Aggregating Family Photos

A great way to aggregate all family photos is for everyone in the family to set up Dropbox to automatically import photos and videos from all iOS devices and to share the folders that the photos are downloaded to with the person who maintains the photo album. Simple, automatic, and no duplicates…

The challenge with this method is that it doesn’t capture the “live” part of Live Photos, just a single frame.

The most obvious solution I can think of is to set up some kind of automation that monitors a particular subdirectory of ~/Pictures/Photos Library for changes and automatically copies new photos added in that directory to a shared directory in a cloud service. Perhaps this can be done through a cron job or Finder Folder Actions. However, there are certainly a number of complexities added in avoiding duplicates; monitoring and triggering on not just a parent folder, but specific subfolders; and how the workflow should proceed if the computer is not powered on for a given day and so how it handles skipped days.

Before actually trying to solve this mess myself, I’m wondering if anyone else has tried to do so, since it seems like a common problem with no obvious available solution.

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the community @peisert! :hugs:

About you question: do you, in effect, wish to “merge” the iOS photo libraries of all your family members so that all images captures are made available to all family members?

Thank you and good morning. I think it’s less about merging than centralizing in one place since there are multiple photo “collectors” but only a single photo library curator. Merging everything could work, but it would also be very noisy for the people who are not the curator.

I think I understand: you wish to enable all family members to “dump” all photos in a single bucket and allow for one, or several, family member(s) to curate the collection.


One possible solution could be to create a dedicated google account, allow all family members to log in to Google Photos using that single account and upload to the same photo library. Google Photos do compress the images (barely noticeable for day-to-day use), but offer an unlimited number of photos for free.

One flip side of the above solution is that there’s no information about the uploader.

@peisert Have you had any luck with this?