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September 8, 2010

Take Time to Enjoy (and Flaunt) Your Favorite Summer Vacation Memories

I love summer so much I find it difficult to transition into fall, mainly due to the fact that I have to say goodbye to long weekends and summer vacations, which have lasting memories for me and my family. If you’re anything like me, you have hundreds of summer photos sitting around waiting to be appreciated. My favorite thing to do at the end of any major holiday or trip is use Windows Live Movie Maker to create a fun video with my best digital pictures and share them out to friends and family. Since some of our family is spread out, having the ability to create and share out memories is not only meaningful to my loved ones but I’ve been able to “wow” them into thinking I’m a photo editing genius!

I’d love to share with you what I was able to create in about 15 minutes with Movie Maker to wrap up the summer of 2010 for our family. Since I aim to protect my family’s private life, I hope you appreciate the scaled back version of this video with landscape shots and vague face photos of my two daughters Lil and Belle and my husband Big D (their blogging nicknames, of course). My summer vacation movie is viewable on Sky Drive and takes only a few minutes to watch: Lisa’s Awesome Vacation Project.

As you can see from the video, Windows Live Movie Maker provides many features and options for advanced users. However, it also provides great basics for getting started and is so easy to use that my mom can successfully make a movie in minutes (no offense, mom!). Since I already geo and face tagged my pictures when I loaded them from my camera to my PC, Movie Maker automatically added the location and names of all the people in my movie to the ending credits, which is one of my favorite features. I personally took a little more time to edit this movie, as I wanted to add different transitions into each picture to get some good variety. There are loads of editing tools and options to take your creativity to new levels – give it a shot and see what you can come up with for your own unique movie.

Here are some basic tips to get you started. If you don’t already have it, remember to download the latest Windows Live Essentials beta (did I mention it’s FREE!) onto your Windows Vista or Window 7 PC first. You can download it here.

  • Open Windows Live Photo Gallery
  • Highlight the pictures you want to use for your movie
  • On the Create tab select Movie
  • Your movie will automatically load in Movie Maker and now it’s up to you as to how creative you want to get with editing!
  • On the Home tab you can do things such as select music, insert additional pictures or video, add credits, and choose from different AutoMovie themes, among several other editing options
  • Click on the Animations tab to edit with different transitions and effects
  • Once you have inserted music, click on the Music editing tab to do things like fade in or out of the song(s) you’ve chosen or to time the length of your movie to the length your music
  • Once you’re finished, go back to the Home tab to save your movie
  • Now it’s time to share! Simply click on the Home tab to publish your movie to your favorite location, including Sky Drive, Facebook, YouTube or Flickr

At my house, it’s become a tradition to gather our family together after a big vacation to show pictures from our trip and share stories from our adventure over margaritas and my husband’s famous tacos. Movie Maker has been a great way to easily create something fun, and yet with my own personal spin, to share family and friends, without a lot of hassle or work.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of Movie Maker. For more information on Movie Maker, go here.