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My Family

The New Digital Photo Frame


Digital photo frames have always been tricky for me (and most people I know). Sure, they are good in theory – no need to print, super flexible, great gifts for offices, parents, etc. But stylistically I haven’t been their #1 fan. It’s like recliners – GREAT in theory, but normally so ugly that you can’t bare to do it (to be fair I’ve seen some stylish recliners out there, too). So when Aura Frames reached out to sponsor this post my first instinct was “probably not.” Brady said, “eh, eh, slow down before you get all snobby and say ‘no’ you should come look at it.” I did and I was VERY interested. It’s white with rose gold around the outside of it and itโ€™s super simple and modern. I also learned about its fancy iPhone app that allows you to easily upload images automatically and remembered that my parents live far away right now (Samoa) and thought how amazing of a gift it would be for them. Here is why:


With Aura you upload the photos from your phone, no matter where you are, and they show up on a frame, yes, even across the world. Here’s how it works:

You download the free app and let Aura sort through your photo collection. It automatically recognizes the friends and family who you take photos of most often and sorts them into collections based on faces. It will sort through them and select the very best photos that you have and leave the blurry, unfocused, or low res ones on your phone. You can individually select your own photos too, but I think this feature is super fun and made the process so simple as I could just go into the Charlie or Elliot collection, turn on the Smart Select feature in the app, and automatically see their best photos instantly on the frame. The process could not be easier, once you connect to your wifi, it is just a matter of selecting the photos you want to see and that’s it.


It’s awesome if you are overwhelmed by the task of sorting and curating through your photos (I’m a photo hoarder so I have 17k photos on my phone which is apparently remarkable as every person I know is floored when they see my phone). ย It’s also great if your parents and relatives are the type that are constantly asking you to send more pictures. In addition to the easy photo upload through the app, the frame also has a light sensor which will automatically make the frame go to sleep when it is dark in the room or the room is empty. I LOVE that every time I enter the room, the frame will automatically show a new picture of us or the kids on the screen, and if you (or whoever you gift it to) are wanting to go to the next image, the frame has a sensor which allows anyone to “air swipe” to the next or previous photo with just a simple gesture. It’s super easy to scroll through a bunch of photos and land on your favorite to display.


This isnโ€™t just a normal frame which is what makes it so special. It’s such a great gift for grandparents or if all of the siblings want to go in on one special gift for their parents to bring them in some small way closer to their grandkids and what they are doing, and honestly when it comes to parents/grandparents gifts, this is truly all they want.


Beyond that, maybe it’s for your spouse who spends all day at the office and you could upload photos throughout the day to keep them company and get them home sooner? Or maybe it’s for your college aged student to remind them every single day that you are their parents and miss and love them. So many ways to manipulate ourselves into our loved ones hearts, right?


Even calling it a digital photo frames feels wrong as it is so beautiful in person, the functionality is so easy, and the screen displays your images so well. This my friends is a lovely modern, stylistically simple way to surprise a loved one with memories, even across the world. Here’s to hoping the frame gets to my parents before they read this post and spoil the surprise!!!! Canโ€™t wait to get it in their hands and start updating the frame daily with new pictures of Charlie and Elliot so they can see what is happening real-time in such a beautiful and simple way.

A big thanks to our friends over at Aura who have passed along the code EMHENDERSON20 to our readers. You can use the code at checkout to get 20% off your frame order (good through 10/18). Head on over to their site and check it out and let us know below in the comments who you would buy this for with the upcoming holiday season quickly upon us.

***Photography by Tessa Neustadt


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74 thoughts on “The New Digital Photo Frame

  1. I love the idea of sending new photo’s every day to grandparents like this! But at that price it’s really not something I’d ever buy.

    1. I was so disappointed in the price. I didn’t think it was going to be $20 or anything ridiculously low, but even if it was a joint Christmas gift for grandma and papa, it’s still far outside the budget. Let’s hope they come out with a cheaper version!

  2. How come you don’t put in the post that it’s $399? I appreciate reading about it, and I’m all for you telling us about a product in a sponsored post, but one of the things I ALSO really appreciate about your blog is how price-conscious you are – and $399 for a frame is kind of exorbitant. Like, I’d like to really know that it worked, that you mailed it to your parents in Samoa and that they saw all the photos, that all your siblings could download the app and upload the photos, etc. before dropping that on a product.

    Please know that this critique only underlines the high regard and esteem for which I normally hold how you write about products! You’ve set a high bar, which is why I read ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. We are preparing to overhaul our entire living space and my husband is begging for recliners. I am vehemently opposed, but I would love to see a few options that aren’t downright offensive (if such a thing truly exists). Can you highlight a few options? I’m sure there’s not enough options in the market and not enough reader interest for a full roundup, but since you mentioned them above, I had to ask the question!

    1. I would also love a recliner round up. My husband lets me make all decorating decisions, but the only thing he wants/insists on is a recliner. Ugh! We only have living area and I can’t find one that I like.

