Help and Support

Welcome to Collectionaire!

(You may also want to view the Introductory Videos in the first Help category.)

Collectionaire is a new way to organize your most cherished family photos, videos and keepsake memories so that the best of these treasured items are never lost and always accessible and shareable on your phone, tablet or desktop computer.  The core of your collection will be your family collection, where you'll bring together your family's best memories of vacations, holidays, photos together, etc.  But you'll also create a dedicated collection for each member of your family, from cherished memories of each child to legacy tributes to grandparents and ancestors.

Not a photo storing service

Collectionaire is unique in that it does not store your documents, photos and videos.  Instead, your media will reside in one or more photo or video-sharing cloud services, such as Google Photos, iCloud Photos, Flickr, SmugMug, Forever, etc. for photos; and Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon cloud or other site for videos. You can use almost any, or several, different cloud services for your media.  Collectionaire then works as a clean visual "overlay" linking you to your media in other sites. Again, it's important to understand that your photos and videos are not transferred to Collectionaire but always remain, and will be viewed, in the photo-sharing cloud site where they reside.

A visual hub to your collections

At its core then, Collectionaire is a simple visual hub linking you to your memories.  There are two key elements. First is the Collection Page, created for each person and each family, where you’ll assemble their best memories, stories and mementos… somewhat like a Table of Contents to their life.  Second is your Family Tree, where clicking on any person takes you to their Collection Page.  Clicking on a circle icon linking a couple takes you to the couple’s family Collection Page.

Why is it better than what I have now?

Your photos may already be in Apple Photos, Google Photos or other site, but these are simply not designed to organize the collective family's photo and video memories over the years. And you'll probably use multiple cloud locations for storing your broad collection.  With Collectionaire, photos, videos and digital albums pertaining to one person or one family are all brought to one place, regardless of location or format. You'll be able to organize everything about a child's early years through adulthood; create a legacy tribute to a deceased loved one for all to remember; or bring together the memories of all of your cherished family events and vacations in one place.

Use the best of the best

Our "Best Practices" suggest that your photo library be stored in one cloud site and videos perhaps in another.  But beyond these, there are dozens of exciting new photo, audio, and video-sharing apps being created each year that you can tap into.  And Google, Apple, Amazon and others continue to bring new features to their apps trying to out-do the other in photo and video management.  For example, linking from Collectionaire to a video in Google Drive, Vimeo or YouTube allows you to start a video at any specific point. 

With Collectionaire as your central hub you'll be able to use the best of the best in photo and video management, but take these general purpose sites to a higher level as an ideal family digitial archive.


(You may also want to view the Introductory Videos in the first Help category.)

Collectionaire works as a partner app to most all third party photo and video-sharing cloud sites, and creates an "overlay" to aggregate and organize all of your cloud media into one family-centric collection. 

You'll build your collections with two tabs open in your browser. The first will be open to the third party site where your photos or videos are located, You'll organize this media into what most sites term "Albums" or "Galleries" (which can be just one photo or video, or a full digital photo album) and obtain a "Share Link".  The Share Link is a special web address that allows viewers to bypass login credentials for that site and only allows the viewer to see that specific media; not the entire collection.

The second tab will be open to Collectionaire where you'll paste this Share Link into the collection of the person or family for which the Album relates.

Here are the steps you'll follow:

  • Create your Collectionaire account

  • Build at least a portion of your Tree - You'll create your Family Tree (or Organization Tree), adding family members for which you'd like to create collections. You may want to add just a couple of people to get started, as you can easily add others later.  See Help category: Creating a Tree.

  • Create albums in 3rd party cloud sites - In one or more photo-sharing  or video-sharing cloud sites, you'll combine files into Albums and get Share Links to link these Albums to Collectionaire. See Help category: Creating Albums in 3rd Party Cloud Sites.

  • Link your albums to Collectionaire - Each person and each family on your tree has a Collection Page, which is essentially a Table of Contents of their life.  Clicking their name in the family tree takes you to this personal or family Collection Page. Once there, you'll add "Chapters", and within a Chapter "Linked Albums" where you'll add the links to your Albums in the 3rd party cloud sites. See Help category Creating a Media Collection.

  • Once set up, clicking on the Preview Image of any Linked Album opens a new tab in your browser to the media in that website.

