By Joshua Hunt & Nick Kelly
Slide presentations are a primary communication tool in worship services. Adding a photo to a church presentation is a great way to support the message of a slide—from song lyrics to announcements to sermon points. Photos that purposefully communicate a specific feeling or topic are more effective than pretty pictures of landscapes. Here are some tips for choosing and editing photos so they work effectively with your text.
1. Choose the right image
Use photos with optimal contrast for readability. Crop in on a certain area when necessary to create space for text (more on this below). Think of your photo as a way to frame your text. Look for photos that have simple areas of dark or light that would work well for text to go over. Photos with areas out of focus are great for this. It’s better to use authentic photos of your congregation than stock photos. Ideally, someone at your church can take professional-quality authentic photos.
2. Make a smart crop
Follow the rule of thirds. Subdivide the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically so you have nine parts. If you crop to put points of interest along the lines or at the intersections, your photo will be more balanced and pleasing to the eye.
Even if the original photo is beautiful, the composition might not have enough contrast to support text for a slide. Cropping in on a specific area can create negative space where you can place text.
3. Add extra layers
Use color, transparency, and shape. Again, the original photo might be great, but the contrast doesn’t support readability. To create visual interest and contrast, you can add a layer of color (green, in this case), reduce the opacity to 60%, and then add a black rectangle to hold the text.
Learn more design tips for church presentations in 49 Tips for Using color in Your Church Graphics. Download your free copy today.
This post originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Ministry Team magazine.