Online Photo Storage: The Modern Family Album

family at Riverford field kitchen

I’ve been asking myself recently if smart phones and online photo storage have destroyed the good old fashioned family album.  I have thousands of photos, either sitting on my phone, on my SD cards or sitting on my computer, but we rarely ever look at them together as a family.  What is the point in capturing all these amazing milestones and family memories if nobody ever looks at them?  It seems a real shame, doesn’t it?

Well stick with me, as I’ve got a great solution to bring back the family album.

The History of Family Photo Albums & Online Photo Storage

When I was growing up there was always a photo album on the shelf that you could pick up and look at together with the family.  I remember enjoying reliving those happy memories from family events or seaside holidays.  In those moments, everyone seemed to come a little bit closer together.

family album sample photos

Did you have a photo scrapbook or album growing up?  According to a *survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Western Digital (WD) 71% of us UK parents say that family albums were very or fairly important to our household when we were growing up.

So when did everything change?

Why Have We Stopped Making Photo Albums

With online photo storage becoming more accessible and so many people having a camera on their phone we are just not making as many photo albums as we used to. I do have baby photo albums of my son, who is now 20, but I haven’t got an album from either of my daughter’s baby days.  That’s pretty shocking right?  Well actually around *39% of parents have never made a photo album of their own family!

But we are taking more photos and videos than ever!

newborn baby wrapped in blankets

All of my daughter’s baby photos are floating around in online photo storage somewhere on my phone, camera or computer.  That’s not actually taking into account the family photos my husband or any other member of the family takes.  I rarely get to see photos someone else takes of the family unless a phone is flashed at me in the moment the photo happened to be taken.

Wouldn’t it be great to have one place where everyone could store, view and share their photos so everyone got to enjoy the happy family memories?

I Don’t Share as Many Photos as You Think

I know what you are all thinking.  I might be a travel blogger and digital influencer, but I don’t actually share as many pictures as you think.  I have well over 40,000 images and videos stored on different devices.  When we are on a press trip or holiday I take in excess of 200 photos and videos.  When I’m writing a blog post about the places we have visited, I will use 3 or 4 images to illustrate our experience.

girls playing on beach

So what happens to the rest?  They aren’t ending up in our holiday photo albums, that’s for sure!

The research conducted by *WD My Cloud Home suggests I’m not alone either.

39% of UK parents with digital devices (e.g. phones, laptops/ computers, tablets, hard drives) are not printing any of their photos/ videos, 43% don’t share any on social media and 34% don’t send them (via email, WhatsApp etc.)

Friends and family aren’t getting to see family photos in the way they used to.  We were visiting friends a while ago, and they still have shelves full of of family albums and we pulled some out and looked over old baby photos of my son’s girlfriend.

Are we actually going to stop embarrassing our kids like this?  That can’t be true, surely!

What About the Rest of the Family?

Have you bought a grandparents photo album?  Whether family live on the doorstep or in a different country they love being kept up to date with photo albums.  Our kids grandparents see photos my husband shares, but they are seeing very few of the photos I take.  As I’m chief photographer around here, there are lots of moments they aren’t able to view online.

We need cloud storage for photos and videos the whole family can view easily and securely.

I’m Never in the Photo  – But They do Exist 

A huge part of being a travel blogger is to tell the story of where we have been on holiday with photos and videos.  In my efforts to capture the moments we need for the blog and my social media channels I’m rarely in my own photos.  Daddy does take photos for his own memories, which means there are photos out there with me and the kids together, but they are stored on his own smart phone.

The kids want to see photos with us all together, and it’s important for so many reasons to have images with my Mummy and Daddy in.  But guess what……

Some 65% of parents are taking the photos rather than appearing in them. 

We really need a solution that keeps up with the way we are taking and storing photos that also allows the whole family enjoy important milestones, events and holidays.

How Do We Bring Back The Family Photo Album 

I can honestly say that I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of photos and videos we have saved on different devices.  Trying to find the best cloud storage for photos and videos literally sends me into overdrive, and I’ve been guilty of procrastinating on this particular issue.

WD My Cloud Home heard about my poor online photo storage and decided to help me out.  I couldn’t have been more happy when the email came through telling me they were going to be sending over a My Cloud Home device to help us finally get all our family photos and videos in one place.

How are they saving the family album too?

They also shared with me an ingenious idea to encourage families to bring back the family album, but with a modern twist.  I love their idea, and I’m totally committed to helping them spread the word as I think it’s something you are going to love.

Lets stop feeling guilty about not having as many printed photo books as we used to, and lets bring the family album into the digital age.  All you need to do is select your prime photos and create online digital photo albums with your WD My Cloud Home device.

online photo storage WD My Cloud Home

Then, when everyone has added their favourite family photos, spend say 20 minutes together once a week or fortnight and enjoy those special family memories streamed to your TV or computer.  Everyone can take part in the #ScreeningSunday campaign and we will be popping back next week to share with you how we got on, along side our full review of the My Cloud Home.

Do make sure you come back and join us for the next post about online photo storage, and let me know in the comments below what you think of the #ScreeningSunday campaign.

I’m working in a paid relationship with My Cloud Home and BritMums on their Bring Back the Family Album campaign, encouraging UK families to share and experience their best photos and video together.

*The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Western Digital (between April 10-11 2018)

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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28 Discussion to this post

  1. John Adams says:

    Wow, 40,000 images? I have been using the My Home Cloud as well but I haven’t checked how many images I have knocking about on all my devices and memory cards. I do, however, know it’s a lot. I’ve been going though old photos with the kids and #ScreeningSunday is such a good idea.

  2. Folakemi says:

    Storing photos Digitally is definitely the way forward. I still try to make photo books after major family holidays!

