How Do I Turn My Still Pictures Into a DVD?

By Alan Donahue

Turn your picture collections into an interactive CD
i a lot pf pictures - flowers. image by Olaru Radian-Alexandru from

Printing and sharing still pictures could cost hundreds of dollars if you want to give copies to your family and relatives. But burning thousands of pictures to a single DVD makes the process a lot easier and cheaper. There are multiple ways to turn still pictures into a DVD, but one of the most creative and visually appealing is a video slide show. Video slide shows are compatible with most DVD players and several types of software can be used to make them.

Organize your photos. Figure out how you want to present the photos within a slide show. Organizing may take some time, but if you do this process, the rest of the process is a lot faster and leaves less room for error, like forgotten pictures or repeat pictures.

Start a new slideshow editing project. You can use photo specific software like Polaroid Memory Suite, Proshow Gold or any common video editor. For example, Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premiere Pro both accept multiple picture formats like GIF, JPEG, and BMP.

Create a new "Folder" and "Bin" to import your photos. If you have separate photo folders for organization, just import the whole photo folder into the project.

Go into the software preferences and set a "Photo Time Length." Default settings usually play photos for five seconds, but you can shorten this or extend it to any amount of time.

Drag each photo into the editing timeline. If you accidentally drag a photo in the wrong order, simply drag and drop other photos before or after the photo you put in the wrong order.

Add transitions in between each photo. When the final video is created, a jump cut between photos may look awkward, so a simple cross fade would add a more soothing effect to the photos. You can also try other special effect transitions like "Page Wrap," "Push" and "Explode." Every video editor comes with different default transitions.

Add a musical track to the slideshow. If it is for personal use, you can use any song you want. But if the slideshow is for a public performance or for a sale, you need to use royalty-free music (see Resources below).

Render the final slideshow video. Use the AVI or MPEG video formats for the best results. If your program has a built-in DVD burning system, you can burn the files directly to DVD. If it does not, import the finalized video into a DVD burning software program and make as many copies as you need.