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Get Photos Off Phones & On Display For Your Kids’ Wellbeing

By Aura | December 19, 2023

If the photos filling up your camera roll feature your kids' smiling faces, it may be time those snapshots make their way off your phone. A recent survey conducted by Aura revealed that although parents snap endless photos of their children, the people who benefit most from seeing those photos – the kids – rarely get to see these captured memories.

Of the 1,000 US parents of children under 18 surveyed:

  • 84% ranked “kids” as one of the top things they’re taking pictures of on their smartphones.

  • 91% reported that their children actively ask to see pictures that are taken of them. This increases to up to 97% once kids turn 5 through the age of 13.

  • While kids are asking to see photos, the primary ways parents are sharing are confined to devices:

    • 41% only share photos shown directly on their own smartphones

    • 20% send directly to their children’s devices

    • 18% post on their personal social media accounts

  • Only 21% of US parents reported sharing photos off of a smartphone.

  • How do kids react when they do see photos? The top two reactions parents shared were:

    • The kids showed emotions/feelings based on the content of the photos (happy, sad, concern).

    • The kids made comments about the content of the photos to their parents.

According to psychologist Judy Weiser, this lack of visual access can negatively impact developmental growth during children's formative years. Discussing personal photos provides opportunities for:

  • Strengthening family bonds

  • Sparking meaningful conversations

  • Supporting positive mental health and self-esteem

Knowing that a parent wants to learn more about what a child feels and thinks about can increase the child's emotional well-being and self-esteem as early as age four years old. According to Ms. Weiser, it’s important that parents know how to have a dialogue about photos with their kids.

Here are some prompts that you can use to help get these conversations started and continually convey interest to a child when they draw your attention to a photo:

  • What do you remember most about the moment that this photo was taken? How were you feeling when it was taken? How does it make you feel now?

  • What do you think would be a good title for this photo, and why?

  • Is there someone you would most like to give a copy of this photo to? Who? Why would you want to share it with that particular person?

Luckily, it’s easy to get photos off your camera roll and into shared family spaces. The key is finding a centralized, communal digital display like a connected picture frame.

Tips for getting photos back into your home:

  • Get photos off the phone and on a digital picture frame. Aura designed its WiFi-connected digital frames to make it easy to share photos and videos from phones to one or multiple frames. A frame is a great addition to a kids' room, or in a shared family space.

  • Ask family members to add photos. Aura’s digital frames can be updated from anywhere with unlimited photo storage, meaning invited loved ones can share their own photos with your kids no matter where they live – creating connection and promoting a sense of belonging.

  • Give your kids the camera. Involve kids in the process by letting them take their own photos and choosing which to display. This can spark a sense of accomplishment and pride whenever they see their photos appear on the frame.

  • Display a mix of old and new. Pass down memories and share heritage stories. Dig out wedding photos and old family memories. (Aura also has an in-app photo scanner to make this process simple, directly from the phone to the frame).

While social media is a common photo sharing option, shared home displays nurture connection without digital risks. So, if most of your camera roll stars your kids’ smiling faces, make sure those photos break free from your phone. Giving your children visual access tells them they are special, loved and belong.


Question: Which of the following are the top three things you take the most photos of using your smartphone?

A bar chart of top three things parents capture on smartphone

Question: Do your kids ask to see photos you take of them?

A pie chart of parents that agreed their kids asking to see photos

Question: How do you primarily share photos with your kids?

A bar chart of ways US parents share photos with their kids

Question: In general, how do your kids react to the photos you share with them?

A bar chart of children