How to get the best from old photographs for a funeral order of service booklet

When preparing an order of service for a funeral, one of the best ways of creating a really lovely order of service is by having photographs included. Here’s a few tips from our lead order of service designer, Nick Llewellin, to help you get the best out of your photographs.

Technology has moved forwards over the decades and it is likely that most of the photos that you would like to include are the old fashioned type. Actually printed on photographic paper. 

So how do you get old images for a funeral order of service into a digital format. You can watch the video tutorial below, or read on for more details…

The answer is to use the camera on the back of your mobile phone. Any decent phone from 2015 or newer will have a camera on the back that is more than capable of getting a great copy of your original image. 

Here are some techniques that will ensure a good result.

How to get the best lighting

Modern indoor lighting gives off yellow or green light that the eye adapts to. The camera in your phone is calibrated to work best with natural daylight and this is the way to get the best reproductive colours. 

I recommend that you find a table next to a large window. make sure that the light is diffused (not direct sunlight shining on the original). A cloudy day would be perfect.

How to prevent blurring with a steady shot

It’s not easy holding a mobile phone and trying to arrange the photo so that it is square onto the camera and take the photo at the same time.

In an ideal world you would have a tripod to hold the phone steady while you arrange the image and take the photo, but there is a cheaper alternative…

The phone lens is normally at the top of the phone and this means that the other end can be held firm on top of something solid. I recommend a few large and heavy hardback books (think Encyclopaedia Britannica). The books should be approx 10 inches high (25cm) depending on the size of the original. 

Now place the original close to the spine of the bottom book and hold the phone halfway over the edge of the books. (take care not to stand in front of the window – blocking the light). This should give you a nice steady position to take the photo of the original.

Cropping your image

We’ve seen that many images of your loved one that get sent to us have been cropped a little too much. 

To help us blur the edges or arrange in a montage to achieve the most artistic result for your funeral order of service it is best to let us do the cropping by allowing space around the person so we can fade the picture gently. 

Sending your funeral order of service photo

Once you have a photo on your phone – how do you get it to us?

The best way is to email it over to [email protected] but please ensure that your email app is not shrinking the file before it gets sent. 

If the file size is smaller than 1Mb, then it is likely being compressed. Check in your email settings or try sending the image direct from within your photo app.

If you’d like to ensure your order of service images arrive to us at the highest quality you can use a free service such as Wetransfer to send us the images.

Using Google Photoscan

Photoscan is a great free app that is available for Android and iPhones. If your original photographs have reflective surfaces then it can be very difficult to remove them from the copy. 

Photoscan takes 4 photos (it guides you through the process) and combines the results to magically remove the reflections and glare.

In conclusion

Follow these simple tips, and you should be getting great results and it will boost the look of the final printed funeral order of service and they will become treasured items.

If you need any help or advice to get the best out of your images to create a memorable funeral order of service don’t hesitate to get in touch with us a [email protected]