How To Stay Connected Using Photos and Videos While You're Social Distancing

Stay Connected Photos and Videos

All of a sudden our lives have been turned upside down. It’s a bit of a crazy time, isn’t it?

I’m sure you don’t want me to go on about the C-word, but as we distance ourselves from each other, you may be feeling sad about not being able to see your loved ones for weeks or months on end. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be facing the prospect of your parents missing out on seeing your baby or children growing up, birthdays that you’ll now have to celebrate without friends and family, and, and special events that you’ve had to cancel. 

The good news is that being apart physically doesn’t have to mean all social activity goes out the window. We can use photos and video to maintain some social contact - albeit virtually.

In this article I’ll share four ways that you can stay connected with your loved ones using photos and video:


Set Up A Shared Photo Album

A shared photo album is like a private social network for your loved ones - you invite just the people who you would like to see your photographs and videos, and then add to the album as and when you’d like to.

We have a few shared photo albums - one with my parents and brothers, where we share pictures of our children another with my husband’s family, and another where we shared photos from our wedding.

Setting one up now would be a great way to share pictures and videos of your children each day or each week, so that the relatives you can’t see can still see what they’re up to, and feel connected to them.

If everyone in your family has an Apple device you can use the Shared Albums feature. Click here to find instructions on setting up a shared album.

If you have a mixture of Apple and Android devices, or just Android, you can use the Shared Albums feature in the Google Photos app. Click here to find the Google Photos App.


Speak To Loved Ones on A Video Call

Video calls to grandparents and their cousins overseas are a regular feature in my children’s lives already, but with both sets of grandparents self-isolating, and their cousins unable to travel we’ve already stepped up the frequency.

As long as your loved ones have a smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam you can video call them using Skype or, if you both have Apple devices, FaceTime.

You can find Skype here

You can find instructions for using FaceTime here


Hold Group Gatherings Virtually On A Video Call

It's also possible to have a video call with a group of people, and there are lots of free options available to do this, including Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. Whilst we can’t meet up in groups, it’s a great way to hang out together virtually. 

This week my book club met on a Google Hangout instead of meeting in person; we all met at an agreed time with a glass of wine and snacks, and it was lovely! One of my friends is planning to create a link for a call where her daughter can talk to her school friends each day. You could also meet your friends for coffee, or even have your Mother’s Day family lunch on a video call.

It’s a lovely way to keep some of your regular social engagements, and a sense of normality at this unusual time.

You’ll need a free Google account to use hangouts. You can get started here.

This tutorial also explains how you can create a link for your hangout in advance:


Send A Mini Photo Book Documenting What Your Children Have Been Doing

If you have family members who usually spend a lot of time with your children, they’ll probably find it difficult that they’re not seeing them regularly, and will miss out on seeing them grow up over the next weeks and months.

Surprising them with a mini photo book documenting this period could really brighten their day.

I use Blurb to make little photo books using my phone photos, and you can find my tutorial for making these books here.

The best bit is that you can ship the books directly to your loved ones, so you won’t even need to leave the house to send it to them.

make mini photo book iphone ipad

Send Photos of Your Children's Homemade Pictures and Cards To Loved Ones

If you have young children, they probably love making pictures and cards. And no doubt any grandparents or relatives who can't see them whilst you're social distancing would love to receive those cards!

Rather than having to go to the post office or to a post box, you can photography the pictures or cards and send them directly to your loved ones by text or email.

When you're ready to photograph your child's creation, find a neutral background that's well-lit. I used my daughter’s little table which has a white top as the background for the photograph below, but you could use a piece of card or even a neutral coloured rug or carpet. Place your background close to a large window to ensure there is plenty of natural light falling on it. This will give you a nice clear photograph of the artwork.

Over To You

We’re certainly living through an interesting time, and one that will hopefully be short-lived. But whilst we can’t be as close to the people we care about or enjoy our usual social gatherings, I hope that some of these ideas help you to stay connected.

I’d love to know if you put any of these into practice. Let me know in the comments below.

Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer covering South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography and offer studio sessions, and lifestyle shoots outdoors and at home. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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