Deep Dive: Advanced Photo Slide Show Creation

About this lesson

Part Two on how to create an awesome presentation for weddings, birthday parties, graduations and more.


1:42 The Steps – An Agenda
03:32 Starting the Project
05:18 Replace Boring Album Black Background
06:18 Great Free Photo Images for Backgrounds
08:50 Auditioning Potential Theme Backgrounds
09:55 Make Photo Fill the Slide Page
11:00 Photo Retouching to Create Beautiful Theme
15:41 Pick a Photo to Be Your Stage
16:32 Artistically Layout the Slides
17:40 Working with Multiple Photos per Page
19:23 Creating a Title Page
20:29 Slide Transition
22:16 Morph Transition and the Ken Burns Effect
22:52 Adding Music
27:32 Playing Multiple Music Files in Slide Show
28:17 Automated Slide Shows – Set the Timing
29:28 Presenting Live
29:55 Creating a Video Movie Files
31:50 Wrap Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility Windows Only


Course Completed




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<Music> You are in charge of creating

the big screen photo show for a humongous event, a wedding, a Memorial service, a graduation, or some other celebration. Oh my gosh. Don’t worry. I’m Les from Power Up Training and I’m here to make you look awesome.

This is our advanced PowerPoint photo slide show creation tutorial to help create a cinematic masterpiece of your photos for the big screen. See these examples here and here and here and here for the types of presentations that you’re going to be able to build it’s appropriate for any big time event, Power Up Training always provides professional training. Even if you’re not an experienced PowerPoint user, this will help you create the most polished presentation you’ve ever seen. I need to warn you. This is intense with beautiful results. Not sure you want to spend 30 minutes learning these secret techniques, even though they’re going to make you look like a genius, then first check out our 92nd trailer showcasing what this was going to be all about and what you’re going to be building in class.

And then come on back, look up here,

Worried that you’re not ready for this deep dive training. Then do start with our intro class for beginners listed in the YouTube notes down below. Now, if you’re ready for action, then let’s power up to PowerPoint. Advanced Photo Slide Show Creation.

Every project needs a plan. And here’s our high level set of steps. Don’t worry as I’ll provide a downloadable link to a PDF version at the end of this tutorial, we will need to load up our images into PowerPoint. And the simplest way is through the building of insert photo albums. Then the key is to create a unique, customized visual style. There’ll be unlike any other YouTube tutorial or slide show that you’ve ever seen. This is the classiest and most important step. Once our stage is created, we’ll then go through and turn each page into a work of art.

We’ll add a cinematic, look through motion and visually compelling transitions between slides and as an optional bonus, we can add music and narration to create a live presentation or prerecorded work of art. So let’s go to step one. This is the advanced photo album creation tutorial, and our secret magic sauce is to build a unique stage for your photos. Creating a stylistic background will set the mood and make your slides show truly special to do this. We need to find just the right type of, and then enhance it to transform it into our stage. Inspiration for your image can come from a variety of sources, including your own photos or Microsoft’s cloud service, or even one of my special free websites of Once we explore her choices, we’ll need to decide whether we want a dark or brighter stage. We will want to decide is it a distinct identifiable image or a more abstract background?

Let’s get started with a blank presentation.

With PowerPoint already up and running. I’m going to go to file and then click on blank presentation from here. We need to get our photos inserted. I’m using the technique we learned in our first tutorial of insert photo album and new photo album. And then looking through my folder structure, I highly recommend that you put all your target photos in one folder for easy importing for this tutorial, I’ve already downloaded some example wedding photos. And so I’ll highlight them all to import into our album. Hey, apple, Mac, user friends. This tool is not in your version, so you’ll need to drag your photos in one by one, but everything else will work and windows users. If this screen is confusing, then do watch our first tutorial listed in the YouTube notes below.

For our advanced project. I recommend that you change the settings to one photo plus add a frame, either simple frame, white or simple frame black.

