Preserving the memory of a cherished loved one through an obituary is a solemn task. You want to capture the essence of their life in a few poignant words and with an image that speaks volumes about who they were. Selecting the perfect obituary picture can be challenging, as it encapsulates the persona, character, and cherished moments of the departed.

This blog explores the significance of picking a loved one’s obituary picture. Read on to ensure that the photo you choose honors their memory and leaves a lasting impression on those who grieve.

Obituary Photos that Make the Cut

Choosing the right obituary picture is a meaningful and important task, as it is a lasting tribute to the departed loved one. Several key factors must be considered to ensure the obituary picture makes the cut, including resolution, location, lighting, and clothing choice. Here are some guidelines to help you gather the best photos.


Opt for a picture with high resolution, preferably a digital photo. This ensures that obituary images look clear and sharp when printed or posted online in the obituary notice. Low-resolution images may appear pixelated and do not provide a proper representation of the deceased.

Clarity and Focus

Choose a picture that is in focus and clear. Avoid images that are blurry or have distractions in the background. The focus should be on the person, and their face clearly visible. A close-up is fine, but the best shots also show the upper torso.

Natural Lighting

Pictures taken in natural light often look more flattering and provide a genuine representation of the person. Avoid using images with harsh flash lighting, as it can create unflattering shadows and highlights.

Solo Picture

It’s usually best to select a picture with only the departed person. Group photos can be confusing and may not provide the desired focus on the deceased person.

Recent Picture

Try to choose a relatively recent photo to represent the person as they were in their later years. However, if a specific photo from their youth holds deep meaning, you may also consider it.

Personal Preferences

Respect the deceased’s wishes if they have expressed a preference for a particular image in advance. If not, choose a picture that aligns with their personality and how they would like to be remembered.

Photo options are nearly limitless these days. With cell phones that can take images almost as nicely as professional shots, many families need more considerations to choose the right photo.

Next, we’ll examine personal reasons for choosing a particular obituary image.

Picking the Right Obituary Photo

Once you’ve narrowed your choice to quality photos, consider more personal reasons for choosing a specific photo. Consider the parameters below.

Appropriate Location

Select a picture taken in a location that holds significance for the deceased or showcases them in a setting they love. It could be at home, in nature, at a special event, or any place that reflects their personality and interests.

On the other hand, a professional headshot is always a good choice if the facial expression is representative of the personality.

Clothing Choice

Choose a picture with clothes that reflect their personality or represent their typical style when possible. Formal or casual clothing can be suitable, depending on what best represents the individual.

Facial Expression

Consider choosing an image where the person has a warm and natural facial expression. A genuine smile or a look of contentment can help evoke positive memories among those who knew them.

Family Input

If possible, involve close family members or friends in the decision-making process. They may have a different perspective or an emotional connection to specific pictures that could influence the final choice.

Remember, the right photo is a tribute to the departed and needs to reflect the essence of their life. Take the time to select a picture that resonates with the memories and emotions you want to convey, both for the immediate family and friends and for those who read the obituary in the future.

What About a Family Photo?

Funeral homes often ask families to bring a digitized video reel of family members and friends with the deceased person. For these images, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind to ensure a meaningful and appropriate family photo tribute:

Selecting Relevant Moments

Choose clips or still frames from the video reel that capture significant moments and cherished memories with the deceased. Look for scenes where they are surrounded by loved ones or engaging in activities that brought them joy.

Maintain Clarity and Focus

Just like individual photos, ensure that the selected video clips or still images are clear and in focus. Avoid using blurry or grainy footage that may not effectively convey the emotions of the moment.

Respect Privacy and Consent

While a family photo can be a beautiful tribute, respecting the privacy and consent of all individuals featured in the images is essential. Seek permission from family members and friends before including their likenesses in the obituary or video tribute.

Chronological Order or Thematic Arrangement

Consider arranging the family photo reel chronologically to showcase the progression of the deceased person’s life, or opt for a thematic arrangement that reflects different aspects of their personality or interests.

Accompanying Captions or Narration

To add context to the family photo reel, include captions or a narrative voiceover explaining each image’s significance. This can help viewers connect emotionally with the moments captured on screen.

Keep It Appropriate

Be mindful of the overall tone and appropriateness of the family photo reel. While it’s a celebration of the person’s life, it should remain respectful and considerate of the emotions of those mourning the loss.

Quality and Length

Aim for high-quality video clips or images, and keep the length of the reel manageable. A concise and well-curated selection of moments will have a more profound impact than a lengthy and scattered compilation.

Technical Considerations

If you plan to display the family photo reel during the funeral service, ensure the funeral home or venue has audiovisual equipment to present it smoothly.

Consider Professional Help

If assembling the family photo reel seems overwhelming, consider seeking assistance from a professional video editor who can help curate and compile the footage to create a touching tribute.

Share the Memories

After the service, consider sharing the family photo reel with attendees and those who couldn’t attend the funeral. It can serve as a cherished keepsake for friends and family to remember and honor the life of their loved one.

Including a family photo reel in the funeral proceedings can be a powerful way to celebrate the life of the departed while bringing together the shared memories and emotions of those left behind.

Where to Publish an Obituary

Publishing an obituary is a meaningful way to announce the passing of a loved one and share their life story with a broader audience.

There are several suitable platforms where obituaries can be published. First and foremost, local newspapers remain a traditional and widely read option for obituary publication. Many newspapers offer both print and online obituary sections.

Additionally, funeral home websites often provide space for publishing obituaries and related information.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook or dedicated memorial pages, offer a more contemporary option for sharing the news of a loved one’s passing and allow friends and family from various locations to express their condolences and memories.

Ultimately, where to publish the obituary depends on the family’s preferences and the desire to reach a specific audience.

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we understand the immense grief and emotional burden of losing a loved one. Our compassionate and dedicated team is here to support you during this difficult time.

We offer a range of personalized funeral and cremation services tailored to honor the unique life of your departed loved one. Our experienced staff guides you through the entire funeral arrangement process, providing a comforting and respectful atmosphere to celebrate the cherished memories of your loved one.

Whether you prefer a traditional funeral service, a memorial gathering, or a simple yet meaningful cremation ceremony, we help you create a fitting tribute reflecting the essence of a loved one’s life.

We also offer assistance in composing heartfelt obituaries and can guide you on where to publish them, ensuring that the memories of your loved one reach those who knew and cared for them. At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we strive to provide compassionate care and unwavering support as you go through this challenging time of loss and remembrance.