a blog from CenturyLink

Share family photos online for the holidays

by | Nov 6, 2020

It’s true — 2020 has been a year unlike any other. With the holiday season coming up, we’re all eager to spend time with loved ones, but for many people, family traditions will be different this year. If it’s not possible for your nearest and dearest to gather in person, consider some interactive options that go beyond a typical video chat.

Family takes a selfie by the Christmas tree

Take a look at our roundup of fun and meaningful project ideas that will bring you closer to the people who matter, even if you have to be apart.

Family photobook

It’s easier than ever these days to combine camera rolls with your long-distance loved ones by using shared albums on platforms like Google Photos and Apple Photos. By allowing multiple people to add photos to one album, it’s a snap to load all the photos at once and build a photo book to reflect your lives through multiple eyes.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but your creativity is the only limit!

  • Create a family history book with digitized versions of photos from grandparents or great-grandparents to capture and preserve the unique stories that make up your family’s origins.
  • Build a year-in-review gallery with photos of 2020 from all branches of the family combined into one book.
  • Collaborate with your siblings or children to create a grandkids book for your grandparents.
  • If you can’t share a meal at the same table, share favorite recipes in a keepsake book. You can add photos of the completed dishes and of different family members cooking or enjoying the meals at home.

A grandmother looks at a photo book with her adult granddaughter


Personalized storybook

You can get your school-aged kids involved in making their very own unique story book, where they can customize the story with their name, add pictures, match the character’s appearance to their own, and more. Or, for babies or toddlers in the family, create a personalized book and give them with a special keepsake that they can treasure for years to come. A variety of themes and styles are available, and books can feature favorite characters or original titles, so you’re sure to find a unique gift for the special kids in your life.

Photo-inspired keepsakes

Many online photo sites offer a variety of home accessories and keepsakes including posters, prints, blankets, pillows, mugs and more. Select several photos and order the same item to give to multiple friends or family members, allowing you all to share in a warm reminder of each other.

Photosharing apps and sites

There are many excellent photo-sharing platforms out there that make it easy to bring loved ones together with photos and videos. Most services have a free subscription option with a data limit, and a paid subscription option for unlimited storage. Any of them make it possible for members of the group to upload photos and videos to shared galleries, download items to their personal devices, and create memorabilia such as photobooks or movies featuring selected photos or videos set to music. Without a lot of technical know-how, you can easily create a priceless collection of memories from every member of the group.

Some of the common names in photo sharing include Amazon (for paid Prime members only), iCloud (for Mac/iPhone), Google and Shutterfly.

Popular file-sharing sites including Dropbox, Amazon, Google Drive and OneDrive


In addition, we found a couple of lesser-known platforms that provide simpler functionality for a more specialized purpose.

DropEvent is a paid service with one simple purpose: to allow remote groups of people to easily contribute to a shared photo gallery, which can then be turned into a slideshow and accessed by anyone with the URL. Only one sign-up is required, and the initiator can invite others to add photos to the project. This is a great choice for any special event. Create an unforgettable family slideshow for a holiday gathering, whether it’s in person or virtual.

Family Album is an app you can download through the App store or Google Play. It allows multiple family members to join one account and upload photos and videos to their shared collection. The app automatically sorts and organizes photos by month, allows comments and reactions from all members, and makes it easy to build photo books.

So what will you make together?

The good news is, there’s no shortage of powerful tools out there today that make it a snap to create and share wonderful memories for your whole family, whether they’re on the other side of town or on the other side of the globe. Now is the time to start thinking about how you can celebrate your treasured memories and mark this holiday season like no other. What will you make together? Share your project ideas with us!

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/jennifer-fossenbell" target="_self">Jennifer Fossenbell</a>

Jennifer Fossenbell


Jennifer Fossenbell enjoys the internet and enjoys writing about many things, including the internet. She lives in the Denver area with her children and spouse, who also enjoy the internet. She also enjoys traveling and eating around the world, making poetry and art, and standing in the forest. More at jenniferfossenbell.com.