At most of my weddings, I try to do a same-day slideshow with around 80-100 images from throughout the day leading up to dinner. I keep it somewhat low-key and prepare it during the first dinner course and set it up in a visible but non-distracting location. I don’t promise this bonus service to my brides just in case I run out of time or there is no good place to leave it. With my 8-hour-plus weddings (in most cases) there is enough time to do it. I love the instant gratification of it, and the credibility it gives me to the wedding guests. They’ve seen me working with the bride and groom most of the day, but allowing them to immediately see some of my favorite photos gives us an instant rapport and helps them to remember me (hopefully for referrals!).
So, how do I do it?
Throughout the day as I’m shooting, I select photos I’d like for the slideshow using the “lock” button (Nikon). You can do this with Canon models too, but you have to set it up through the menu and assign one of the keys on the back to work as a “lock.” (Check your user’s manual or Google your specific camera model to find out the exact menu items.)
I then use PhotoMechanic to import just the locked photos into a folder. (Select “copy locked photos only” from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the import screen.) From my experience with photographing sports, I learned years ago how crucial the “copy locked photos” function is in so many aspects of both my business and personal photography projects. (Side note: I have not found any other software that allows you to download just your locked or protected photos, though I’m not sure why Lightroom/Adobe hasn’t added this function yet.)
Next I import that locked photos folder into Lightroom, and apply my own global preset upon import. After that I switch to the “Slideshow” module in LR, make sure that my watermark preset is turned on, set the slideshow to “loop,” and hit play. It usually takes about a minute or so for the slideshow to render, but then it should be good to go for the rest of the evening.
I try to set up the laptop in a somewhat discreet but visible spot with access to a power outlet. I usually will look for a table that is on the way to the restroom so I know it will get some regular traffic. Throughout the evening, I will usually check on it a few times to be sure the screen hasn’t gone to sleep and to see if a crowd has gathered. 🙂 Sometimes it’s fun to just stand back in a corner and watch the bride and groom’s family and friends watch the slideshow and see their expressions. It really is gratifying for all parties involved!!