Thinking about making a funeral slideshow for a loved one’s funeral service? But not sure where to start? We can help. We’ve put together a guide below on how to make a slideshow for a funeral using free software. It’ll give you simple options on how to pull everything together. You’ll also find examples of free funeral slideshow templates so that it’s a straightforward process.
Making a funeral slideshow step by step
1. Choose the type of funeral slideshow you want to make
Would you like to make a slideshow for the funeral service or wake that’s constantly on in the background? It could loop through photos of your loved one throughout or just at the beginning or end of the service. That way, family and friends can focus on the slideshow when they’d like to. It’s also a good way of striking up a conversation about a particular memory you have of them.
If that’s not what you had in mind, you can make the funeral slideshow into more of a feature. It could tell the life story of the person who’s passed away with photos, captions and music. It could be a part of the eulogy or it could be a part of the funeral wake. Afterwards, it could also be sent to people who can’t attend the funeral.
2. Collect photos of your loved one
Now you’ve decided which type of funeral slideshow is best for the service you have in mind, you’ll need to go through photos of your loved one. Don’t forget to ask for help with this – it can be an emotional process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to family and friends via email or on social media and ask them to send you their favourite pictures of the person who’s passed away. Let them know that it can be group shots or pictures of them by themselves. This will help lighten the load a little. And you may even come across some photos of your loved that you haven’t seen in years or didn’t know existed.
If you’re making a feature presentation with your funeral slideshow, think about collecting a range of photos that span the person’s life. Images of their childhood, right through to their first job and family milestones can then be put into an order or grouped together by themes. This will help you keep track of all the images you want to use and make a funeral slideshow that tells the person’s story.
3. Make digital copies of old photos
Some of the photos you’ve collected might be digital. But some of them might be old, physical copies. So you’ll need to digitise them. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
- Use a scanner. If you have access to a scanner and computer, then you’ll need to scan each physical photo individually. You’ll then need to name each file. Make sure you name the file something that will help you remember which photo it is. This will help you save time when you’re making the funeral slideshow. It may also help to save all these individual files into one folder named something obvious like “funeral slideshow”. This will make everything easier to find when it comes to adding your photos into a template. If you don’t have access to a scanner, there are some stationery shops or libraries that have scanning services where you can ask for help to get this done. They’ll usually charge a small fee for this.
- Use an app. If you’re comfortable using your phone to scan the photos, there are lots of scanning apps available. Some are free, but not all. This is an easy option to quickly scan photos using the camera on your phone. But keep in mind that this option is less likely to leave you with a high-quality image.
4. Choose the music
Now that your photos are organised you can choose the music to play as part of the funeral slideshow. If it’s going to be a short presentation perhaps one piece of music will do. If it’s longer, you may need to choose 2 or 3 songs. Thinking about the mood you want to create with the slideshow is a good way to start. Do you want something gentle and moving? Or something more uplifting? To give you some inspiration here are some ideas:
- The person’s favourite song
- Their wedding music
- A popular song from their childhood
- Their favourite classical piece of music
- A religious song or hymn
You can also find a selection of funeral songs here. If you’re finding it difficult to narrow down the song choice remember you can always switch between songs during the funeral slideshow. And if you really don’t know what to choose, some free funeral slideshow templates come with pre-set music that you can use instead.
5. Make the funeral slideshow
Now you have everything you need to put your funeral slideshow together. There are free computer programs available that you can use. They’re simpler to use than the software you have to pay for, and you may even have one of them on your computer already. Here’s what we’d recommend:
- Windows Movie Maker or iMovie – Both of these usually come free and already installed on your computer. Movie maker is only on computers that use Windows and iMovie is only on Apple computers. Both are easy-to-use editing software where you can drag and drop files and move them around so that they’re in the order you’d like. And you can add music to it to. If you’re feeling unsure about using these programs to put your funeral slideshow together, there are lots of tutorials available on YouTube.
- PowerPoint or Google Slides – If you’re more familiar with creating slideshows in PowerPoint then this might be a better option for you. Adding images with simple transitions and overlaying captions to tell your loved one’s story is simple with PowerPoint. And if you don’t have access to PowerPoint? You can always use Google Slides instead. It’s a free online resource that is very similar to PowerPoint.
- Canva – Another way of creating a funeral slideshow is by using a free online tool called Canva. All you have to do is create an account for yourself and then you can choose from their free funeral slideshow templates. You can add your photos to the slideshow and layer in music too. Once you’re finished it’s easy to download the slideshow and save it as a video.
If you’re struggling to make a funeral slideshow, remember to ask for help from other family members and friends. If there’s someone you know who has used these types of software before or is more technically minded, don’t be afraid to reach out for their help. Or if you have the budget, you could also get a funeral slideshow made by a professional. All you’ll have to do is give them the photos and music you’d like to add to it. And they’ll put it all together for a fee.
Making a funeral slideshow: our final tips
- Don’t forget to save the file in the correct format. Check this with the venue so that you know exactly how to save the final file to be used on the day.
- Do a trial run. This will help you make sure everything runs smoothly on the day, especially if you’re setting up the slideshow yourself.
- Take advantage of free funeral slideshow templates. PowerPoint and Canva along with lots of the other free programs have funeral slideshow templates you can use. This will make your slideshow design look professional. But you can personalise the templates too, so that you can create something you’re proud to share with everyone.
- Share the funeral slideshow with relatives who couldn’t make it. After the service you can save the final slideshow to YouTube or Vimeo so that it’s always accessible online. And this makes it easy to share online too. You can send it via email or post it to social media. You could even add it to an online memorial. That way, those who couldn’t attend the funeral and those who live far away can say goodbye too.
Funeral Choice is a free online directory where you can find a funeral director near you. We also have lots of other resources in our advice centre to help you with funeral planning and bereavement.