This will add value in our future steps. Lastly, when you click create, you need to be patient for some quirky reason, no waiting. hourglass shows up and depending on how many images and your computer speed, it can take from a few moments to a minute or more be patient. The windows PowerPoint album insert brought in our 37 photo slides plus created a default title slide, but with a dark black background, something we’re about to fix. If I switch us to sllide sorter view. We can see them all perfectly centered. One photo per slide. Now for the magic, see how this album has the basic on inspiring black background. We want to transform this to our own unique background is shown here at a high level. We will build our muted, but stylish background stage to bring our slideshow to life with spectacular results.

In a few minutes, I’m going to walk you through the process of finding just the right spec brown and then formatting several candidates, which we’ll drop into our live presentation to audition and find just the right look for our special day. Don’t worry. This roadmap will show up again and again, as we move through step by step. So let’s get going.

Creating a theme to replace the dark black background to do this. We need just the right artwork. And as I stated earlier, there are a variety of choices from your own image or Microsoft cloud photos. I want to explore an excellent free resource from This website is a collection of freely created photos that you can use for free. And it has a great searchable tool command.

I’m going to type in “wedding.”

Bingo, a huge collection of photos to choose from. And this is where our sample photos came from.

One great feature is for our background design is the ability to filter for only landscape oriented images to fill our PowerPoint background screen. Once you find the image, you desire, click the download arrow for it to be placed on your computer. And here’s the special request wants you to give the artist appropriate credit. So if you’re using this in a public environment, you should copy the credit and share them out. It may not be necessary for your private showing. Note that for all my tutorial images, you can see the file name that holds the credits for the artist. This training session is very wedding centric, but the technique will work for any slide show, event.

Watch as I search for specific objects or events or moods. And from here, you can find almost anything to set your stage. My recommendation is to download a half dozen or so images of different types for you to try out for your eventual background, several different types to work with, and you’ll find out which works best for you.

So let’s get to work to interact with my downloaded photos. I am going to create a new photo album to easily get them into a new PowerPoint presentation. I’m going to zip through the same steps with my downloaded images. Before we look more closely at the selected background candidates, let’s get rid of the black background. I’m going to go to the design ribbon menu and choose format background. He ignored the design ideas for the moment and change the solid fill to white. And the key step here is to apply to all, to make it ripple through the existing presentation, to better see our candidates. I’m going to switch us to the slide sorter view, and you can see that we have 10 possible images to become our theme background. Let me get rid of the title slide by right clicking on and choosing delete. Let’s narrow down our choices.

First off, I’ve got too many images with flowers, so let’s eliminate the center-based rose image and the side focus rose, and also the collection of flowers on the window’s ledge. I find the windows a bit distracting to me. The festive sparklers had seem to have possibilities, but if I have a photo covering up the middle of the picture and loses meaning. So goodbye I’d like that. The two rings seem to set a mood, but will not. My audience become confused. If these rings don’t match our wedding couples so long, that’d be just with our five finalists, which I’m going to reorder for our training purposes that we’ll see in a few moments to get these perspective, background images, ready for fixing. We need to make each picture, fill the full PowerPoint, slide it just to edge. There are multiple ways to do this, including our detailed tutorial on image, cropping and resizing.

But if you’re running the latest Office 365 or Office 2019, you can go to design ideas and almost always the first choice will be to make the picture, fill the slide, click, and done. I’m gonna do this for each of our slides, selecting the slide, clicking on the image and then under design ideas. If it’s not showing what click on design ribbon, menu and design ideas, and then click the first image to fill up our individual slides. As we look at each possible candidate, try to visualize seeing a picture on top to decide if this might be the right background. Our first line of pencil stationary and leaves is simple enough. It looks usable as is. So let’s go look at the next one of the dark roses. This image sets a different mood. And while the dark reds make the lighter photo, jump out, the detailed rose may distract from our central images.

So let’s fix that. Softening the focus of the image.

With the background rose picture selected. We will then click on the picture format and then correction. And there we can hover our mouse over the different sharpen, soften individual previews. To see it on our screen. I’m going to select the softest focus to get the image, to fade more into the background and keep our pictures in focus. Our next photo candidate is much lighter with a colorful theme, but it still may be too much in our face bright. So our next tool of transparency to the rescue.

Photo selected picture format menu clicked and under transparency, we can make the image feed more into the background by hovering the mouse over the choices to see how much we want it to fade.

Now we get to that fun part. Artistic Effects.

