Choosing the Perfect Photo for your Photo Engraved Necklace

Written by Frances Kay / Category Picture Engraved Jewelry / February 23rd 2024

Reviewed By Hallie S. /15 min read

Article Spotlight

  • Lighting is one of the most critical factors for ensuring that your photo engraved necklace turns out great. Images with excessive shadows or too much light saturation tend to lose detail and the end result is a lower quality engraving.
  • Selecting a photo that is at least 400 pixels in size in both directions is key to having enough raw data for our artists to work with when editing your photo.
  • Select an image that makes you smile. The engraving is permanent and if worn daily, the image will be something you see often.

10 tips on selecting a photo for your picture engraved necklace.

If you’ve decided to buy a picture engraved necklace, it’s a good idea to know what qualities to look for in whichever photo you select. You may also still be deciding on which picture engraved pendant is the best for you.

You might be surprised to know that there are certain things that make a photo better than others when you’re selecting for your picture engraved necklace. Choosing the right one is important since it’s probably something you will want to look at quite often!

Here at Everlasting Memories we have been offering photo engraved necklaces since 2009. Since that time we have perfected the process of transfering that one of kind image to a permanently engraved piece of jewelry. We photo engrave approximately 1000 pieces of jewelry per year. We use special software to professionally edit your picture and state of the art equipment to engrave your necklace. Over the years we have learned what the ingredients are to make that perfect picture engraved necklace.

Read on to find out more about custom picture jewelry and our top ten tips to select the best photo when ordering a picture engraved necklace.

Our experience with Photo Engraving since 2009

What Is a Picture Engraved Necklace?

First, what is a picture engraved necklace? A picture engraved necklace is a necklace that is created by duplicating an original photo you’ve given us. The pendants are available in black and white, or in color—whatever appeals to you the most!

That photo is enhanced by our engravers and is then permanently etched onto the metal of a pendant of your choosing using state of the art engraving equipment.

10 Tips for Selecting the Best Picture

How can you decide on a photo for your picture engraved necklace? What constitutes a “good photo,” anyway? Won’t it turn out the same regardless? Believe it or not, the photo you choose for your picture engraved necklace does matter. Different photos pose varying challenges when it comes to engraving them onto the metals and we want the end result to be as perfect as the picture you present.

Read the following for our ten tips to take into consideration for both black and white, and color engraved pendants when you’re searching for that perfect pendant photo.


Photos that have been taken in dark areas or rooms with low lighting are not the optimal photo because there is too much shadow. The details of the subject are also often more difficult to enhance.

A dark room also casts a shadow over the person in the photo and makes it harder for our engraver to grab the crucial details of a person’s face and their facial expression. Try to avoid using photos like these when possible.

Excessive darkness in a photo

Example of excessive darkness

Take a look at this photo. The lighting on the right side of the image is great. The picture is clear and the details are easy to make out. On the left side of the photo there are some real issues. The excessive shadowing makes it very difficult to extract any fine details for a successful engraving.

Be aware that photos taken outdoors typically have the most amount of issues with regards to excessive darkness. Indoor light can be controlled, but outdoor light is generally out of your control. To make matters more difficult, outdoor light is constantly changing with the rotation of the earth4.


An example of great lighting and clarity for a picture engraved necklace.

Look for a crisp, clear photo. Make sure it is completely free of any shadows, and that it isn’t blurry. A general rule of thumb is that the clearer and more focused the picture is, the better the photo will engrave into the pendant.

If you are looking through photos on your mobile device, search for photos that have clear details. If the photos are part of an iPhone photo burst5, look for a photo that has clear focus and great detail within the burst. Often time a photo burst will contain photos that change in clarity a bit while the burst was taken. Take some time and look for an image that has great clarity.


The resolution size of your image is critical when it comes to an engraved picture necklace. The higher the resolution, the more detail will be engraved on your necklace. We recommend choosing a photo that’s no smaller than 400 pixels1 in either direction. This will ensure you get the best quality engraved image for your pendant, regardless if you choose black and white engraving or color engraving.

Engravers Tip - How to check your picture size

To Check your images size on a PC, right click on the on the image and select properties3. Look at the images dimensions and make sure they are larger than 400 in both directions.

To check your images size on a Mac, right click on the image and select Get Info3. Look at the images dimensions and make sure they are larger than 400 in both directions.


This is a great example of a well lit, up close and personal photo that would work excellent for a picture engraved necklace.

Close up shots work very well for engraving. A nice and clean “from the shoulders up” photo usually shows a good amount of facial detail, which allows us to make a good, quality engraving of your loved one. There are several resources out there for taking a great head shot2, but sometimes it is worth hiring a professional to get that perfect photo.

A great way to think about it is to imagine the image in thirds vertically. We like to have some space above the head, usually no more than 1/3. The middle third of the image should be the area that you really want us to focus on for engraving. The bottom third of the image is what we refer to as 'extra'. Depending on the shape of the pendant, that 'extra' may or may not be engraved. For example, a heart shaped pendant does not have much 'extra' room vertically. A dog tag shapped pendant has a lot of 'extra' room vertically.


