Creative Ways to Incorporate Photos into a Celebration-of-Life Service

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a family will have to navigate. Finding creative ways to help your client families remember and celebrate their loved ones is an important part of the grieving process. Incorporating photos into a service is just one example. Keep reading to discover six creative ways to help families incorporate photos into their memorial or celebration-of-life services.

1. Memory Board

Putting together a memory board can be an excellent way to begin the grieving and healing process. It gives the family a chance to dig through old boxes and albums of photos and discover pictures that haven’t seen the light in a very long time. The photos can be arranged any way the family would like; in a timeline fashion—telling their life story in chronological order—or grouped by friends, children and, if applicable, grandchildren. No matter how you arrange the photos, be sure to include every family member in the memory board.

2. Online Photo Album

As you’re gathering photos, you may find that family members want to access and share digital photos through an online photo album. Consider asking extended family members or friends to contribute their own photos. This could open up the discussion of favorite memories or stories that go along with the photos. 

3. Photo Balloons

Consider attaching pictures to the strings of helium-filled balloons and floating them over the guestbook table. This can be an excellent way to incorporate an overarching feeling of hope and celebration into the service.

4. Slideshow

Creating a slideshow or video paired with the loved one's favorite music can be an excellent way to tell the story of their life. The slideshow can be incorporated into the service or played in the background for guests to view at their leisure. Consider distributing copies to guests as a keepsake to remember their loved one.

5. Photo Keepsakes

If the family wants to provide a way for guests to keep their loved one close to them, consider making keepsake photo pins or keychains with your favorite picture to distribute during the celebration. An alternative option could be a personalized service program or bookmark with the deceased’s photo on them. This way, attendees have something to remember their loved one by every day.

6. Framed Photo “Guestbook”

In lieu of a guestbook, consider having guests sign a photo frame or mat with a picture of the loved one. If the family is expecting a significant crowd of guests, have more than one frame set up for attendees to sign or write their condolences.

This is only a short list of ideas to consider when incorporating photos into a celebration-of-life service. Keep in mind the needs and wishes of your client families and be as much of a resource as possible to help them with their grief.

What creative photo-sharing ideas have you used or seen? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Subscribe to the Homesteaders BlogGet the latest funeral service tips and insights delivered to your inbox.