How To Choose The Perfect Personalized Photo Engraved Jewelry

10 Tips To Help Create The Perfect Photo Jewelry Keepsake

If you’ve decided to buy a piece of photo engraved jewelry, 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 photo 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 photo engraved pendant. Choosing the right one is important since it’s probably something you will want to look at quite often!

Read on to find out more about custom photo jewelry and what makes some photos better than others, plus our different pendant options and how to decide which pendant best fits you and your jewelry needs.

What Is Photo Engraved Jewelry?

First, what is photo engraved jewelry? Photo engraved jewelry 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 enhanced by our engravers and is then permanently etched onto the metal of a pendant of your choosing using state of the art engraving.

What Types Of Photo Engraved Jewelry Are Available?

If you’re the kind of person who loves having the freedom of being able to customize your jewelry and the gifts you give to your loved ones then photo engraved jewelry is probably right up your alley. By nature, there are a variety of options with picture engraved pendants of any kind. This kind of gift gives you a ton of space to utilize your creativity and come up with something new and original as a gift to your loved ones or for yourself.

The uniqueness is in the fact that you can choose which photo gets engraved for whatever occasion you happen to be buying for! See which options listed below would best suit you and your jewelry needs.

Shapes and Sizes

There are many different sizes and shapes with our pendants, so you already have a ton of personalization options available to you between the photo you choose to have engraved, and the size and shape of your pendant. Choose from round shapes, rectangular, heart-shaped, and much more.

Regular Pendants

You always have the option of choosing a pendant that holds ashes, or just a regular pendant that does not hold ashes. Regular pendants come with the options of stainless, and gold plated over stainless.

Holds Ashes

You can select from cremation pendants that discretely hold a small amount of ashes. These come in a selection of stainless, gold plated and rose gold plated materials.

Rose Gold Heart Photo Engraved Ash Pendant

Gemstone Additions

You can have your pendant come with or without gemstones. How bright and shiny your pendant looks can be all up to you.

A selection of pendants can even have birthstones added to them!

  • This is always a wonderful present for someone who is celebrating their birthday.
  • This can also be a great gift idea for a new born child, or for their first birthday a year later.
  • It’s an appropriate gift for someone on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or even for somebody’s anniversary.


Your pendant can be attached to a keychain, making for a great gift for anyone, and in a variety of situations. This can be a good bulk gift for a team, a group meeting you go to each month like a church group, a family reunion, or just a group of life-long friends!

  • Your picture engraved keychain can be one that also holds cremains inside the pendant,
  • Or it can be a regular pendant that does not hold cremains.

Rearview Mirror

You can choose a photo engraved pendant that can hang on someone’s car rear view mirror—or even on your own! This is a great way to put the photo you choose right in someone’s line of sight so they can see it throughout the day, and wherever they may travel to.

Full Color

Select photo engraved pendants that have a little extra kick, with both color and texture! Utilize all the different ways you can personalize your engraved pendant.

What Options Are Available With Photo Engraved Jewelry?

There are several different options available when it comes to customizing your photo engraved jewelry. And remember, no matter what you choose with your picture engraved jewelry, it serves as a unique way to remember a loved one who has passed on, or even to create a gift for someone special in your life!

Metal Options

You have a couple of metal options to select from. You can either choose to have your photo etched into Polished Stainless Steel, or Gold or Rose Gold Plated Stainless Steel pendants.

Engraving Options

You could choose to have an added personalized engraving on the back. This is a great way to add a name, a phrase, special dates and more to customize your selection and make it your own.

Birthstone Options

Add a birthstone to any of our photo engraved pendants. The birthstone can be set into the surface of the jewelry or can be added as a birthstone heart that acts as a separate pendant.

10 Tips To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Photo

How can you decide on a photo for your photo engraved jewelry? What constitutes a “good photo,” anyway? Won’t it turn out the same regardless? Believe it or not, the photo you choose for picture engraved jewelry 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.

1. Watch out for too much darkness

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 and avoid using photos like these when possible.

2. Make the photo as clear as possible.

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 higher the resolution, the better the photo will engrave into the pendant!

