10 Ways to Add a Deceased Loved One to a Family Photo

This entry was posted on June 22, 2023 by Gauri Thoyakkat.

Add a Deceased Loved One to a Family Photo

Family photos are treasures that can immortalize all the sweet moments you spend with your family. They can act as great memorials of the moments you all spend together and sweet reminders of how amazing it is to spend quality time as a family.

Family photos are significant objects that can help you remember the great old times you spend with your family. They are also a great way to remember any deceased family member when you are in grief.

Deceased Loved One to a Family Photo


You may have felt sad that your deceased loved one can no longer be in your recent family photos. How great would it be if they could also be present in those pictures that portray the bond and love all your family members share for each other?

This article will prove to you that it is possible to include them as well in your recent family photographs. Read on to find ten ways to add a deceased loved one to a family photo!

How To Add A Deceased Loved One To A Family Photo?

When a loved one passes away, accepting that they are no longer physically present in our lives can be incredibly challenging. However, various ways exist to keep their memory alive and honor their legacy. One such method is by incorporating them into family photos.

Family Photo


Your deceased loved one will be missed the most by all of your family members at the time of taking family photos. You can now erase such a feeling by incorporating them into family photos using several available digital editing software.

In this article, we will see how to ensure that they remain a cherished and valued part of your family's memories for years to come. Let’s explore ten such different ways to incorporate your loved one into your family photos.

1. Creating or Commissioning A Family Painting

We all know how a family portrait painting can be an excellent decor for your house. Since this method includes drawing and painting all the members, adding your deceased loved one to the portrait won't be hard if you are a good artist. So, this is a great way to add your family member who is no more to a family picture.



If you are a good artist who can paint well, you can make a family portrait that can pay homage to all your family members, including the deceased loved ones. This idea will also make a thoughtful gift you can give any of your family members or a great aesthetic item you can hang in your house.

You can also hire an artist who takes commissions to make a family portrait for you for a fee. You will have to provide them with pictures of all your family members, including those of any deceased family members, so that the artist can include everyone in the painting. You can also give them specific demands on how you want the family portrait and any other necessary details to get a great result.

2. Ghost Photo

Another way among the ten ways to add a deceased loved one to family photos is through Ghosts Photos. If you are not familiar with what a ghost photo is, it includes adding a picture of your deceased family member in your recent family photos at a lower opacity, making them look translucent. By adding deceased loved ones to the image this way, the result you get is a "ghost" effect, getting its name from how they are less visible, like a ghost, compared to the rest of the family.

Loving Memory Prints

Loving Memory Prints

Ghost photos are a powerful way of remembering your lost loved one who is no more while clarifying that they are no more. The photo will give you the feeling that their physical body left this materialistic world while their soul is still around, looking out for you and all your family members that they love so much.

3. Silhouette Photo

Another method to add your deceased loved one to your recent family picture is by adding a silhouette photo of them to it. This method is quite similar to the ghost photo one, except that here it will just be a silhouette of your family member who is no more.

You must ensure that the photo you choose of your deceased family member shows their profile clearly, with clear outlines of their face and body. Once you select an apt picture, you can use photo editing tools to cut out their silhouette and carefully paste them in a vacant, good position in your family picture.

 deceased family member


If necessary, adjust the lighting of the silhouette to match that of the background of your family photo. This can help give a fine finish to your newly edited silhouette photo. Like a ghost photo, silhouette photos can also give you the feeling that your deceased loved one is always looking out for you and the family.

4. Hire A Professional

If you are not very good at using image editing tools or Photoshop, you can always hire a professional to do the work for you. You will be able to find many professional editors that are experts in Photoshop, specializing in adding people to photos in a very realistic manner.



Such professionals know the sensitivity around this work very well and can work perfectly to make the best rendition of your demands and their knowledge in the area. You can find a professional whose fees are reasonable and affordable for you to add your lost loved one to family photos.

5. Memorial Corner

A method to add your deceased loved one to family photos without using image editing tools or Photoshop is to do a memorial corner. It is like a ghost photo in that it makes any viewer of the picture figure out that the added person in the existing family photo is no more.

All you have to do to make a memorial corner is add a picture of the deceased in a vacant corner of your recent family photo before framing the image. This way, you can easily honor your deceased loved one by including them in the family photos without photoshopping.

6. Collage

Another excellent method to add your deceased loved ones to family photos is by making a collage of all the old and recent family pictures. Making a collage is easier than Photoshopping or using other image editing tools.

