Just had this thought and I’m caught between the two. Assuming anything being considered were all “good” photos, what would you prefer if it were you?

*Lots of great responses! I do want to clarify that I am not currently dealing with this scenario myself, but I appreciate the thoughtful comments. Hopefully they can help people that are struggling. I know I’ll keep them in mind for the future.

  • HarbingerOfTomb@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    US Funeral Director here, You should use the best more recent photo that you have. The purpose of the obituary photo is recognition by people who may not know the name.

    If you want to have two photos, you could do a recent photo, and a prime photo, but the recent photo is more important. The prime photo only has significance to the family.

  • somnuz@lemm.ee
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    3 months ago

    Oh, something I actually know something about as I was working with people choosing pictures for the gravestones and/or funerals…

    There are no strict rules, but I always saw the tendency for going with voices of the family “he looks really handsome on this one”, “yeah, that’s her face, you know, she always looked like this during the fall, her favorite part of the year” and so on… This might not be helpful but the best one is the one representing the connection as much as possible.

    I have this strong feeling after so many of those — sometimes very unpleasant — talks, that anyone that has to choose, already made that choice internally, they mostly just don’t want to make it officially, as it is making the loss and whole situation even more real.

    It is mainly for everyone mourning, a form of expressing how they want and need to remember this person. I would go with the one that pulls the string inside “yeah, that’s them, that’s how I see them”… Most often, that picture was actually making people smile, cheer up, even if through the tears, that was the sign for me that we have the best one.

  • Paragone@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    put 1 of each:

    some will remember them from their “prime”, others only knew them more-recently.

    Your intent is to represent their life, right? Not just a moment in it.

  • DontTakeMySky@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    We had this challenge with my grandmother. I had some really memorable moments with her late in her life, but she looked a lot sicker and run down in any pictures from that time, but that’s how I remember her (at least that’s part of how I remember her). My mom didn’t want to share as many pictures from that phase of her mom’s life though because she remembered her younger and more active, so it made putting a memories collage together complicated. Especially since all the early pictures were still in albums spread across the country with her children.

    Personally I want people to use pictures of me that let them remember me the best. Not the best of me, but the best of our relationship, even if that’s me as an ugly old fart.

  • spittingimage@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    I think it should be recent, because that’s how the people who knew them would remember them.

    Or both, if you have the space.

  • key@lemmy.keychat.org
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    3 months ago

    Option A) Do what the deceased would have wanted Option B) pick the most embarrassing picture you can find. Like that picture of them throwing up in college or when they were five and got their head stuck in the playground ladder.

  • NeoNachtwaechter@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    respectful

    That is not a question of respect, but of quality.

    You and the other survivors want to keep the deceased in good memory. Usually the best pictures are about a year old. Maybe 1/2, maybe 2 or 3 years, but hardly more. Not the pictures from the very last days, because there is sickness/weakness already too visible.

  • jeffw@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    What’s the photo for? You can display multiple photos at a funeral. If you’re publishing it, probably go with them in their prime

  • Today@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Choose the best current photo you have for the primary photo and obit. Consider also making a collage of photos from through their life.

  • Num10ck@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    just noting that people have started putting QR codes on tombstones that direct to a collection/directory of multimedia photos videos audio, notes etc. i think its a great use.

    • deegeese@sopuli.xyz
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      3 months ago

      A tombstone should last for centuries, but a QR code depends on a URL that might not last 5 years.

      Either the QR code should be on a swappable card, or needs to point at a domain controlled by the family like RememberingJoeSmith.com

      • Nollij@sopuli.xyz
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        3 months ago

        How long do you think Joe Smith’s family is going to maintain that site, given that it costs real money?

        Related: How long after death until people stop visiting the grave?

        (Yes, there’s a joke about the dead visiting graves, but I chose to ignore it)

  • AggressivelyPassive@feddit.de
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    3 months ago

    I’d argue, that also depends on the kind of person.

    Often, there are news about some actor dying who had his prime back in the 70s/80s and didn’t get much publicity afterwards. Hardly anybody knows how that person looks today. So I think an old photo would be fine.

  • Flax@feddit.uk
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    3 months ago

    Wikipedia uses photos in their prime. I think it’s fine if they look healthy.