In the case that you have an old photo you want engraved that may have a lower resolution, we can still use it. We can usually smooth out any wrinkles, as well as erase any lines or spots on the photo. Our engravers are able to enhance the image to bring out the best possible engraved image.

3. Make sure the photo is big enough.

Size does matter with photo engraving! We recommend choosing a photo that’s no smaller than 400 pixels.

This will make the engraving process easier and will ensure you get the best quality engraved image for your pendant, regardless if you choose black and white or color.

4. Get up close and personal.

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.

Something like a head shot styled picture, or even a photo taken with the portrait mode feature that iPhones have. Any photo that really focuses in on facial details works great!

5. Be careful with any bright lighting.

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 are often not the best choices for engraving.

6. Make sure the photo is head on.

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.

7. Don't zoom and crop your photo.

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.

8. Bringing two people together.

Say that you’ve got two different people that you’d like to be in the same photo for your engraving, but you don’t have an actual photo of them together. Well, you’re in luck! 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. We’ll take care of the rest.

9. Don't focus on the background.

We usually 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!

10. Make it a happy and powerful memory.

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.

What Occasions Are Perfect For Photo Engraved Jewelry?

Which reasons are appropriate for purchasing a picture engraved pendant? There are probably more situations relevant to buying this kind of jewelry than you even realize! From birthdays to memorials, there is actually a wide array of circumstances for which this type of gift would fit.

Some of the more typical occasions include:


Give them a gift that symbolizes a special moment in your lives that was captured in a photo. It could be a picture from your engagement that was taken for you, or one of your favorite photos from your wedding.


This would be a great occasion to buy a birthstone photo jewelry, a picture engraved bracelet, or any other kind of custom photo jewelry. It can be a lovely present for a child, parent, or significant other.

Remembering A Pet

Losing a pet can be heart-wrenching because our fur babies become our family. They have a way of making a special place in our hearts their very homes, even after they are gone and what better way to honor them.

In Memorandum

Dealing with the passing of a loved one is no easy task. It can take quite a toll on you. It may help to get yourself a token of remembrance in their honor. It can be a gift to yourself, or to someone you know who is experiencing grief.

Military Friends & Family

Those who are brave enough to protect us by serving in the military and must leave on deployment would love to take a reminder of family with them! Do this by getting them a memorable gift to wear and be able to see every day.

New Parents

Becoming a parent can be a very exciting and nerve-wracking time. Instead of taking the typical bouquet of flowers and card to the new parent(s), gift them a pendant that is engraved with a photo of their precious newborn!

Other Occasions For Photo Engraved Jewelry

There are a myriad of other occasions where photo engraved jewelry makes a fantastic gift to mark the moment.

Milestone Moments

There are all kinds of milestones that we go through throughout our lifetime. Photo engraved jewelry can be a great way to celebrate these special times.

Some examples might be:

  • Weddings: A wedding is the perfect time to give this kind of gift, whether you’re a wedding guest, or the bride or groom! Gift them matching pendants or give as a wedding favor for smaller, more intimate weddings.
  • A graduation gift: How can you possibly show someone you care about just how proud you are of their educational accomplishments? Well, you can gift them with a beautiful pendant engraved with one of their graduation photos!

Holidays & Religious Events

Holiday moments and religious special occasions are a superb way to show family and friends a little love with a thoughtful token.

Some examples might be:

  • Holidays: Give your love to the people in your life with the gift of a picture engraved pendant on Christmas, Easter, or even for the New Year. Consider also getting these kinds of gifts for Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day!
  • Valentine’s Day: The day of love is always a perfect opportunity to give someone a gift that will show them how much they mean to you. Any of our picture engraved jewelry will fit this scenario—from a dog tag to a photo engraved bracelet, and everything in-between.
  • A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah: If you are attending these religious Jewish ceremonies, a photo engraved pendant would be a sweet gift for the girl or boy being celebrated. You could have their photo engraved on the pendant of your choosing or that you feel would fit their personality the best.
  • Religious purposes: You can have a photo engraved of any religious symbol that would hold lots of meaning for those with whom you go to church, Catholic Mass, the temple, or whichever religion you identify with!
  • A Quinceañera: Also known as simply a Quince, this Mesoamerican tradition is another opportunity for gifting a photo engraved pendant. Give a vibrant, color photo engraved piece of jewelry to the girl of the hour for her to cherish for years to come.