      1. Oh! I just had the same problem – my parents were updating their LR & my dad insisted on a recliner. I didn’t think it was possible to find something that looked nice & fit the bill & then I found the Greer recliner from C&B: Still a recliner but it tries to be sleek & a little mid-century modern-ish. It’s an investment but is beautiful & seems v well made. We got 2 & are happy with them. Maybe that helps? Would love to see Emily & team’s ideas!!

    2. I would also like a recliner round up ๐Ÿ™‚ The frame is beautiful and unique! It’s not something I would splurge on for myself but as a group gift would be awesome!

      1. Also, there is a leather recliner at Target that is in their “Emily Henderson’s picks” section that is nice! It also comes in a gray fabric as well. They are reasonably priced as well.

    3. Same dilemma in our family. We ended up finding a gorgeous (bonded) leather wingback-ish chair that is a recliner. I picked it out and didn’t even realize it was a recliner until the saleswoman told me so. Who doesn’t love the actual reclining? It’s just the 1980’s overstuffed LaZBoy look that I hated. Price point I think was in the $600 which is what I would expect for the mid-range furniture store. If I knew the brand I would link it, but trust me, decent options do exist!

  4. That sounds awesome! Do you know if siblings can share the app? Like, can you and your siblings all upload pictures of your families to your parents frame?

    1. Hi Meredith – Jon here from Aura Frames. Yep – that’s how the family share feature works. The person who owns the frame van invite as many people as they want to contribute photos. It is all done over WiFi so you don’t even need to be in the same house, state, or country to contribute photos.

      1. Hi Jon,
        Potential customer here. I love the aesthetic of these frames and some of the functionality, but overall, it has more bells and whistles than I’m willing to pay for. Is it in the Aura game plan to consider a lower price point model that preserves the look but skips some of the higher-cost functionality? For instance, changing the photo with a wave of the hand is awesome, but not worth it to me if it’s driving the price up significantly. Totally respect if you are only focused on the ultra-high-end, but the comments here make me think there’s still a significant portion of the market that isn’t being served and who loves your look. Best of luck!

  5. My husband travels to an office out of town 3 days a week. I know he would love this at his desk there. Any chance they want to offer your readers a discount?

  6. Oh my God! That’s so expensive! I mean, great in theory but absolutely not something I would consider at that price.

  7. I am glad Brady talked you into this review! It is the perfect Christmas gift for grandparents, etc.

  8. Man, I was like, “yes….Yes… YES!!!” then, “ugh, Nooooo” when I saw the price. :-/

    Super good, and a fabulous idea, but that’s quite the investment.

    1. 100% agreed. I was all ready to order unti I saw the price. Even for my Mom’s 70th I thought, I just don’t think I can justify it. $200 I might have considered…

  9. Stylish, yes. $399 is expensive though! Maybe (MAYBE) if the frame were much bigger. It would be cool to have a big rose gold frame that was, say, 20×30 that showed all black and white photos. For now I’ll have to settle for thumbing through my photo or Shutterfly folders.

  10. Why was my comment deleted? I saw several other comments that are now deleted. Bummer that EH and Aura are interested in actual feedback.

    1. nice that you got a free one, way too expensive for most. Sorry to hear that you delete posts that are not offensive..(
      guessing this will be deleted?)

    2. Hey, silly, comments don’t get deleted but they do sometimes take a while to load and “stick”. Patience, young grasshopper. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. So it’s like one of those digital freeway billboards with the changing images. For your home. With your loved ones. Okaaaaaaay.

  12. Does it just display one static photo until you switch or can you do a slideshow with photos changing every “x” seconds? I still miss my old Kodak photo frame from 2005, LOL.

    1. Hi Kid, Jon from Aura Frames here. The way it works is that you can either change the photo manually, either through the app or by waving your hand in front of the frame. Whenever the frame goes to sleep (when it’s too dark or the room is empty), it will always wake up with a new photo. The idea being to not try to re-invent the screensaver, but re-invent the picture frame.

  13. Loved this! Went to the site, and took a look at the price and have to pass. This would have made an amazing gift for my in-laws as we typically text pictures and they would just show up on their frame.

  14. I LOVE the look of the frame and idea of seeing new pictures of my daughter (I take about 100 a day), so I went to order it but its FOUR HUNDRED dollars! That’s crazy expensive – and no coupon code from the manufacturer? As they would say on shark tank, I don’t think this idea will work out…

  15. Love this! It is so simple and pretty and I like that you have the ability to add photos to it from the app and that the whole family can participate. My parents would love this seeing as how they can’t get on board with a group text ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the intro Em, and keep up the great content.

    1. Agreed! It is simple and pretty and it is a bit expensive but I agree with Em that it would be a great gift for siblings to go in on together for a parent or grandparent who would love to see more pics of the ones they love!