Choose where to start:

My photos are still in prints

If your photos are still in print form, they must first be scanned into your computer or storage drive. Our Help category Your Photos are still Prints, will guide you in digitizing photos, videos and keepsake documents. 

My photos are not located in a photo sharing cloud site

If your photos and videos are digital but still in your computer or storage device, you’ll need to upload them to a photo sharing cloud app like iCloud photos, Google Photos, Smugmug, Flickr or other web photo storage site. You'll find suggested cloud sites and help on how to upload files in Help category Your Photos are not in the Cloud.

I use a photo sharing cloud site but have not created digital albums

You’ll need to learn how to create “shared albums” or “shared galleries” in the photo sharing services.  Please see the Help Category: Creating Albums in 3rd Party Cloud Sites.


Yes!  Please click HERE, type your question, and we'll be back to you within 24 hours.  And usually in less than one hour. 

No question is too small and we welcome them all, as we learn from helping our users.

Please see the 3rd & 4th Help Categories to the right for support with: 

  • Converting Photo Prints to digital formats

  • Converting 8mm and 16mm movies to digital

  • Converting VHS video tapes and analog / digital video tapes to digital

  • Converting  DVD's to digital formats that can be uploaded to the cloud.

Please see the fourth Help & Support Category of this same name, to the right, for straight forward quick-start instructions.

One important suggestion:  If you're storing long-form home movies (longer than 15 minutes), we are highly favorable toward Google Drive, YouTube and Vimeo over other sites we've found, for one reason:  Each of these sites allows you to start your video at a specific point in the movie, which is incredibly valuable if your long-form movie has several different events and activities documented.

You may also wish to read our Blog entry, Suggested Cloud Storage Options if you want our view.  We'll continue to share what has worked well for us and update this answer and Blog answers as cloud services change.



If you've entered a person but can't see them in your family tree, you will need to change the "View Person" for the tree to that of one of that person's parents or grandparents. To do this, click the triangle in the lower corner of either parent's box, or that of a grandparent.  This turns that box gray, showing that it is the current "View Person", and shows their tree view.

The View Rule 

Only part of your tree can be seen at any given time, and a given person's tree view does not show their siblings or siblings of ancestors.

The tree view for any person shows a) both of their birth parents and direct grandparents, b) their spouse and any prior spouses, c) their descendants for three generations and all current and former spouse descendants for three generations.


This app is focused on using the family tree to easily navigate to the collections of those for whom you most frequently view photos, videos and other memories.  We reason that a given grown person will most often view the collections relating to their own childhood family and their current family, including all of their offspring.  Having siblings on the tree in this view might make it unwieldy. 

If one wants their or an ancestor's siblings shown on the tree, they can select one of the parents of this person as the View Person by clicking the triangle in one of the parent's boxes, and all children and three generations of descendants of the parent selected will be displayed.  The further up the tree the View Person, the more people in general will be seen on your tree at one time.


The primary purpose of Collectionaire is to get users quickly to the collections which they most frequently view.  And although you can create collections for hundreds of people in your extended family, we've found that most people focus on viewing collections of their immediate family including children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.  If you wish to see your or an ancestor's siblings and their children on your tree view, then make one of the parents of those you wish to view the "View Person" by clicking on the triangle corner of one of their boxes.

The View Rule 

The view for any person shows a) both of that person's birth parents and both sets of natural grandparents, b) their spouse and any prior spouses, and c) their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and those of current and former spouses.

So if one clicks the corner triangle of a grandparent, making that grandparent the View Person, they'll then see their own parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and children of these individuals.

When in your Tree view, simply click on the circle link icon between a couple and you'll be directed to their "couples" or "family" page.

The couples collection is generally there for archiving family movies, family photos, vacation photos, etc. that pertain to the entire family unit vs. one of the individual family members.

On each person or family's Collection Page, in the left column under their photo, you will find a button called "+ ADD" for Quick Links.  Each Quick Link is a link to a web address that does not require a description.  You will instead simply add a Title and paste in a URL or Share Link.  Up to four Quick Links can be added per Collection Page.

Most frequently, for younger people, these are used to link to their social media pages such as Facebook photos or Instagram.  Clicking the link would take users straight to their primary page or photos page.

