5 family photo ideas for a Father’s Day gift idea

By: Audrey Smith

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

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Daughter Sharing Family Photos With Her Father | Father’s Day Gift

Looking for a great gift for Dad this Father’s Day? Between the built-in camera and the photos saved to your device, there’s a good chance that your smartphone already has everything you need. To help you get started, we asked two experts to share some ideas for family photo projects. Here are their suggestions for making a keepsake he’s sure to treasure.

1. Digitize his favorite photos.

If you currently have a box (or more than one) of family photos in storage, make digital copies using a photo scanning app on your smartphone. “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 Father’s Day gift idea: Scan a few photos in a small batch for Father’s Day and save them to Verizon Cloud. As part of the gift, set aside time to scan more together throughout the year. According to Esther Schindler, a tech writer who spent a year converting her father’s photo slides into a family archive, 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.

As you sort through family photos, keep an eye out for recurring people, places, or events that could inspire a themed family photo series. For Levenick, tracing the theme of cars through her family’s photo collection not only resulted in some memorable keepsakes, but also helped uncover an important intergenerational connection. “My grandfather learned to be a mechanic in the early days of cars. Fast-forward to my dad, who’s a total car fan and became a hot-rodder when he retired. [Their shared love of cars] was a huge connection that my dad hadn’t put together … I think once he realized that, he appreciated his dad in a way he hadn’t before,” she says.

For your Father’s Day gift idea: Create a photo series that tracks a single subject or theme, such as family cars, pets, vacations or traditions. Then, compile them into a photo book with Verizon Cloud.

3. Create modern versions of old family candid photos.

Recreating a favorite family photo, especially if it’s a candid shot, can be a fun way to revisit family memories while creating new ones. 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 Father’s Day deals here).

For your Father’s Day gift idea: For an activity that gets the whole family involved, try recreating an especially memorable candid shot from your photo collection. Get creative with costumes and props and do your best to replicate the original poses and facial expressions. Then, on Father’s Day, display your recreation side by side with the original using the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

4. Discover (and share) family history.

For Levenick, curating photos has been a crucial way of preserving her family’s history, starting with a photobook her grandfather had made documenting his experiences in World War I. “A few years ago, there was a big WWI anniversary, so I pulled out that book and took apart the string binding to scan each photo page by page,” she says. “I then used those digital images to make a new photo book I could share.”

For your Father’s Day gift idea: Invite Dad to a digital platform where he can view, share, and connect with relatives over family photos. Schindler says that in addition to helping her crowdsource missing information (such as when or where a particular photo was taken), posting photos to private social media groups and genealogy sites has made it possible for her to connect with members of her extended family. “I have a cousin who will send me a note any time 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.”

5. Turn photos into a gift he can use.

A digital photo frame is just one way to display the results of your photo project. Once you’ve scanned and saved photos to your phone, it’s easy to screen-print them onto a variety of creative gifts, from pillow covers and coffee mugs to a custom grill apron.

For your Father’s Day gift idea: Preserving handwritten items by scanning and saving them as photos, and then printing them on a gift, can also be a great way to feel close to family members, particularly those who have passed away.

Planning to add new photos to the family archive this Father’s Day? Schindler has a word of advice:

“It’s perfectly okay to ask a stranger to take a picture, especially if that means you can be part of it,” she says. “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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