When your loved one dies, part of the grieving process is to remember the great times in that person's life. Funeral homes are helping families to preserve and share these memories by creating memorial videos that include important photos and music.
The funeral home staff can't do all the work alone, however. Family members need to find and share photos and include information that will help those viewing the video at the visitation or funeral service. The videos can also be shared with friends and family members who could not travel to attend the service.
What makes a particularly good memorial video? Here are five tips to help make a video that is an excellent tribute to a deceased loved one.
1. Involve as many family members as you can.
Yes, one person can collect and collate photos for a memorial video. But the experience of gathering images and sharing memories can be cathartic to friends and family members who get together to look at photos and choose those that best represent their loved one. Consider having an evening before the service where close family members and friends bring their photos and the group chooses those that are best suited for the video.
2. Limit the number of photos used.
While it's tempting to put every image you have in a video tribute, using just the really compelling photos will help viewers get a stronger feel for the deceased's life without becoming overwhelmed. About 35 images to make a video lasting 3 to 5 minutes is ideal.
3. Think about the aspect ratio of photos.
Those vertical photos are fantastic, but they won't crop properly to show on a horizontal television screen or computer monitor. The ratio of width to height--called the aspect ratio--is important to consider. Either make sure you include directions for the video editor on how to crop the images or, better yet, look mostly for horizontal images that will show up best on the screen.
4. Group photos sparingly.
A collage of photos can help share a story, but they can be hard to see and identify. Instead of putting five or more photos on one slide or video frame, choose just one that exemplifies the deceased's experience. In a few cases, you could use three photos in one frame -- perhaps when showing a dad with each of three daughters on their wedding days, for example.
A group of three photos together may also be a good way to use particularly great vertical shots that you don't want to crop for the screen.
5. Use captions wisely.
Not every photo needs a caption -- in fact, including a caption for each image can weigh down the video and make it drag for the audience. Think about creating captions for a set of photos, such as "Vacations with the Family."
For the benefit of viewers who may not know all the family members, you can include a close family photo with the members labeled, but otherwise resist the temptation to identify each person in each photo.
When you get your video done, make sure you can share it with family members and on social media. Some funeral homes retain a copyright and request that you purchase copies to share. You can ask your funeral home (such as Fletcher Funeral Home PA) about how this will work before you start work on the tribute.