Curating Online Memorial Photos and Videos

Curating Photos and Videos for Your Online Memorial

In a previous article, we offered a guide for memorial services. An online memorial is essentially a web version of a memorial service, except the former is something that loved ones can visit anytime they want. In our memorial service guide, one of our suggestions was to curate a photography gallery at the memorial service to showcase the vibrant and beautiful life the dearly departed had lived. 

We live in a visual-centered society in this day and age. From popular websites like YouTube to apps like Instagram, we are obsessed with visual media because they offer us instantaneous gratification and are easily shareable to others. It is common and recommended to feature appropriate photos of your loved one. You can even embed any videos you think would be good to share in your online memorial. 

1. Choose Appropriate Content

Due to the nature of an online memorial, it is wise to choose photos and/or videos that are appropriate for the website. Remember, many of the media you post online could remain there for a long period of time, even after you’ve deleted it certain contents. With programs like the Wayback Machine and online forensics tools, seemingly deleted photos and videos could resurface elsewhere. 

Since an online memorial is supposed to be a permanent online tribute for your loved one, choose photos and other visual media that would last the test of time. There’s nothing wrong with posting a silly photo, because it shows their character, but there is a difference between silly and embarrassing, or lewd in some way. 

2. Show Their Best Qualities

When curating your photos and videos, be sure to show your loved one’s personality. A great photo or even a short clip of a video can radiate your beloved’s energy, and show that they are full of life. Pick photos in which they are smiling, laughing, and generally projecting positive energy. Photos of them in deep thought or a moment of contemplation would also showcase their personality’s layers. There is no such thing as a boring person. Highlight the depth of your loved one’s soul through your photo gallery and short videos.

3. Show Different Aspects of Their Life

A good idea would be to post a photo series chronicling your loved one’s life. Baby photos, scenes from their childhood, and milestones in life (e.g. graduation, birthdays, etc.) are some of the precious moments you could post on the online memorial. Also, show their relationships with family members, friends, colleagues, and others who they were close to. Holidays and vacation photos are a staple of photo galleries in online memorials. 

You could also show photos or videos of your loved one doing their hobbies and passions. Perhaps your loved one was active in sports or volunteering. Choose visual media of different aspects of your loved one’s time on earth to show their depth, and that they lived a full and meaningful life. 

Photo Memories

4. Moderation is Key

Although it’s tempting to post a plethora of photos and long videos in the online memorial page, remember that moderation is key. This is both for practical and aesthetic purposes. While Skymorials can accommodate large amounts of media files, you must keep in mind that large files could slow down the page load speeds of your online memorial. 

Likewise, having too many photos and videos could be hard on the eyes for viewers. Curation is about choosing the best quality and most meaningful photos, rather than treating the online memorial page as a giant repository. 

5. Practice Discretion 

Unless your loved one had stated explicitly in a formal or informal will regarding personal media files, you can assume that would be fine to post photos and videos owned by your loved one. However, as we suggested earlier, you should choose appropriate content. When deciding what to post, think to yourself, “Would he/she have wanted these pictures to be published online?” If the answer is no, then move on to more appropriate photos. 

There are some pictures and videos--whether owned by your dearly departed or by others--that could have a negative effect on our loved one’s reputation, legacy and image. Just because someone has passed away, it doesn’t mean their right to privacy is nullified. Keep this in mind when curating your online memorial’s photo and video galleries. 

Online Memorial Photos