Manhattan Montage NYC

Preserving Your Memories With Style

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Helpful Tips

We have been creating great montages for friends and family for many years. Over that time, we have learned a lot about what choices you can make before the montage starts that will help make yours as moving and memorable as it can be. Toward that end, we have collected the following tips for you to use to get the best results.

1. Always Know Your Audience
Where are you planning to show the montage? If it is just for your own family's enjoyment, you can get personal and tell some family stories that might not work in a public setting. If you are doing a child's birthday, remember that little kids can get antsy, so keep it short and funny. If it's a love montage, use the best and most flattering photographs of the couple both together and alone for maximum impact.

2. More Is Less
Even if you have 200 wonderful pictures to put into a montage, your guests may not have the patience or interest to enjoy a 30 minute montage. The best montages are achieved in the editing process, so don't be afraid to make the hard choices. If you have multiple pictures of the same event, find the very best one instead of showing all of the variations.

3. Resolution Matters
If you are submitting paper photographs, this will not be an issue. If you plan on submitting digital images they should all be high resolution, meaning at least 72 dpi and a minimum screen size of 5X7. Smaller or lower-resolution pictures will look grainy and soft in the final product. Your montage can only be as crisp as your photographs, so don't submit anything blurry, poorly lit or where the subjects are difficult to make out. Remember that not everyone will be sitting right next to your display so it is important that the viewer be able to easily see what you are trying to show them.

4. Variety is the Spice of Life
To maintain a viewer's interest, you need to vary the style and substance of your images. For example, if you are making a memorial montage, mix old and recent photographs, classic and current music, video and stills, text and animation. The more variety you put into your choices, the more likely you are to keep your guests interested.

5. Landscape Pictures Fill the Screen, Portraits Don't
Most modern flat-screen televisions have a 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning that they are much wider than they are tall. Even a standard television is 4:3, so if you use mostly landscape-oriented images, they will fill the screen completely. Any portrait-oriented images will appear smaller, which is fine once in a while, but can make the montage feel smaller if used too often.

6. It's Not Just the Visuals
If you have music in mind, we are happy to use any music that have you purchased. If you aren't sure what to do about the music, we can purchase almost any song on your behalf for use in your montage. Sometimes you have to see the montage to know what kind of music would work best, but the music should always complement the images. If you have a fast-paced, light montage, you should use music that is also fast-paced and light. If you are looking for a memorial montage, upbeat is better than somber.

7. Mix It Up
You are not limited to using just still images. If you would like to add panels of text or short video clips, they are all included with your package. If you have a video in a digital format, you can submit it along with your stills. If you have a short clip on VHS or Mini DV, for a small additional charge, we can convert your tape to DVD and extract the clip you want at the same time.

8. Keep It Moving
In addition to background animation, we can also animate your images and text to bring all of your old memories back to life. Transitions between slides can also add movement and action to your montage which will keep your audience's attention.

9. Measure Twice, Cut Once
Before you show the montage to anyone, make sure that you are happy with it, that your disc will play and that all of your equipment is working properly. It is important to get everything in order well in advance of your event. The more time you have to plan and prepare, the better the result will be. Remember, you are trying to turn your memories into something that is truly memorable and that means you have to plan your work and then work your plan.