Photos that are too bright will wash out the details of the subject in the picture.

Photos that are taken in the sunlight, or any bright light in the background tend to wash out the subjects of focus that we are trying to engrave. Bright lights can often cast a shadow over the face and the front part of the person that we are trying to get good engraving details from.

We can use these photos, but keep in mind that they will require more extensive editing, and that may degrade the overall quality of the image that is engraved on your jewelry.


This is a great example of a head on shot. All of the subjects are looking straight at the photographer. This would be an excellent choice for a photo engraved necklace.

The best kinds of photos are those where the individual is looking straight at the camera. These are the best picture style because the engraving can then pick up all the intimate details of the photo subject’s face.

In contrast, if the photo is taken from the side, it can diminish the kind of clarity that we can get from the subject’s face. Side shots tend to have less contrast and the contrast is what helps our editing software to pick up detail.


Do you have a photo with a group of people in it, but you only want one person engraved? The best way to go is to just send the whole photo and let us know the individual that you want cropped out and engraved. Be sure to leave specific instructions in the order comments, such as “only want the woman wearing the red sweater engraved”.

When you zoom in and try to crop everything else out yourself, it will cause the photo to lose some of its resolution. Instead, let our engravers take care of it. They can easily crop the person out and get a good, quality engraving for your pendant.

Engravers Tip - Editing your own photo

If you have special requests with your picture, such as wanting to only have 2 of the 3 people that are in the photo actually engraved on the necklace, please let us take care of that for you. Part of the overall price of our items includes the labor to professionally edit your photo. Our artists have been editing photos for 15 years and have learned several techniques to make your image really stand out and look great.

New photo apps and AI technology do a great job on some editing, but Traditional Methods6 of editing are still largely preferred by professionals.


Merging two people from two different photos on to one pendant.


If you have a situation where you have two different photos of two different people, but you want them on the same picture engraved necklace together, we can do that. We can actually take two separate photos and merge them together.

Our expert engravers can crop out each person from each photo and merge them into the same photo. They then soften the lines from the merging and are able to make it appear just like a natural photo of both of them together.

All we need from you is to make sure that the two photos are good quality photos. Having similar lighting in each photo helps to ensure the image that is engraved looks natural. Customers are always encouraged to have us take a look at their request before ordering, and we can let you know our thoughts on how the engraving will look.


We usually prefer to take out the background of a photo that is going to be engraved because it takes away from the subject that we are trying to enhance. For that reason, it is best to not choose a photo because of what you can see in the background.

For example, say that you have a photo of two people on the beach and you want to include the beautiful blue color of the ocean. Once we change the photo over to black and white for the engraving, that blue will no longer play a part in the engraving of your pendant.

Of course, this is a different situation if you have chosen to purchase a color photo engraved pendant. In that case, the lovely and deep blue of the ocean would stand out beautifully!


A photo engraved necklace celebrating the birth of a child is a wonderful way to commemorate the occasion.

Pick a photo that makes you smile! Choose one that represents a specific moment you might have shared with the person in the photo.

This could be a big and memorable day like a wedding, proposal, birth day, the day they left to go abroad, or anything along those lines. Just make sure it’s a meaningful one.

You could even choose a picture you’ve got that captured a silly moment you might have shared with the person you are gifting the jewelry to—whatever kind of photo that best captures and symbolizes your relationship with them.


Now that you’ve learned about which photos work the best for picture engraved necklaces, you can begin the process of deciding amongst photos and putting together that special gift for yourself or a loved one.

It can take some time to choose the best photo for your personalized photo engraved pendant, but making a great selection plays a big part in the aspects that will make your gift absolutely perfect. In retrospect, you’ll certainly be glad you were so selective in choosing the best photo possible.

Our team is always available to answers questions or provide guidance when selecting your picture. Please give us a call 1-877-723-4242 or email us for help.  


Frances Kay

Frances Kay has lived in Massachusetts since the early 1990’s. Her writing proficiency was recognized at an early age as a published author at the age of 10 and she has continued to hone her writing skills over the past 35 years. Frances has close to two decades of experience in the cremation industry and has published over 50 guides and articles relating to the industry as well as authored many blogs that surround her own experiences with life and loss . She has worked with cremation urn distributors and cremation jewelry experts, helping to research, design, manufacture and market innovative cremation products that help families memorialize their loved ones in a way that is not only personal but also affordable.

Frances is a devoted wife and mother and most of her down time is spent with her family. She enjoys her time in the gym as well as gardening and spending time with her dogs. Frances continues to express her creativity and share her life experiences through her writing with the hope that others will find value and comfort in the words she shares.

Works Cited

  1. 1."Pixel" Alexander S. Gillis, TechTarget, August 2022,

2. "How to take a headshot", Julia Nance Portraits,

3. "How to check photo resolution" , Happy Moose,

4. "Light and Shadows" , Science Learning Hub,

5. "Capture action shots with Burst mode on your iPhone camera", iPhone User Guide,

6. "Ai Photo Editing vs Traditional Methods: An In-Depth Comparitive Study", Clipping Path House Graphics Media, November 26, 2023,