Family photos are precious memories of where you and your family are at right now. But how do you use family photos in new and unique ways? Turning them into the yearly holiday card seems to be the most common. However, finding other uses to leverage your investment can sometimes be a challenge. Rest assured, there are some really great ones out there! Let’s take a look at five of my favorites:

Use Your Family Photos for Ornaments

We are quickly approaching the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle on the same old holiday card approach for your family photos. Instead, why not utilize those wonderful images as beautiful holiday ornaments? Dazzle your tree with one each year for a nostalgic tradition as you take each one from the box. Don’t forget to make extras! Grandmas and Grandpas love these as gifts, too!

Boy holding an assortment of bamboo ornaments with family photos. This is a great way to use your family photos.
Another way to use your family photos besides for Christmas cards is to create ornaments. The ones shown here are come in a variety of shapes with ready-made designs into which you can insert the photograph.
Use your family photos to make custom ornaments printed on die-cut metal.

Photo Books and Albums

With services like Apple Photos or Google Photos, it’s easy to create a beautiful, memory piece with your photos each year. Apple and Google take it up a notch with customizable backgrounds and pages.

Even better, if you’re working with a professional photographer who offers design services, let them do the work for you. I create heirloom albums for my own clients that are of the highest quality. With carefully curated images, I use my photo editing expertise to design the layout of each spread and then sequence them to form a narrative that tells their family’s story. By putting the album production in the hands of a professional, they can be confident it will look amazing, as well as stand the test of time to pass on to future generations.


Whether for your home or office, utilizing your family photos in a beautiful calendar is a fantastic way to put these images to use. What a fun way to cherish your photos in celebration of each new month. Both Apple and Google offer some great templates to try out.

Over the years, I have even sent calendars as client gifts. Below are some examples of the templates I used for the ones I had printed.

cover of photo calendar used as a client gift

Calendar template used for client gifts by Julie Kubal Photography.


Pictures make great garlands for decorating your home or office. Use prints of your favorite family photos to string them together. If you do this tradition every year by placing them in chronological order, you’ll have a special timelapse of your family as you grow together.

Digital Frames

Since we’re in the digital age, this one is for those of you who love to embrace it. I always encourage my clients to choose their favorite family photos to have them on display in their home. But what about the ones that didn’t make the cut? Using digital frames around the home to highlight all the spectacular photos from your session can be a great way to view every last one. This works especially well when you have a stellar session with so many wonderful photos that it’s hard to choose which is the best!

Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.About the Photographer and Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!