How to Choose Photos that Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life
When a loved one passes away, surviving friends and family members are left with precious memories.
Photographs and other mementos take on special significance. Whether you are writing an obituary, collecting content for the bulletin, or organizing a memorial service, presenting images from your loved one’s life will help you to share their important story. In this article, we will share some helpful tips in choosing just the right photos to celebrate the many special qualities of the departed.
If you plan to post an obituary or create a bulletin for the funeral or memorial service, your first step will be to locate a quality photo of your loved one.
In some cases, your loved one will have pre-selected a picture they wished to be used for this purpose. If that is the case, use the one they chose. If not, you’ll need to look for an image that provides a clear shot of their face. You can opt for a recent or older picture. Professional photographs are often used for obituaries and should feature only the person being honored to avoid confusion over who is who in the photograph. If you have permission and access, look around the deceased’s home for ideas and resources. Do they have any framed photos of themselves proudly displayed? Photo albums or scrapbooks tucked away? You may find a treasure trove of high-quality images from their life to choose from. If you are going to place an obituary in the newspaper, original photographs typically work better than a copy.
Once you have selected a headshot or singular photo of your loved one for the obituary or bulletin cover, your next step will be to gather photos to display at the funeral home or during the memorial service.
Sources for such images can be from your collection, from collections of the departed, and from friends and family members. Ask older friends and relatives to search their photo albums for favorite images and provide you with a copy, or offer to make a copy of the photo and return the original to them. Younger and more tech-savvy older friends and relatives may have images of your loved one stored on their phones or computers. Ask them to look through their image collections to see if they have a special photo or two to share. Additionally, the departed’s place of employment, church, or volunteer organization may have photos to contribute. Collecting photos from various sources allows you to represent the many aspects of your loved one’s contributions, relationships, and personality across their lifetime.
The third step will be to determine which photographs to use and where.
As mentioned above, headshots or professional images are popular choices for obituaries and covers of bulletins. When creating memory boards or photo collages to display at the funeral home or memorial service, there are many types of photos that you can use from your loved one’s life. The sky is truly the limit. If you need help narrowing the photos down as you create a memorial photo piece, there are various ways to organize and limit what you decide to showcase. You can remember your loved one by creating a collage of photos that highlight different eras from their life, such as old school pictures, black and white photos, a headshot, etc. You can also focus on life milestones: graduation, becoming a parent or grandparent, getting married, etc. But you don’t necessarily need a theme. The goal is to honor and remember the departed and to reinforce special memories.
Finally, if you have so many images that narrowing them down is challenging, consider putting together a slideshow of various photos to display during the funeral or memorial service.
Ask your funeral home or repast venue if they can provide a set-up for video displays of images. Images from your loved one’s life can play quietly on repeat during the service or you can make it a feature of the celebration/remembrance by setting the slideshow to music, perhaps a song that helps you to remember your loved one. Ask others to help you if you feel overwhelmed or going through each photograph is too painful at this time. Those who loved you and the deceased will likely be thrilled to be included in creating this special remembrance.
We hope this article is helpful as you select images to celebrate your loved one’s life. If you need more information, we would be happy to offer additional suggestions. Please reach out to our caring professionals.
About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.