Family & Friend Events

Get togethers with friends and family provide a unique opportunity to share in a special memory you made together with personally selected photo engraved jewelry.

Some examples might be:

  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties: These kinds of events are a huge celebratory time in life! Celebrate your closes friends and family and thank them for being a part of your special day with photo engraved jewelry!
  • College alumni: Give these special people with whom you spent such a fun and memorable time in your life the gift of pendant that is engraved with a photo of the school logo, the team mascot, the school’s colors, or maybe simply a photo you all took together.
  • High school reunion: Do you have a high school reunion coming up? Take the chance to impress everyone, or maybe a select few people you felt close to during high school, with a thoughtful gift that will bring you all back to the days where you spent much of your youth.
  • For a family reunion: Have a group photo taken of everyone together that you can then have turned into an engraved pendant. Alternatively, you could bring them with you on the way to the reunion, using a family photo taken the previous year.
  • For funeral attendees:  Consider giving a child, sibling, parent, or significant other a pendant that is engraved with a nice photo of the person who has died. Alternatively, if you are a close relative or family member to the deceased, you might like the idea of having pendants created with their photo etched into it.

Other Special Situations

And sometimes there are those little moments that need a little extra appreciation to let someone know we care and are proud of them!

Some examples might be:

  • Team gift: You could get a picture engraved dog tag for each team member in any kind of team situation—whether it’s your team at work, a sports team, or any other team concept, everyone will appreciate this gesture of camaraderie.
  • A long-distance gift: Living far away from those we love is never easy. Even despite all the connection we have through social media and other technology, it still isn’t the same as the in-person connection.
  • Work anniversary: Say your co-worker or employee’s work anniversary is coming up, and you want to find some way to show them your gratitude for all the work they’ve done with you and/or for you. Have the company logo engraved to show your appreciation.
  • Travel companions: Traveling opens up new doors for different and quite exciting new people to become friends for life. Choose a high-quality photo you’ve taken of a special moment you shared.
  • A gift for a sports enthusiast: The engraving doesn’t necessarily have to be a photo of a person or a pet—it could certainly be the logo of a sports team, or the team captain. It could even be a team’s mascot!
  • In place of a tattoo: For the person considering getting a tattoo, you could get them a photo engraved pendant instead! This can serve as a kind of trial run. If they still want the tattoo, then they can easily decide from having carried the image around on a piece of jewelry.
  • Production group: Whether you are a part of the cast of crew for a film being made, a music group or choir, or anything else of that nature—giving everyone in the group a photo engraved pendant is a nice gesture to thank them all for their hard work.
  • A favorite teacher: Whatever amazing teacher is in your life, show them how grateful you are with a picture engraved bracelet or keychain! It could be the photo of a meme or quote about teachers and their importance in the world, a picture taken of you or your child with their beloved teacher, or anything else that might symbolize your gratitude for everything they do!
  • Any event that would normally call for a card: A photo engraved pendant of any kind is essentially a new, unique, special and creative improvement on the traditional card you might give someone on any fitting occasion.

Pick The Photo Jewelry That's Perfect for You!

Now that you’ve learned about which photos work the best for photo engraved pendants, you can begin the process of deciding amongst photos, and then the rest of the customizations for your special pendant remain to be chosen.

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.

If you're looking for a unique way to combine a special photo with an urn, we can help! One of a kind 3D Artisan Portrait Urns combine a picture that holds special meaning with a beautiful hardwood urn. These urns are a lovely display for the home or office.

Those favorite photos can also be used to personalize memorial gifts for the whole family. These handcrafted gifts are ideal for sharing in memories of your loved one with close friends, children and grandchildren.

Further reading:

Ultimate Guide On Buying Cremation Jewelry

How To Select Engraving On Your Cremation Jewelry

Ultimate Guide On Buying Ashes Into Jewelry

August 12 by Frances Kay