To make an amazing background.

You need to experiment with the artistic effects under picture format with our image selected hover your mouse over the 20 or so effects to see the image get transformed into a variety of special looks, including glass marker, pencil, gray, photocopy, and much more here. I’m going to choose a line drawing, which keeps the flowers on the screen, but in an artistic muted fashion hand for the last image, I’m going to do a combination of several techniques that we just covered under artistic effect. I’m going to choose cutout, and then I’m going to go back in and under transparency. I’m going to set it to 65%. You get the idea that it’s only your imagination is the limiting factor.

So we’ve completed stylzing our possible backdrops. And now we need to get them ready to import back into our photo album.

Step one, save the file with our possible backgrounds under a name,

and then the next step. Number two, it’s a save it again.

But this time we’re going to do a save as a copy because we want to use the dropdown box to save as individual photo files to be used as the backgrounds. If you do a save as JPEG or PNG file, which is my preferred file type, because it’s a higher quality over JPEG, you can tell PowerPoint to save all the slides and it will then go out and create a new sub directory folder and place each slide in as a distinct and individual picture file. Take a look at my file is for under the automatically created folder called possible formatted backgrounds. You’ll see the five picture files called slide one dot PNG through Slide five.

So back to our original wedding photo album to audition the five possible background candidates, I will select one of the slides. It does not matter which one, and go to the design menu and format background, and then click picture or texture fill. Don’t worry about the initial pattern fill instead, click on insert and from a file that’s navigate to our folder, a background candidates and choose the first one. And there’s our first possibility. But before we get attached to this, look, let’s go in and add in the other four choices. I’m going to zip along here to speed up the process, but wow, things are changing and they’re changing fast. Now it becomes clear why we created multiple choices and looks like a wedding gown or a tuxedo. You need to try on several fashions to see what works best for you. Once I go into slideshow mode and we look full screen, we start to get a better idea of what works and what does not quite fit.

Note how the different photo sizes or colors match or don’t match. And then hoops. Those are super boring, original black, plain background. Our newly created stage looks, you may have your own favorite, but I’m going to choose this one. And it’s easy enough to apply to the whole show under the design and format background with the slide you’d like selected click apply to all and Presto. The look is applied to the whole collection of slides. We spent a lot of time getting to this stage of our project, but I believe is the most important part of building a spectacular show. While I recommend you stay consistent, you could change the background for a subset of slides, such as a collection of the couple before the engagement or just for the title slide, use your imagination of creating a subtle and not overwhelming background. That is unique to your show now onto the next stage of our project.

And that is to fine tune each slide to add some variety in emphasis to each of the individual photos.

Here you go from slide to slide, to shift the image location and or to resize it. This part can be quick and simple, but before going too far, you can also provide variety of look by changing the frame. When we created the album, we chose a simple black frame, but there are so many more to choose from. Select one image, then click picture format, and right below are a variety of choices. You can hover your mouse over the top of the individual frames to preview how it might look. And when you find one that just click there so many to choose from some, with some subtle shadows or even this one with a partial image reflection underneath another way to add variety and visual interest is to have two or three related photos on the same slide.

Let me copy one picture from one slide to another slide, and I’m going to paste it in starting with PowerPoint 2019, Microsoft added in the design ideas tool, and it always wants to help see how it pops up with the proposed design. If you don’t see it, click on the design ribbonmenu, and then look for design ideas. Now just click and instantly transform the slide note that it does remove the background image, which usually is okay, but you can use our earlier technique to put the background picture back in place. If you don’t have design ideas or you want to use it another tool, here’s one that goes back to at least PowerPoint, 2010, picture layout, smart art. Let me copy two images to a page so that we have three pictures to artistically design with all three photos on the page. I’m going to drag my mouse over to lasso select all three images.

And then I’m going to go to picture format and picture layout here. I can hover my mouse over the various layouts to addition the look and then select what I like.

What is interesting about this approach is that some choices add in text labels. Of course, we here at Power Up Training, have a full tutorial on smart art designs, but for simple adding of texts, he’s pretty obvious once clicked.

On the left side, you can put your text to match the image. Now let’s go work on our title slide.

