How to Create a Same Day iPad Slide Show

Looking at same day iPad Slide Show

One of the things my clients love the most are my same day iPad slide shows at their weddings.  It is particularly wonderful for guests who aren’t big on dancing, but would like something to do during the reception.  To do this, I used to use the “picture frame” feature on the iPad, but when Apple launched iOS 7 they did away with the built in “picture frame” app that would operate while the iPad was in a locked mode.  If you want a work around with essentially the same features you can use the iPad’s guided access setting.  Sarah Guarino of 9 to 5 mac gives a detailed post on the many uses of this setting for parents,  schools, museums, and businesses.  I’ll give you a quick run down of how I used it to set up a same day slide show that can run unattended while I’m off shooting during the reception, without fear of someone inadvertently pausing the slide show, or worse… breaking into my iPad.

Once the meal (usually dinner) starts, I quickly review images taken by myself and my second shooter on the iPad.  If we both are shooting with canon 5dmkIII cameras, I have them shoot RAW on a CF card and small JPGs in the second slot on an SD card.  The SD card JPGs are what I prefer to use for the same day slide show as they are much smaller file sizes and the images are a bit punchier than the RAW unprocessed files.  If my second shooter doesn’t have this ability to have images on an SD card, I use a CF card reader from  I upload the shots that are key moments and ones that I remember as being really memorable or stunning.  I then quickly review those and pull about 20 of the ones that are best that need ZERO editing into the same day slide show album.  Only images that you KNOW the couple will be happy to see without any editing should be included in the slide show.  To get my white balance correct in camera so that the JPG images look great, I use the expodisc to do a custom white balance setting as soon as I go into any new lighting situation.

Once I have the images I want, and in the order I want, I need to get the slide show up and running. To ensure that no one walks off with my iPad.  I have an iPad lock on it.  I switched the lock that comes with it for a combination lock so that I don’t have to worry about losing the keys to the lock. I simply attach the lock to the base of a table (usually the sweetheart table so the couple can see the shots while they eat, and it’s an easy spot for guests to find).
I then enable the guided access.  What’s great about this is that you can temporarily restrict your iOS device to a particular app, so you can use ANY slideshow app you want.  I tend to use the built in one from apple as it can read both JPG images and RAW image files.  It allows you to disable the whole screen or just specific areas of the screen, as well as the other buttons, where an accidental gesture might cause a problem.

Here’s how you enable Guided Access:

  • Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access to set up basic Guided Access.
  • Now turn Guided Access on
  • Set a passcode that controls the use of Guided Access
  • Set whether the device can go to sleep during a session (for a slide show you don’t want it to go to sleep)

Activating Guided Access:

  • Open the slideshow app you want to run. Start the slideshow running.
  • Triple-click the Home button.
  • Adjust settings for the session
  • Now you can disable iPad controls and areas of the screen
  • If you select Touch you can circle any part of the screen you want to disable, while leaving the rest of the screen active.
  • If you want to ignore all screen touches, turn off Touch.
  • If you want to keep it from switching from portrait to landscape or from responding to any other motions turn off Motion. If you want this to still be available, turn it on (green).
  • Once you have the settings the way you want, click on Start or Resume.
  • Now your slide show should continue on even if people touch the screen.

Ending a Guided Access session

  • When you are done at the end of the wedding, you need to unlock your iPad.
  • To end the Guided Access session, triple-click the Home button.
  • Enter the Guided Access passcode you created.
  • If no passcode is entered after a few seconds, it will go back to the slide show.

I do not add music to the slideshows, as I don’t want it to compete with the Band or DJ’s music.  It is not hooked up to a big projection system, and special time isn’t made for all the guests to watch the same day slideshow.  It is just there for those who want to get a sneak peak of some of the photos.

I hope you found this helpful and that you will use it to have a same day slide show at your own wedding!


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Dan Busler

    Good information ! Thanks

  2. Larry Ganz

    Can you tell us what slide show app you use? I don’t know where to start. Thanks.

  3. John

    Thanks Vail for this post and pointing me to the Picmatic app. It only cost 2 bucks to get the pro version and does so so so much more than the standard slideshow function does.

    In fact, the normal slideshow stops (i.e does not repeat) once it goes through the photos. Also, you can only show one album at a time, not multiple. Furthermore, you can’t randomize order of the photos, it’s always the same.

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