Choosing photos for an Order of Service

Blog: how to choose photos for an order of service.

How to choose photos for an Order of Service

When families enquire about our Orders of Service, one of the most common questions they ask is what we recommend in terms of how to choose photographs to include.

The first decision to make is the approximate quantity that you wish to use; whether you are thinking of a small number of good sized images or a storytelling, montage style with space for a broad selection of smaller ones, we have Order of Service styles available to suit. Some families choose the design they like and determine their image quantity accordingly, others start with an approximate quantity of photos in mind and then select a design that fits this.

Regardless of quantity, we recommend the selection is made up of contrasting pictures that allow the Order of Service to celebrate the breadth and impact of your loved one’s life.

Types of photos that work really well:
  • a wide range of ages or stages of their life
  • a mix of photos of them by themselves as well as with people who were special to them
  • enjoying hobbies
  • in uniform for, or photographed doing, a job/career/voluntary work that they loved or were proud of
  • particular achievements – for example sporting or academic successes
  • milestones such as their wedding day or holding their newborn child
  • special pets
  • holiday photos from special trips
  • pictures that reflect particular aspects of their personality – “that’s just so him/her”
  • your own particular favourites

You will no doubt have far more lovely photos than there will be space for in the booklet. How do you narrow them down and choose photos for an Order of Service that your loved one would be proud of?

The selection process – our tips:
  • Don’t do it on your own – having a friend or family member to help means that you can enjoy reminiscing together as you come across the lovely memories the photos reignite.
  • Take a first look through the photos and keep aside/earmark all those that you’d like to include – don’t hold back, it doesn’t matter at this stage if there are far more than you plan to actually use.
  • Group them into themes of similar ones together.
  • Taking a theme at a time, whittle them down to your favourite couple for each.
  • Pull them all together so that you can see the selection as a whole.
  • Reduce it again until you are left with a final set that compliment each other and truly reflect your loved one.
  • Most importantly though, follow your heart! This isn’t science so regardless of a contrasts, themes and a selection process, make your final choice based on the ones you feel are right.
  • Send us around 25% more photographs than there will ultimately be space for. This gives us some flexibility to select pictures which best fit the spaces available and that those close together work beautifully in harmony.
  • Send them to us via www.wetransfer.com 
  • Let us know if there are any that you particularly want to be included or any that you want to be positioned in specific places on the Order of Service booklet.
Hard-copy photos

When they choose photos for an Order of Service, many people ask what to do with older pictures that they only have in hard copy. Whilst we do offer a full scanning service, families are very understandably reluctant to part with original images at this time. Thanks to the availability of a good camera on almost every smart phone, many people choose instead to take a photograph of the photograph. If doing this, we highly recommend the following:

  • remove them from frames
  • lay each photograph flat on a table and photograph them one by one, from directly overhead
  • take the photo in natural light, in an evenly lit area away from shadows.

Many families comment afterwards how much they have enjoyed the selection process to choose photos; looking back through the images and reminiscing about the different occasions, stories and memories they bring. This, in turn, is what our Orders of Service are designed to do at the funeral or memorial service – allow family and friends to look back at some of these defining moments of such a special life and share stories and memories with laughs and smiles, which the booklets allow them to take away and treasure.


Categories: Funeral Stationery