Q. What is a DVD Slideshow?
A.
A DVD Slideshow is a series of photographs and video footage which is played to a personalized soundtrack of background music. You can include transition effects from photo to photo and title pages to introduce a segment of photos. You can also add personalized photo captions such as the names of family and friends, dates, or favorite quotations.

Q. How much does it cost?
A.
We customize each DVD that we create and therefore the cost depends on your preferences. Please see our Prices page for all cost details.

Q. Can memorabilia other than photos be included in the slideshow?
A.
Yes. We can include anything in your slideshow that can be scanned or photographed.

Q. Will you answer my questions?
A.
We provide one-on-one help with our customers. We will ask you what you're looking for in a slideshow. And we listen. We want to learn about your tastes and preferences before we start on your project. We're open to your ideas, and see our goal as fulfilling your needs. We have guided and helped our clients throughout their hosting experience, and continue to do so. You can call or email us anytime. Our staff has answers to all of your questions. Our service commitment has resulted in repeat business, referrals and long-term relationships with clients across the nation. Just check out these Testimonials from real, satisfied clients.

Q. Do you guarantee your work?
A.
We're committed to giving you cost-effective, high quality products and the excellent service you deserve. Our service commitment has resulted in repeat business, referrals and long-term relationships with clients across the nation. Just check out these Testimonials from real, satisfied clients. We hope you will be delighted with the production quality of your DVD. Our goal is to Exceed your Expectations!

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