Highlight the text; and under the home ribbon menu, you can choose a new color and then switch the thought from the basic light topography to something more artistically appropriate. Just be careful. Try not to be too frilly. As your choice may become more difficult to read. If someone is stuck on the back table in the room,

if you’re on a recent version of PowerPoint, you can also see what our friend, the design idea has to say about the title slide.

You will most likely take over the full page. You can select an interesting recommendation and then go back and add in your own background image by right clicking on the image and choosing change. Picture note that some of the design ideas will throw in a cool animation of the title. Once I launch the show, watch the slideshow title slide entrance. Plus some of the earlier slides that we are rearranged on the page.

We’re getting there. If you watch carefully, you may have noticed the issue of the jarring jump from slide to slide. The page changes are abrupt. This can and should be fixed. The fix is to use the tool called slide transitions by default, each slide just abruptly replaces the previous slide, but the slide transition as a cinematic flow between slide pages.

Watch as I add push transition to the fourth slide and it does preview it on the screen.

I’m going to leave all the other slides alone. I’m going to go back to our very first title slide and start the slide show there. We see the title animation for the text. And when I do click and go to the second slide, abrupt, abrupt, and then this smooth push transition.

The push transition while the illustrive for training is still too abrupt for a great slideshow. So here’s a few other choices. The reveal transition is smooth, which we see in the preview, but to see it in action list to a key trick by clicking apply to all, to make this go across all this lies in our slide deck, and then we can check it out. I am starting as midstream in the slide show, but watch how battery the transition is coming onto the background. And then going off the background,

it looks dreamy.

but do feel free to experiment with the many, many other styles of transitions to find out what works with your theme and your mood here is the gallery transition.

The does a more fancy animation moving slides on and off. If you want to take a look at my top 10 favorite transitions, then look for the YouTube tutorial listed above. With all that said, there is one more transition that is superior to the others, but it requires some extra work. I have just turned on the morph transition and applied it to all the slides. When I run the slide show. It does not really look that special, but wait.

At a high level MORPH is examining the differences between two slides and will create motion to follow the object position from one slide to the next. You have to see this to understand and the magic step one, I’m going to duplicate a slide.

And then on that first slide, I need to shrink the viewable area so that we can move the image off the canvas to the right, this slide when shown will appear to be empty because the image is off stage on the right now, when I have launch the slideshow from this blank slide, we see just our background.

And then when I click to advance the slide, it makes that grand motion entrance. Let’s see how this was set up again.

Here’s the first empty looking slide with the picture on the right offstage. And here is the following slide with the same, and it must be the same picture. Now moved to the middle of the slide, the morph transition. We’ll see these two object as we move between slides. It will motion move them to the new location. Now let’s get even fancier with the morph transition. I’m going to copy this couple of pictures to the third slide, but move it to the far left off stage so that we will now have an exit motion for this picture. And then I’m going to take the image from the third slide and position it in the proceedings slide #2 offstage for an entrance.

So the image exists on three slides, one hiding stage right, preparing for the entrance. The image will then be on the next slide to complete the onstage motion. And then the next slide to the far left offstage to create the exit motion. Let’s look at all three slides. Side-by-side.

let’s focus on the wedding couple on slide one they’re off stage. And so the presentation will just show the empty flower background MORPH we’ll then move the wedding couple into and onto slide two in a smooth motion. And then on slide three, it will move the same image off to the left.

Now look at slide two. The wedding aisle is on the right, just waiting to make an entrance then on the next slide. And when slide three does show up, the wedding couple will move off just as the wedding aisle pictures smoothly moves on. Let’s take a look at this.

And here it is, in action. Blank canvas with the wedding couple image waiting on the right offstage.

The entrance motion. plus the wedding aisle chair picture now waiting off stage. And now the third one with the MORPH action, the exit and the entrance happening simultaneously, this is powerful and to learn more, look for a dedicated morph tutorial list above.