You only need a basic editing application or tool on your desktop or mobile phone tool to make a collage using digital photos. Most such editing applications will also provide you with many alignments to arrange the images in different ways and make the perfect collage.



You can also make collages with physical images. You can stick all the required images for the collage on the different areas of a canvas or craft paper which is a perfect way to include your deceased loved one in family photos. There is no better way to honor every family member than by making the perfect collage of them.

You can include pictures that you took throughout your life to find all the necessary and fantastic photos with no member missed. Include old family photos that show your deceased family member all healthy and sound, and any other images that celebrate the progression of your family. This can also be an excellent family print, that can be a perfect personalized sympathy gift to anyone or a hanging piece in your house.

7. Prepare A New Family Photo

Instead of everyone posing for a new family photo, you can prepare one by photoshopping every family member carefully into a picture. This method involves manipulating different images to blend well to make it appear as though every family member is in a single place posing together for a family photo.

Colorking Studio

Colorking Studio

This method of making a new family photo through Photoshop is called photo merge, and you can do it in several ways. But to successfully perform it, you must be good at handling Photoshop and similar image editing tools. You can also hire a professional for photo merging, but you will have to pay a fee for the same.

8. Image Editing or Photoshop

If you are good at image editing and Photoshop, adding your deceased loved one to your recent family photos won’t be hard. If you are skilled in Photoshop, you may have already attempted and succeeded in doing so. If you are still a beginner, you can find plenty of video tutorials to help you further with the process.



Otherwise, you can approach someone you know who is very good at image editing and Photoshop to help you. They can add your lost loved family member to family photos as if they are physically present in that picture. There may also be art firms and Photoshop groups that can do the same for you if you are willing to pay a small fee.

Programs other than Photoshop, like GIMP, PicMonkey, or Acron, can also help you add objects or people to your photos. While these apps are easily accessible, the disadvantage is that their features are often limited compared to Photoshop.

9. Graphic or Vector Designing A Family Painting

Similar to painting or drawing a family portrait, a modern and digital way of making one is using Graphic Designing or Vector Art. If you are familiar with digital painting or have tried painting self-portraits using digital art, you can attempt to make a family portrait by also including your deceased loved one.



Attempting Graphic Designing and Vector Art is a great and unique way to make a family portrait. Besides illustration application subscription fees, you do not have to spend money on art supplies if you make the family portrait using graphic designing or vector art-making applications.

You can also commission an artist who is an expert at digital painting to make a family portrait for you using graphic designing or vector art. Commissioning digital artwork is not much different from commissioning artists who use conventional painting techniques. You must provide pictures of all family members, including those of the deceased ones you wish to add to the family portrait. You can also make any special requirements you want to see in the painting, and the artist will charge you a fee for the work.

10. Video Memorial

Making a video memorial is a great way to pay homage to your deceased loved one. By preparing a video memorial, you can include all the photos, including the ones of your lost loved family member. You can compile all of them into a slideshow or video tribute that looks heart-touching and memorable.

Better Place Forests

Better Place Forests

A Video Memorial is a more powerful, unique, and personal way of honoring the lives of every family member, especially of the ones who are no more. You can also add and compile many more pictures than you can in a collage, making it a great way to narrate the life you and your family members have lived so far.

There are several applications that you can use to make a video memorial without much hassle. Most such apps and their tools are self-explanatory. However, if you still need clarification on how to make the perfect video memorial, you can refer to the plenty of tutorials that are available online.


There are many ways to add a deceased loved one to a family photo. For example, using photo editing software to create a memorable tribute through video memorials. Each method offers a unique way to honor and remember your lost loved one who is no longer with you.

Whether you choose to use silhouette editing, photo collages, painted family portraits, or even physical memorials, it is important to find a way to keep their memory alive and close to your heart. By adding your lost loved one to family photos, you can keep their presence with you in a tangible way and ensure that their legacy lives on for generations to come.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Painting a Horse with Oil Paints

    February 19, 2024

  • Famous Horse Paintings: A Captivating Journey into Equine Artistry

    February 19, 2024

  • Mastering Realistic Painting: Essential Tips and Techniques

    November 21, 2023

  • How to Create a Custom Portrait? A Brief Guide

    November 18, 2023

  • How can I make my photos look vintage? Five easy ways to do

    September 18, 2023