Choosing Photos

Q. How many pictures should I include?
You can include as many pictures as you want. See our packages and prices for more details. We think the best slide show length is around 15-20 minutes, which is about 150-200 photos. But, we’ve created some interesting slideshows that have kept people engaging and watching for up to 45 minutes or more.

Q. Do I pick the order in which the pictures are shown?
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 “01” for the first file, “02” for the second file, and so on. 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. Can I scan my photos myself?
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.

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:

Here are suggested scanning resolutions:
For wallet size or smaller use 600 dpi
For 3×5 to 6×8 photos use at least 300 pdi
For 8×10 photos or larger use at least 300 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. Can you restore old photos that are in poor condition?
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. We can make the above minor corrections, but if your photos have suffered major damage, we suggest you take them to a professional restoration company.

Q. Can I combine digital and paper photos together in my slideshow?
Yes, we can combine digital photos that you have on your computer with paper photos. Just use the same numbering system on the various photos. So, let’s say you had some photos on your computer you wanted us to include in the slideshow. You could put them on a thumb drive and name the file by their order in the slideshow like this: 008.jpg, 009.jpg, 010.jpg, 011.jpg, 0112.jpg etc. Then, let’s say you had paper photos that you wanted to appear before and after the above digital photos. You would just write their sequence order numbers on yellow stickies attached to the backs of the photos like this: 005.jpg, 006.jpg, 007.jpg, … 013.jpg, 014.jpg, 015.jpg, etc. We can combine any media type together, diplomas, newspaper clippings, love letters, even video clips from VHS tapes, etc.

Q. Can I send you digital photos and videos?
Yes. There are several ways you can transfer digital photos and videos to us. But please don’t email them to us. The easiest way is for you to buy a small USB thumb drive and drag your digital files onto it. Then just mail the drive to us. You can also send us your digital files over the Internet using online storage such as Dropbox, Box, Shutterfly, File Locker, YouSendMe, etc. We like to use Dropbox because it’s easy to use. Here’s how it works. You email us to say you want to send us your digital files. We will send you an email with a link to our shared folder. When you get the email click on the link to upload your photos. We do the rest. We will work with you to find the easiest way to get your files to us.

Q. 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 zip-loc baggies to contain each section of photographs to protect them during the delivery process.

Q. How safe is it to send my photos in the mail?
We request that you ship your materials using a service that enables you and RoyalOak Media to track your package, such as Federal Express or UPS. If you have a choice we always recommend FedEx over UPS or USPS. They are the most reliable and take the best care of packages. And always insure your package. We also ask that you require a signature upon delivery to RoyalOak Media 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 do I know you will return my photos in the same condition as you received them?
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?
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.

Q. How many photos can fit into a DVD slideshow?
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 a reception is less than 10 minutes. You want your audience to have adequate time to view each photo for several seconds. So, a 10 minute slideshow may have approximately 50-100 photos.

Q. Can you zoom in on certain photos or pan across a wide panoramic photo?
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. What transitions between photos can you do?
We can create any transition you can think of. We can develop custom transitions to fit your needs. However, we have found in our experience, that the best DVD slide shows are often the simplest. 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. What are transitions?
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.