Using Photo Gifts to Keep Memories Close

Saying goodbye to a loved one is an experience that changes us. As you navigate your own grief journey, it can be soothing and even uplifting to keep small, personal reminders of the time you shared with such a special person. One lovely idea is to place interesting objects capturing a photo memory at home, in your jewelry, on your desk at the office, or even in your car.


Photo gifts may also be perfect for friends and family who want to express their sympathy and support. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for sympathy gifts for a family member, friend or neighbor, this round-up of photo gift ideas from our editors will give you some of the latest inspiration:


Top Memorial Photo Gifts

It doesn’t matter if you choose something large or small, inexpensive or deluxe – the most important thing is to select a photo gift that helps to remember good times spent with a loved one. Here are a few popular remembrance gifts that feature photos:


  • Custom Envy: For a modern way to memorialize someone special, order a custom phone case, and keep them close all day long. Choose a classic photo of your loved one or a fun selfie or group shot.
  • Digital Photo Frame: A digital photo frame  is a great sympathy gift or remembrance that lets you customize and loop through a number of images. You can upload different images for the holidays or a favorite season or occasion too, to celebrate all the memories.
  • Memories Photo Album: If you’d rather have a book to hold in your hands, put together a beautiful photo book. You can do this by hand, printing out photos and pasting them into a book, or use an online service to design and print your photo  album and order copies for family as a special remembrance.
  • Memory Collage: Making something with your hands can be a comforting activity. Gather copies of cherished photos and put together a collage with special dates and memories. You might include a snapshot or timeline of your loved one’s life: birth, first home, school years, career accolades, marriage, and children. Or you might choose a theme (sports, gardening, dancing, etc.) and build your collage around that. Choose pictures that represent their personality and their beautiful life.
  • Photo Mug: If you reach for your beloved tea or coffee mug each day, you might enjoy ordering a photo mug featuring a great picture of your dear one. This can also be a great group remembrance gift for a memorial gathering.
  • Photo Puzzle: One delightful way to remember a loved one is with a photo puzzle. When the family gathers for holidays or for a super bowl party, pull out the puzzle for everyone to enjoy. As you assemble it, everyone can take turns sharing their favorite memories.
  • Remembrance Album: The great part about a remembrance album is putting together a book that includes written memories or notes, plus pictures. This is also a great gift project for a group or gathering in memory of someone special.
  • Photo Projection Necklace: Keep your loved one close to your heart with a photo projection necklace. To others, it appears to be just an elegant gem or stone. But when you hold light behind the picture, it can project onto a nearby wall or surface for a surprisingly lovely effect. This unique photo necklace can be kept as a memento just for you, or you can share it with others when they ask about your jewelry.
  • Photo Projection Necklace for A Pet:This modern idea is not just for people. If you or someone you know just lost a dear pet, you can also make a projection necklace featuring their photo. Choose a picture of a happy memory you shared with your beloved pet, such as an outing at your favorite park. Or celebrate an image of your pet looking at you or playing with their favorite toy. There are so many ways that you can remember your pet with a projection necklace.
  • Remembrance Ornament: A customized remembrance ornament is a sweet way to celebrate a loved one at the holidays, and makes a thoughtful sympathy gift as well. Online services make it possible to digitally print a photo memory onto an ornament. Whether it’s a portrait or casual shot, this makes a truly personal photo gift. Or choose a frame-shaped ornament from a destination that you shared together, such as Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, or even your favorite restaurant, and add a photo. After all, the most cherished holiday ornaments are those with the most meaning.
  • Custom Watercolor from a Photo: You can also keep a memory of your loved one in your home by hanging a custom watercolor of their likeness. Submit a favorite photo of your family member or friend. Maybe you have a picture of them at the beach or a close-up of their face that you would love to memorialize forever. You can choose a bold style or any technique that suits your aesthetic.


Tips for Choosing the Right Photo Memory for A Gift

If you’re making a photo gift for someone else, remember that they will likely really appreciate seeing photos that are new to them, or classics that are re-envisioned in your gift.  If you’re creating a remembrance for yourself, consider choosing or making several items that you can  layer into your daily experience–a piece of memorial jewelry, a keychain and a digital photo frame, for example.  


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