Choosing Headstone Imagery for a Loved One

headstone with a cross etched into it

When a loved one passes, there are many decisions to be made, including how to best memorialize them on a headstone. Memorial headstones help you pay tribute to your loved one through beautiful words or images with many design options available. They can also help you create a lasting memory of your loved one with a photographic engraving, personalizing a memorial design that will last for many years to come. Here are a few tips and considerations for choosing headstone imagery.

Choose The Right Monument Company

Modern technology now allows us to add high-quality photos to headstones, helping you to honor your loved one with a personalized memorial. It’s important to choose a monument company who not only offers this option but is one you trust and who will be with you every step of the way to create your custom monument.

Consulting the experts will help ensure you choose the right material, photo type, and etching method, and take all other considerations into account so that you get a perfect product.

Consider The Right Technical Method

There are three technical methods for getting a photo onto a headstone, including engraving, etching, and attaching ceramic or porcelain photos.

  • Engraving: This is the most common option. Engraving is done through sandblasting, which uses compressed air to shoot small particles of sand through a hose to erode a granite surface. It can be done on both dark and light colors of granite and gives a beautiful finish.
  • Etching: This method can be done by laser or by hand, and is often used when a granite memorial requires a more detailed design. Etching produces a high contract marking on the material’s surface and is most commonly used for designs with a person’s face or scenic image.
  • Ceramic or porcelain photos: This option can also be an alternative. The material is typically porcelain, but ceramic is also an option. With this method, memorial photos can be directly attached to headstone. There are many sizes available, and shapes include oval, square, rectangle, or heart. Photos can be black, gray and white, or full color.

Pick The Right Image

Your chosen monument company can give you tips on choosing the right image, but there are several things to keep in mind.

First, the image must be high resolution to capture as much detail as possible. It should come from the original source, such as straight from a phone or camera that took the photo, not downloaded from social media or other sources. You should also avoid cropped photos because it will be difficult to fill or fix the lost parts on your monument.

Consider the background of the photo. A plain or neutral background is best for images of your loved one’s face so that they will be clearly visible. It also makes the image on the headstone look of higher quality.

Most importantly, you’ll want to find a photo that encapsulates the spirit of your loved one. The right image will be unique to your family, help tell a story, and leave a lasting impression for anyone who visits your loved one’s grave. 

Compare Costs

This is also something your monument company will help you with but understanding some of the basic cost considerations can be helpful in making the best headstone imagery choice for you. Porcelain or ceramic photos are typically the least expensive, but the price increases depending on the size, finish, and color. Laser etching is the next least expensive, though portraits are more expensive than other options, like a logo or symbol. Hand etching is most expensive and can get increasingly more depending on complexity and size of photo.

Tegeler Is Here

When it comes to choosing imagery for your loved one’s headstone, Tegeler Monument is here with you every step of the way. Our first meeting will walk you through your options to help you decide on a design. We will create a mockup for you to review and confirm, and we can help you choose a material to best capture your vision. After you’ve created the best design with the best materials, we will craft your custom piece. When it’s finished, we will deliver wherever you need it.

Contact us today to learn more and start designing your perfect memorial.