5 family photo ideas for a Mother’s Day project

By: Audrey Smith

Turn the photos on your phone into a fun family project or Mother’s Day gift. Two experts share their tips and ideas to create something special.

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Daughter Sharing Family Photos With Her Mother

Between your phone’s built-in camera and the family photos already saved to your device, you have everything you need to make a great family keepsake to give as a gift on Mother’s Day. Not sure where to start? We asked two experts for family photo ideas and options that Mom will love. Here’s what they suggest.

1. Make digital copies of her favorite family photos.

If you have a box (or more than one) of family photos in storage, use a photo scanning app to move those images to your phone. “I now use scanning apps on my phone whenever I’m doing research at the library,” says Denise Levenick, author of the Family Curator blog. “Scanning apps also make it much easier to share digital versions of photos with people in my family.”

For your gift: Scan a few family photos in a small batch for Mother’s Day and store them on Verizon Cloud. As part of the gift, plan to do more together throughout the year. According to Esther Schindler, a tech writer who spent a year creating an archive of her own family photos, scanning photos in small, manageable batches has notable advantages over digitizing them all at once. “It turned scanning into a contemplative process and a process of discovery,” she says. “Going through a box of slides from a single camping trip, I could think about all my memories of that trip … it can really bring everything back for you.”

2. Make a digital photo album around a single theme.

While sorting or scrolling through family photos, look for recurring people, places, or even outfits that could form the basis for a themed photo series.

“For example, the year my mom passed away, we went on a little drive to look at all 24 houses she’d lived in as a kid,” says Levenick. “Afterward, I made a single-subject book with photos of as many of those houses as we could find.”

For your gift: Create a photo series that tracks a single subject or theme, such as summer vacations, family pets or long-standing holiday traditions and store them on Verizon Cloud.

3. Create modern versions of old candid family photos.

Everybody has favorite photos that show candid moments with family. It can be fun to capture them with a new twist by re-creating those moments in new photos. And here’s a bonus gift idea: The camera on the new Samsung Galaxy S24+ has some AI features built in that make it easy to edit any shot, and you could use the free tablet that comes with it as a dedicated digital family photo album (shop Mother’s Day deals here).

For your gift: For an activity that gets the kids involved, try re-creating an especially memorable candid from the family photo archive. Get creative with costumes and props and do your best to replicate the original poses and facial expressions. Then, display your re-creation side by side with the original as part of your gift.

4. Create a space to share family photos, such as a private social media group or a digital frame.

Schindler says posting family photos to private social media groups and genealogy sites has led her to form meaningful connections with members of her extended family, including second and third cousins. “I have a cousin who will send me a note anytime I post a photo of her father, and she’ll tell me a story about the picture,” she says. “[Sharing photos digitally] really connects people across generations.”

For your gift: Invite mom to your private social media group or a shared digital photo album. In addition to being great methods of sharing and chatting about family photos, these platforms can also be a means of crowdsourcing missing information such as where or when a photo was taken. Or, display your slideshow on a digital display on Mother’s Day, such as the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

5. Take and share photos of handwritten notes, too.

Sharing photos of family members is just one way to create a memorable keepsake. You can also use your phone’s camera to capture handwritten notes or family recipes, which can then be used or shared in a variety of creative ways.

For your gift: Preserving handwritten items can also be a great way to feel close to family members, particularly those who have passed away. “If you have a recipe written in your mother’s handwriting, you can scan it using your smartphone app,” says Levenick. “Then, you can get it printed on a linen dish towel” and give it as a gift for your mom.

As for taking new family photos to add to the archive, Schindler has a few important words of advice: “It’s perfectly okay to ask a stranger to take a picture, especially if that means you can be part of it. In other words, let the photo capture the moment, but don’t let it replace it.”

Keep them safe in the digital world, so you can focus on them in the real world. Get started.

About the author:

Audrey Smith is a multimedia journalist, public media producer and former high school English teacher whose writing focuses on tech, AI and digital literacy for kids.


The author has been compensated by Verizon for this article.

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