  3. Laura Dove says:

    We are also taking part in this campaign and I can’t wait to finally start sharing our photos again!
    Laura Dove recently posted…Bringing back the family album with a modern twist!My Profile

  4. Ahhhhhh, this is SUCH a good idea – and to have them backed up in a virtual album is great too!

  5. I have tonnes of photos that I store on my own cloud storage. Such a fab way to keep them organised and safe!
    Life in Lilac recently posted…How to make the perfect cup of teaMy Profile

  6. This sounds like such an amazing device, I’m guilty of snapping away every day and I’ve got tons of pictures so this would be perfect as I wouldn’t feel a pressure to always have them printed out.

  7. I have so many photos on different memory cards and on laptops but I really should make more of an effort to print off some of my faves and put them in a photo album – I used to love looking them when I was a kid x

  8. Nadine Hill says:

    You are right – we all have so many digital images spread across so many devices, it’s hard to keep track! I’m glad that the My Cloud Home is working for you!
    Nadine Hill recently posted…Ever Brite lights are great for a caravan!My Profile

  9. Such an important point — usually there’s one photographer in the family who’s never in the pictures. Bring back the family album and get everyone featured in it! 🙂
    Jen from recently posted…15 pictures that make you want to visit Athena Beach HotelMy Profile

  10. I have so many photos on my iPhone and camera. I never print photos these days. I don’t know why but need to start printing them.

  11. Uju says:

    Such a clever device. I’m staggered by just how many photos and videos I’ve managed to amass over the years. And the fact that I can pull them into one main location to start sorting through them is just fab. Really pleased with My Cloud Home so far!

  12. Kirsty says:

    This is such a great idea to bring the family album into modern society. I don’t print many but I did make the effort a couple of years ago to create a gallery wall so we do have quite a few now but they are old now.

  13. Talya says:

    Love the sound of this – what a great way of centralising all your family photos and having them in a place where you can actually enjoy them!

  14. Jenny says:

    I love photo albums but yes, I have more photos on my computer than printed. I think for me it’s because I’m time-poor while my kids are still young (toddlers). I did start a photo album for both when they were born but I think by 6 months of age there was so many other things to do – and now as a single mum just trying to remember to put the photos on a USB drive to take and get printed…well, I have plans…but so far no luck.

  15. The WD My Cloud Home seems like the next addition to our home, we’ve been struggling to keep our images off our phones and cams and organized safely somewhere. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Eva Katona says:

    What a fab idea, I’ve been just thinking about to look around to find something like this. I need some extra storage space for my blog related photos too, as well as the family pics.

  17. bryanna skye says:

    what a great way to bring together all your photos and make sure they’re safe at the same time!

  18. Ana De-Jesus says:

    I love the idea of creating a digital photo album so that all my photos are not just floating everywhere without any sort of structure. It is true that albums seem to be far and few inbetween right now.
    Ana De-Jesus recently posted…How To Create Good Content As A Blogger In 2018My Profile

  19. Anosa says:

    It is a real shame that these days we rarely print any pictures and just have them scattered allover the world wide web but this seems like a lovely solution.
    Anosa recently posted…{Monthly Series} May 2018 GoalsMy Profile

  20. Kara Guppy says:

    Those are some scary stats – we do have a hard drive for our photo’s but it is full so need a new one. Nothing better than sitting down with the kids to look at old pics
    Kara Guppy recently posted…Silent Sunday – 29th April 2018My Profile

  21. Tracy says:

    I totally agree about photo albums and it makes me sad. Even in my own small family I can see a huge difference between the photos we have for our 13 year old compared to his brother. I also agree that looking at photo albums was a huge part of my childhood and my kids often ask me to look at their photos but it isn’t the same online. However, anywhere to gather them together, either online or in an album is a great idea!

  22. It’s such a shame that family albums have fallen to the wayside. We were literally talking about this a few weeks ago and were trying to think of ways to share photos with my daughter. We ended up getting a hard drive and putting them all on, then one evening we sat down in the living room and put up a slideshow of loads of them on the tv. It was so nice to get to do. I much prefer the sound of this online photo storage system though. It sounds so easy to use.

  23. kirsty says:

    I have so many photos stored on my icloud (although it’s limited in space, so the storage system you mentioned would be great) but with Mia’s first year over I have recently brought a scrapbook for her, so once I get time I’d love to fill it in as a memento for her. It ‘s nice and easy to have digital copies but sometimes a psyhcial photo is better.

  24. kirsty says:

    I have so many photos stored on my icloud (although it’s limited in space, so the storage system you mentioned would be great) but with Mia’s first year over I have recently brought a scrapbook for her, so once I get time I’d love to fill it in as a memento for her. It ‘s nice and easy to have digital copies but sometimes a psychical photo is better.

  25. Rachel says:

    Such an interesting read – made me think about all the photos I take and where they end up! I love old-fashioned photo albums – I love looking back at the ones my grandparents have of their lives! Photos tell so many stories. I wouldn’t be without my camera!
    Rachel recently posted…Learning About the Local Heritage at the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon LifeMy Profile

  26. Jenni says:

    We used to regularly print out albums of our digital photos, but a few years ago we somehow stopped. Must start doing that again.

  27. Sally Akins says:

    What a fantastic idea! I must have tens of thousands of photos stored, and we rarely look through them. I love the idea of #ScreeningSunday!

  28. Franca says:

    I love this so much! It is a great idea and I really want it for us too! I have hundreds of photos saved every where so I definitely need a solution like this and get all my photos in one place. Thanks for this review. I’ll check them out now! 🙂 x
    PS: love all your photos!
    Franca recently posted…Introducing Lumo Stars, The Northern Brights CollectionMy Profile

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