Planning a funeral when emotions are in turmoil is one of the most difficult life experiences. Funeral directors offer tremendous guidance throughout but loved ones still have to do the hardest work with preparing the materials.
Photos have the strongest effect on your emotions, yet even just going through photo albums with your closest loved ones is part of the reflection process that helps the grieving process.
Picking just one photo to use at a memorial service will be unimaginably difficult. By using different display options, you can get more photos on show, lessening the need to put limitations on what photos to display.
Photo Display Options for a Funeral Service
The main portrait photo
This is usually situated at the front of the room and will be a portrait photo of the person that the service is in memory of. This will be displayed either in a frame or on a board attached to an easel.
Poster photo boards for a memorial service
Funeral posters tend to be 24” x 36” and are designed for displaying a collage, just like multi-aperture photo frames. To create these, you can search online for funeral poster templates, or if anyone in the family or friends is skilled in graphic design, ask for their help to create a custom poster design. As these are larger than standard prints, they will need to be printed professionally with a large format printer and then displayed on an art board on a freestanding easel. These collage posters can be displayed around the room.
Solo photos work well for funeral posters as they are devoted entirely to the person’s life. Rather than include photos of the person alongside other close relatives, friends and extended family, the focus is kept exclusively on the person being honoured.
Each poster becomes a snapshot of the person’s life. It could be photos of them dancing, cooking, knitting, enjoying tea and a scone, or at the theatre. The snapshot into the person’s whole life experience can mean using photos from as early back as your photo collection goes.
Gran with their parents, perhaps great grandparents, as toddlers in the garden, or the farm they grew up, in their wedding dress, their first home etc. The purpose of a photo board is not solely to display the best photos. It is to display the best snapshot of a life well lived, loved, and filled with joyous occasions.
Display Ideas for a Remembrance Table
The memorial table is another important aspect of a funeral display. It will include tabletop frames either 7” by 5” or 8” x 10” photos of the person, along with other personal memorabilia. Examples of personal mementoes could be a favourite fascinator worn at races, concert tickets to their all-time idol, or the everyday mug for tea/coffee. The personal memento is about the person’s hobbies, interests, and life experiences and can include their occupation too such as a special pen or watch gifted to them on retirement or awarded for their work.
Completing the curation is a book of condolence and perhaps a memory jar for other mourners to add their personal memories in the form of handwritten notes on memory cards that are then placed into the memory jar.
Creating a Digital Display for a Remembrance Photo Slideshow
The slideshow is where to include photos with others in the circle of friends and family. It brings inclusion to the service. Helping others to see themselves with the person and remember the memory.
When creating the slideshow, a time duration needs to be set. This is usually up to five-second increments, meaning each photo will display for five seconds, then transition into the next photo in the slide show. At 5-second increments, the slideshow would need 12 photos per minute. Most music slots at funeral services are 3 minutes so a photo slideshow would require 36 photos minimum, and more if the display time was decreased from 5 seconds to 4, or even three seconds.
Slideshows that are saved to a memory card can be used at the memorial service, and again at the wake using any digital display screen, perhaps placing a digital photo display on the remembrance table. For these, any number of photos can be shown without limitations other than the memory limits of the storage card.