Photographs On Headstones

In the last couple of decades the adding of photographs to gravestones has become commonplace in the United Kingdom, having been a tradition in some European countries for far longer.

The most strai3-239x239ghtforward photographs are those that are on ceramic plates which are then fixed to the headstone. The image of your loved one that you choose can be one of them enjoying a drink, engaging in their hobbies, or a professionally posed photograph. Digital image enhancing software allows for the quality of faded photographs to be improved or backgrounds to be altered (for example if there is another person in the shot). After the enhanced image is printed on to the ceramic, it is kiln finished to ensure it can withstand the elements.

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Laser etched images are etched into the stone and bring out a great deal of detail, so for this reason the photograph that you choose must be of a high quality. In this instance, the process involves etching away the polished surface of the headstone so that the lighter coloured rock underneath is uncovered. A high resolution grayscale image is then left on the gravestone. As such the most suitable material for laser etched images is black granite. It is possible also to etch images onto existing gravestones. To do this they will be removed to the workshop for the process to be carried out.


Sarsfield Memorials are able to add photographs to new headstones that you purchase, or ones that are already in existence. However, please be aware that many churchyards do not allow photographs to be placed on family gravestones. As well as the two most common methods Sarsfield Memorials can offer traditional Italian resin (plastic) photo plaques which can be drilled, dowelled and fixed onto the headstone. By using this method it means they are more difficult to remove, less likely to fall off and this material is also very difficult to vandalise compared to ceramic, which can be easily smashed by stone throwing.

Whether you go for a ceramic plate, laser etched image or resin plaque for your loved one’s gravestone, any printed photographs that you provide to us are not destroyed in the process and we always return them. If you would like to discuss adding an image to a headstone, please contact us for further information and a free no obligation quote.