And you’re now done. Ready to go on stage, um, unless you want to add music or narration, let’s do this. Let’s go add a soundtrack. So go to the first slide, choose insert from the ribbon menu and use the drop-down audio box from that menu. Choose audio on my PC. I don’t cover it here, but you could use record to put it an aeration from this same menu, add a single music track, navigate to that folder and choose the file to insert the music on this selected slide, PowerPoint will drop in the media controls to start, pause and stop the music track, but we want to play automatically. So let’s change the start to automatically. Now, after launching this slide show, the music will begin as we go through the opening title, but OH NO! the music stopped when we transitioned to the next slide what’s happening?

We will investigate

Go back to the first title, slide and click on the media control sound icon. We can use the playback menu and find that play across slides is turned off, which is why the music stopped. As we move to slide. Number two, there are multiple controls here, but the most recent version of PowerPoint gives you a one-click fix for all. By clicking on play in background, PowerPoint makes all the needed changes here, including loop. Wind stopped me that if the slideshow is longer than the music file, then it will restart the music from the beginning, looping and looping and looping. So click the play in background to make it automatic. Here’s a Power Up Training pro tip. If you need to play multiple songs on the same presentation, it can become extremely complex and difficult to find the right slide to add in the next song. So here’s my tip. Do a Google search for the term. “Joiner audio files online” to find a way to stitch multiple files into a single playable file. Let’s see our presentation with the music. Now, continuing from slide to slide.

There’s something special about adding a soundtrack to a presentation that brings out emotion.

If, you plan this to be an automated slideshow. You could set the time between slides to be the exact same amount, or you can get creative and custom set. Each slide, go to slideshow and click rehearse timing, and it will launch the presentation from here. Each time that you click, PowerPoint’s

Going to record how long you stayed on each slide. You can look at the top left hand corner. You’re going to see both the total running time and the time for the specific slide that you’re viewing. And when you

Reach the last line, PowerPoints can pop up and say, do you want to save the timing of the presentation just as I do here? Or I pause? And then I hit the X to close down the presentation recording is going to pop up, ask me the question. And when I say yes, we’re going to see all of the timings on her slide. Let’s jump over to this slide sorter view so that we can see underneath each slide. You will see a number of minutes and seconds that are devoted to that slide in the automated mode, based off the timing that we just completed.


Onto our last decisions, if you plan to use your laptop with PowerPoint already installed to make the presentation, you still need to protest the projector to make sure that everything fits and you know how to run the audio and the video. If you need help, take a look at this tutorial on running more than one monitor. But if you plan to use a computer that PowerPoint is not installed on, or you just want to automate everything, then turn your presentation into a movie file. Using the dot MP4 MPEG dash Four video file format.

With the presentation open, go to file on the ribbon menu and click on export and choose. Create a video here. You’re going to have different quality formats to select from the most likely choice should be full. HD has most target projectors and big screen TVs are going to support 1080 P formats.

Going bigger will create a larger file that will be hard to move around and your laptop may struggle to play as smoothly. But if you know that you do have a higher end display system and you want a use a laptop that can handle such presentations, then go ahead with ultra HD, but to be safe, I would still render a second. lower full HD file as a backup.

Once you find the file folder and give it a name you then go ahead and you tell PowerPoint to start to render the presentation, see the progress bar on the bottom. It may take some or a lot of time to complete as it is rendering all the images and colors and transitions and motions and audio. So be patient and let it finish up when it, finally does complete. Go ahead and navigate back to the folder where the original PowerPoint file is stored and you should find your dot MP4 file. Just ready to play.

Here I’m launching the video file and our completed presentation kicks off.

Do note that my video playing program does not default to full screen. So you should learn how to make that particular program fill up your screen so that your presentation can be seen in all of his glory.

There you go. All the tools you need to make PowerPoint shine for you. Yes, there were lots of steps, but as promised, I do have a cheat sheet that goes through all that. We covered go to our website of power dash up dot trainee, or see the link in the YouTube notes below. One of the bonuses of this PDF is that there are pointers to nine additional training tutorials that you could go to. If you want to go deeper on any particular topic, each image in the links is going to give you a link to our free YouTube training, got questions or tips or requests for more tutorials. Leave them in the YouTube comments below, do like this and share it with others and do a subscribe to get more videos like this and our deep dive into photo retouching, which we classed at in this tutorial. If you want to see all of our videos, visit us at Power-UP.Training.

until next time, go power up!