How to choose a picture for your memorial

Photo memorial

How to choose a picture for your memorial

If you are reading this, you have probably decided to put a portrait of your loved one on a monument.  There are two ways this can be achieved. I am going to explain those two methods and then talk about the selection of the picture.

For many years the only way to have a picture on a monument was to purchase a ceramic or metal backed photo medallion where the picture is baked onto the product.  This is a time tested method with good results.  Please visit our Porcelain Portraits page to see examples.

The importation of sheer black granite has brought the ability to etch portraits of people or places or vehicles directly into the granite surface.  This is done by one of two methods.  The first is by a computerized laser etching machine.  The machine can precisely replicate any good quality photo.  The image is transferred to a robotic arm with a laser attached to it that goes back and forth across the face of the stone creating a detailed etching.  The computer also gives us the capability to crop, edit, enlarge, and touch up the photo.  The second method is to have the etching drawn by an artist.  The artist uses a diamond tipped electro-stylus to draw the portrait, scene, or vehicle on the monument.  This technique allows more flexibility and artistic interpretation of one or several photographs to create a custom collage as a tribute to your loved one.

Porcelain Portraits

Porcelain Portraits

So now that you understand the methods of how portraits can be incorporated in the design of a memorial, it is important to discuss what kind of picture you select.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing just the right picture for either a porcelain portrait or etching.

  • Select a picture that is an original from the negative.  If it has been scanned or enlarged it becomes more fuzzy (pixilated) and you will not get a clear image.
  • Bring a thumb drive or camera card that has the picture saved as a jpeg file.
  • Make sure the photo file is as large as possible.
  • Make sure there is good contrast between light and dark in the photo.
  • You do not want to select a photo that has too much of any one color.

The advent of social media has put lots of pictures out on the internet to be seen.  Please know that sometimes it is difficult to use pictures that have been posted to Facebook.  The pictures are usually saved in a very small file.  This makes the picture difficult to enlarge and remain clear.  Selfies taken in a mirror are backwards, so you may want to avoid these types of pictures.

When you are going to come and discuss your monument design, please bring several pictures.  Our knowledgeable staff will help you pick the best picture for the method you have chosen.  It is our goal for the portrait to be lasting tribute to your loved one.