4 Free Apps for Privately Sharing Photos

apps for privately sharing photos Many, many articles and essays have been written about the potential dangers of posting photos of your kids on Facebook and other social media. Whether or not you agree (that’s a topic for a whole other post!), there are some great alternatives out there for sharing photos of your children with family and friends. (Psst: We recently did a post on apps that help working moms stay connected to school/daycare, and we’ve also talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.) Sure, you can safely use platforms like Instagram, Flickr, and Google Photos to show off pictures of your kids (as long as you adjust the privacy settings carefully), but there are some great apps for privately sharing photos on the market right now — and all of them have a “free” tier for pricing.


23snaps (sample screenshot shown above) allows you to privately share photos online — and family members can either get updates through the app/site or receive emails with the photos. You can use 23snaps using a web browser or with iOS, Android, or Kindle. Free. 


Cluster protects your family photos by only permitting invited users to see and post to the albums you create in private groups. You can use Cluster using a web browser or with either iOS or Android. Free. 


Notabli lets you do a lot more than just share photos privately — it makes it possible to automatically organize photos, videos, quotes, notes, and audio clips by kid, date, location, and type. The people you’ve invited can see updates within the app or through a shared link (they can add their own photos as well), and you can print photos and make photo books from the app. (If you want, Notabli will automatically create photo books for you with every 50 photos.) You can use 23snaps using a web browser or with iOS, Android, or Kindle. Free (except premium services and photo books). 


Tinybeans helps you create a private online baby journal and print photos from it, too. Your invited family and friends can view photos through the app/site or just receive email updates, and if you want, you can simultaneously share your photos on Facebook (although that kind of defeats the purpose, right?). You can use Tinybeans using a web browser or with iOS, Android, or Kindle. Free (except photo books and premium version, which is $8/month or $50/year). 

Do you have concerns about posting your kids’ photos on Facebook or other social media, or do you not worry about it too much? Do any of your family members share pictures of your kids on social media without asking you first? Do you use these apps for privately sharing photos or any other good tools to share your kids’ photos privately with proud grandparents and other relatives? 

Pictured: iTunes 

Social media image: Deposit Photos / SimpleFotoapps for privately sharing photos of your kids

4 Free Apps for Privately Sharing Family Photos - We rounded up four great apps to help working moms share family photos privately, and all of them have a free tier!


  1. We use Google Photos to share photos. We created a private album that my husband and I contribute to and gave a few select family members view only access. It is really easy for us since we auto-backup from our phones to Google Photos.

    As for sharing online, we don’t go crazy. Maybe a picture every two weeks or so. So I am not terribly worried about sharing. I do make a point of not posting anything that may be perceived as embarrassing when he gets older.

    • +1 We do Google Photos albums.

      I don’t worry about online. We do ask that any picture of the kids has us tagged in it, so we know that it exists. We have asked certain family members not to post/share photos of our kids because their privacy settings aren’t okay, and they’re not responsible with their friend lists. They weren’t happy, but complied. I mean, maybe they’re posting still but blocking us, but if they were that savvy then they wouldn’t be problems in the first place.

      We try to be careful about the narrative we create for the kids – we try to keep it very positive and generic. We never post anything potentially embarrassing – if there’s a question, we just don’t post it. This extends even to “funny” parenting posts. Something about how tired I am? Fine. Something about a kid projectile vomiting? Not even close to okay. We’re aware that the kids will “inherit” their social media presence someday and we try to make that as non-eventful as possible.

  2. AwayEmily says:

    The benefit of using something like Instagram or Google Photos is that lots of people already have it, and so won’t have to install/remember to check a new app on their phone. We made a specific Instagram account for our baby when she was born. It’s private, so only people we accept as contacts can see the photos. It’s also turned out to be a useful exercise for me in terms of paring down my photos to the best few (we post one probably once every two days or so).

    Also, fyi, you can have multiple Instagram accounts within the app. So I have my personal one, and then also my daughter’s, and I can switch between them.

  3. I use and like Lifecake. Once you sign up, it sends you an update when new photos/video are added. It also allows you to shake the phone and see a randomized slide show. And sends cool comparison photos.

  4. Victoria Galt says:

    Sharing photos online can be scary, as you never know who might be looking. If you’re worried about this, use the http://www.pixalhub.com app to make sure that your pictures and albums are only being seen by people you want to share these memories and moments with.

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