Retouchup Blog

Incorporating a Lost Loved One in a Photo

Over the years we have been honored to help photographers include a lost loved one of a client into their family photo. We often get inquiries like “My client lost their beautiful child at age 2 and the child would now be 10. They have seen images on the internet of a shadow figure next to the family and would like to do something similar. Can you do this?

Yes, we can, and again honored to be tasked with such a special request.

Here are some ways that will help you and your client get exactly what you are hoping for.

    • This specialized edit is covered under Special Services.
    • If you haven’t photographed your clients yet – ask your clients to find similar images they may have seen that they especially love and email them to you. This way you can have a plan of action on how to set up the shot.
    • If you have already taken the images, look for photos that would work best for adding the loved one to. Not all images are suited for this type of edit. For silhouettes: outdoor images where family are standing are best. The other style that is asked for is to add the image of a clients loved one but have it be almost entirely transparent so that you can see the person while symbolizing they are always near by.
        • Talk to and ask your clients questions about their loved one. This will help connect both you and your client to the photos that will be taken.  This will help ensure that these aren’t just random images of the family that their loved one will be just be edited into later,  but these are taken with the loved one in mind and in the moment you are capturing.


        • In your instructions to us – include any details and requests from your clients. This is not a “less is more” situation. We want to get this right for your clients and all info is appreciated. For silhouettes especially – How old is to be depicted, how tall, hair style (braids, curly, short) holding anything (ballon, teddy bear…) what type of clothes (shorts, dress etc.) and anything else that you think would be relevant. Write out your instructions in a list format so everything is clear to the artist.


        • Must include reference files. Either the jpg of the person that needs to be added or stock photo to help the artists create the silhouette. Make sure to mark Reference underneath the thumbnail on the upload screen. You are also welcome to email customer services with a silhouette from after you place your order. Please include your order number and the shutterstock photo id number from underneath the image for customer service to be able to download. IMPORTANT: Our artists will need the shutterstock image from customer service. Do not include the shutterstock id number or ask for the artist to get it for you. Just put in the instructions – for silhouette please contact customer service. We will upload the file to the artist


      • Please note we have a 100% Satisfaction guarantee and that all reworks are included. Communication is key with such specialized edits and sometimes minor tweaks are needed to get what you are looking for.
    • If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at