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Guide to Placing a Picture on a Headstone, Mausoleum, Niche, Urn, and More!

Imagine the perfect picture on your loved one's memorial! This guide contains all the information you need to successfully plan and place a picture on your loved one's stone!

oval headstone pictures, pictures for headstones, memorial pictures


Here at MemorialPics LLC we've made thousands of pictures for families all over the world. We've learned a lot about the questions you may have and have created this guide to help you successfully place the best picture possible on your loved one's headstone that will permanently show visitors just who that special person was. The sections are as follows:

Permissions - Because we want you to have a hassle-free experience when it comes to placing the picture on the stone, we need to make sure you get the proper permissions prior to ordering.

Choosing a picture style - Because we want you to get a picture that look fantastic and fits perfectly on your loved one's stone.

Choosing which photo to use - Because we want your picture to be one of your favorites of your loved one and one that you want to see each time you visit their memorial.

Ordering - Because we want you to order with ease no matter your level of expertise with computers.

Warranty, installation, and care - Because your loved ones picture will last for generations with proper care.

Step 1 - Permissions

The very first step is to make sure that the family of the deceased are all in agreement that a picture should be placed on the stone. This is a very personal item and you just want to make sure that it will not cause issues. We have had orders cancelled in the past because all of the grandkids wanted to place a picture on grandma's headstone, but in the end, grandpa didn't want one on the stone. So please don't skip this step.

You will also need to obtain the permission of the cemetery to place a picture on the stone, mausoleum, or niche. Most cemeteries allow them, but some don't allow them or have restrictions pertaining to the size, shape, and style allowed.

Please be aware that in some instances the cemetery may try to tell you that they will not allow any pictures except for the ones that they sell at very high prices. THIS IS DISHONEST AND IN MANY CASES ILLEGAL! There are laws set at the state level to protect families from these predatory practices. If this happens to you, please don't be discouraged. A quick Google search for "cemetery oversight (your state)" may show you an organization that you can contact for guidance.

Step 2 - Choosing Shape, Size, and Material

There are two materials commonly used for these pictures: 100% porcelain or enameled steel. The porcelain pictures are purely a porcelain tile whereas the enameled steel pictures are a piece of stainless steel that has been covered with porcelain. We sell only the 100% porcelain pictures. We used to make the stainless steel pictures, but they are more expensive and the colors don't turn out as well as they are fired at a lower temperature. Some companies insist that they are more durable, but anything that will break a 100% porcelain picture will also crack the porcelain enamel of the steel picture. Overall, we believe the 100% porcelain pictures are superior and that is what we recommend and sell.

When choosing the shape that you would like, you will also need to consider the photo you are using (see the example photos below). Depending on how the people in the photo are positioned, some shapes may not turn out well. For instance, if the people are very close to the corners or edges, the photo may not work for the oval, round, or heart shape and is best suited to the rectangle shape.

Regarding sizing, you will want to measure the height and width of the open space on the stone to determine the size that will fit in the area. If you have a space that has been cut out of the stone for a picture (see photo to the right) then you will need to measure that space and subtract 1/4" from the height and from the width to come up with the correct size to order (this is so that there is a little bit of wiggle room around the picture). For instance, if the cut out area measures 3 3/4" wide and 5" tall then you would need to order our 3.5"x4.7" size. The downloadable guide at the top includes sizing templates that you can use to determine if the picture will fit in the desired area of the stone (it does not include the largest sizes as they don't fit on the sheet).

You can find all shapes and sizes by visiting our shop.

Step 3 - Choosing a Photo

The next step is to choose the perfect photo for your loved one. When doing this please keep in mind the shape that you are wanting to make sure that the picture works for the desired shape (see choosing shape above). And the clearer and better quality picture that you provide us, the better the finished product. Other than that, simply choose the picture that you love the most of your loved one. It may be a picture from when they are younger or older, and some customers even get both!

If you have a printed picture then you will need to have it scanned at a high resolution so that you can upload the picture to our website. If you do not have a scanner or know how to do this, you can also take the picture and have it scanned at a high resolution at an OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, FedEx Print & Ship, or another location and then have them email you the file so that you can upload it to our website. In many instances, taking a picture of a picture with your phone is not ideal and will not yield good, clear results. Many times there are shadows and glares and the colors are not true if you take a picture of a picture with a phone. Please either get the picture scanned or send it by mail for best results.

(As a side note, the coloring in the finished product may not be the exact same as the original picture. We do our best to match the colors with the ceramic toners used, but certain colors such as purples, hot pinks, and very bright colors may not be able to be reproduced accurately. Please keep this in mind when choosing your photo.)

Step 4 - Submitting Your Order

When it comes to submitting your order, there are 2 ways in which you can do it. No matter how you order, we normally ship the orders out of our facility about 1-2 weeks after we receive them. These ordering options can be viewed on our website when you select the shape that you would like to order from our home page.

Use Our Online Customizer

The online customizer allows you to upload your pictures and customize them within the desired shape yourself. If you choose to use it we will not send you a proof by email because we will crop the picture exactly as you have customized it (if you need a proof, please see the next session on having us do the customization). 

Have Us Customize Your Pictures

If you are not comfortable using our online customizer then you can simply upload your picture to the order form and we will edit your picture and email you a proof to approve before we produce the image.

(As a side note, the coloring in the finished product may not be the exact same as the original picture. We do our best to match the colors with the ceramic toners used, but certain colors such as purples, hot pinks, and very bright colors may not be able to be reproduced accurately. Please keep this in mind when choosing your photo.)

Step 5 - Warranty, Installation, and Care


MemorialPics™ are guaranteed against fading and discoloration for the lifetime of the purchaser. If the ceramic picture arrives damaged, promptly notify us and we will send you a replacement at no charge. If requesting a replacement, please provide us with the order number and the name of the purchaser. We keep electronic copies of all photos for up to 30 days after shipment so that we can quickly replace them if necessary. We require proof of the damaged or faded product in order to replace it and the same photo must be used for the replacement. This warranty does not cover the metal frames.

We also have a 20-year comprehensive warranty that can be purchased for a small fee ($14.99 for orders under $200 or $24.99 for orders over $200) which covers the picture against breaks, chips, cracks, or vandalism (excluding theft). If any of those events occur, simply provide us with evidence of the damage and we will replace the picture at no charge. The same picture must be used for the replacement and there is only one replacement per photo ordered. This warranty does not cover the replacement photos or normal wear of metal frames.

As these are custom products, there are no returns or free replacements for reasons other than those stated above.


Monument companies may offer to install the ceramic pictures on the headstones and essentially remove a piece of the monument to fit the photo inside. However, these ceramic pictures can also be installed with relative ease using industrial adhesive supplied by many distributors, which comes free with all of our products.

Installation instructions are as follows:

1. Use alcohol to clean the mounting surface (i.e. headstone, grave marker, urn, etc.) to which the ceramic picture will be placed.

2. Place your ceramic picture on the mounting surface and mark the positioning with a pencil or other instrument.

3. Remove the film from the tape on the back and position the ceramic picture between your markings, pressing it firmly for about 2 minutes.

4. For the most attractive results, use a high quality silicon caulking to seal the gap between the edges of the ceramic picture and the mounting surface. This will also provide a seal to keep moisture from possibly affecting the adhesive.

Caring for your picture

Not much care is needed on these pictures because they are very durable and weather-resistant. However, sometimes hard water can accumulate on them. If this happens, simply use a diluted mixture of CLR and water to remove the hard water from the picture. Please follow safety precautions listed on the labels of all chemicals used.

Now you're ready to order! Click here to start the ordering process!