  16. I went the website and was ready to order as a present for my in-laws, until I saw the price. Eep!

  17. It’s gorgeous but the $399 price is crazy! Maybe include a less expensive option in these types of posts…

  18. Gorgeous! I’d buy several as gifts if they weren’t so insanely expensive! I’m not a “photos of my own family in my home” person, but I’d have one of these since it can switch out so often. Also wish it would come larger.

  19. I absolutely love this product! I have one in my home, and my sister actually loved it so much that she got one too!! So excited to see the EH team on board!

  20. Everything about this is gorgeous! I bought an electronic photo frame before as well, but didn’t really end up using it. I think this product is the perfect form + function. My parents live in a different country from me so I could see this being a great gift, but this price point is way too high… I kind of understand how the software and the beauty of it makes that price but it’s very very expensive and hard to rationalize buying

    Characters & Carry-ons

  21. It’s nice looking but certainly not $350 nicer than it’s competition. The price ($399) is absurd and while I appreciate style, it’s definitely not worth that much.

  22. Agree with everyone else…all set to buy and then saw the price…Eek! I will definitely be in search of something similar because it’s a great concept!

  23. This frame is so pretty. I spend a fortune on frames for just one photo. Then I’m stuck with thousands of photos I never look at again on my phone. I want to buy one so I can see all my photos! Plus, it’s pretty enough to match the rest of my home decor. Honestly, the price seems fair to me. This is a premium tech product. The cheapest iPad is at least $100 more and this has the same screen.

  24. I am curious about your family living in Samoa??? Maybe you’ve discussed this before on the blog and I’ve just missed it…but I’d love to hear more about it!

  25. A little pricey, but very cool! Could be an awesome tool when we start to have little ones far away from my panrets. Thanks for sharing!

  26. HA! My college kid would kill me if I got him a digital frame that I could control (and use to post embarrassing baby photos of him whenever I felt like it), but his grandparents would love one!

  27. I’m telling my kids to get this for me. Some live close and some live far away, but none of them send me enough pictures. I want to see pictures of my grandsons and my granddaughter when she comes in a few weeks. I like that my kids can set it up with their phones and I don’t have to do anything but sit back and enjoy their adorable faces.

  28. I love this product! I really want one for myself, my parents, my husband’s parents, etc. Alas the price is way to high for me; any chance of a discount code or sale?

  29. Man! I thought this is the perfect gift for my parents and in laws this year. I went Right to the site to order. $399? I just can’t . Beautiful and great tech on this but…$800 for 2 picture frames is ridiculous..

  30. It costs $399. That seems like something worth mentioning in the post. Or do you profit from click-throughs to Aura’s site?

  31. Am I the only one who could see accidentally sending parents and in-laws not-so-family-friendly pics?

    I am on the gorgeous, cool concept, too expensive bandwagon, too.

  32. I laughed/chortled out loud when I saw the price. Ummm…no. It’s certainly prettier than other digital frames, but maybe at 75% that price I would consider it.

    My parents already have a different digital frame and love having it loaded with pictures of their granddaughters, but ALSO love that it rotates every few minutes. It makes it nice to actually see all the photos we know hoard on our phones.

  33. I agree with everyone else. WHAT AN AWESOME FRAME! And then, HOLY MOLY I CANNOT SPEND THAT MUCH ON A FRAME, no matter how cool it is. I was about to ask my husband for this for Christmas but he would take one look at that price and think I was a crazy person. I guess I’ll keep my eyes on this to see if it ever comes down in price.

    Regardless Emily, I think it’s a gorgeous frame and I appreciate you telling us about it, even though I can’t afford it.

  34. I have to agree with the others and say while the frame looks beautiful, I would never consider spending over $200 on a 9.7 inch digital photo frame. Pretty resoundingly inaccessible to the majority of your readers, but I can’t blame you for not passing up an opportunity for a free one!

  35. I really don’t typically mind sponsored product posts–I even buy some of the items. I also appreciate that your blog is essentially a free service, albeit a portion of your overall business. But sometimes the sponsored posts are just silly and I’m afraid this one goes that route. A $400 photo frame? Really? And no other design related content in the post? Just an infomercial for a comically expensive item? Y’all can do better than this (and typically you do!)

    As an example, the snack product sponsored post that also involved you going to the flea market and buying fun stuff for us to look at? That was great and made it seem like actual content instead of just a product placement.

  36. Wow, $399? Wish that was noted in the post instead of being sold and then unpleasantly surprised.

    Cool idea but for that price I’ll just open my laptop and keep the slideshow on. Lol

  37. Oh, so sad! I was all like YES!!! Christmas gifts for grandparents..DONE…in OCTOBER!!! But alas, the price. Would have done it for $100. Let’s hope by this time next year it will be cheaper!

  38. Geez for the price one can get a large monitor. I’ve tried digital picture frames before and giving them to the grandparents means they have to be much simpler to use than a basic iPod. Will really like to see them when they have a much larger dimensions to hang on the wall in place of art.

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