For ancestors, many use these to link to the person's records in FamilySearch, Ancestry.com or other cloud-based genealogy app. Clicking the link could take users, for example, to their Facts page or Memories page.

Still others use it to link to a person's primary profile, a digital scrapbook or e-book for that person, but it could link to any cloud location.

In many cases for these direct links, the user will need permissions and be logged into these third party applications as we are simply putting in the URL.  This is different from getting a "share link" from a photo or video site which allows the viewer to bypass login protocols.

You will see that the interface is similar to adding a Linked Album, but there is no Description box.

Adding Linked Albums

Please see the video in Help topic Introductory Videos entitled: Adding a Linked Album to a Collection

Please also see the Help topic to the right: Creating a Media Collection.

Where do I find the Share Link?

All sites do it a bit differently, but in the cloud site where you store your photos, videos, digital albums, etc., you will likely find the word "Share" or "Get Share Link" somewhere on the photo or album page. Click this link and it will provide a Share Link or Copy Link option, which is a series of characters that represent this specific page in that cloud site.  This "Link" is the web address you will copy and then paste into your Collectionaire Entry.  Please see the Help topic: Creating Albums in 3rd Party Cloud Sites for specific instructions for some sites.

Can I just use the URL or Web Address?

It may seem that the web address is all that is needed, but in many cloud sites, the "Share LInk" is different as it allows the user to bypass login protocols and go directly to the shared album.   So whenever possible, use the "Share Link" for connecting a Shared Album to Collectionaire.

What is a URL?

A URL is basically a way of identifying the location of a file or your media that's stored not on your computer but in a computer (server) at a remote location.  Remote servers represent what we call the Cloud... meaning it seems we're sending these files into thin air but they actually travel through the Internet and are stored on another computer rather than yours.  Opening a local file on your computer is as simple as double-clicking it, but to open files on remote computers in the cloud, we must use URLs so that our web browser knows where to look.

Clicking on a URL opens that location.  In Collectionaire, the URL is linked to the Preview Image in a collection to take you to the associated media.

Using remote servers and URL's does two main things for your files and media.  First, it serves as a backup for security in case you lose your photos and media at home.  Second it allows you to see your media from any connected platform, such as a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

Collectionaire uses Popups to link your collections to media stored in other cloud websites.  The first time you click on the Preview Image of one of your new Entries, it's is possible a warning message will tell you that your browser is blocking popups (this is usually to prevent unwanted ads. Collectionaire has no ads and there is no security risk). 

When this happens, the links to your media stored in 3rd party cloud sites will not work. 

A) In most cases, to remedy this, please follow the simple steps below:

  • On Firefox:  In the Yellow bar above, click on Options or Preferences (on the right); then select “Allow pop-ups for collectionaire.com”

  • On Chrome: In the web address bar above, to the right, click on the small page icon with the tiny red box; select “always allow popups and redirects from https://collectionaire.com; click Done

  • On Safari:  In the web address bar above where you see collectionaire.com, click on the box-shaped page icon to its right (left of the circular refresh button). If this is not shown, go to Safari > Preferences > Websites tab > Pop-up Windows > Allow collectionaire.com.

  • On Internet Explorer:  You should see a bar appear at the bottom of the screen.  Click "allow popups from Collectinaire".

B)  In some cases with Google, you may need to change your sync settings.

In the rare case that this does not work, please see the Help & Support Category to the right called Settings


Preview images are used for Entries and Linked Albums as a representation of the content they contain.  We try to help you quickly create these images with the GENERATE button when creating Linked Albums.  But this does not work with some 3rd party cloud sites, most notibly Apple Photos, SmugMug and Forever.  If a preview image cannot be automatically created, or if you are not pleased with a preview image, there are two quick and easy ways to add a custom image.

From a Mac or iPhone

Option 1 - Choose a stored photo

  • In the edit page of either Add Entry or Add Linked Album, click on REPLACE PHOTO next to the image or template you wish to add or change.

  • This will open the Photos library on your Mac.  Navigate to a photo folder, select your preferred image and click Open.

  • Zoom and Crop then Save the photo.

Option 2 - Quickly create a new preview image

  • Since this image will be used only as a thumbnail representation of your photos album or video, the quality does not need to have a high resolution, so you can do the following:

  • Open the Album on your Mac or iPhone and choose the image you'd like to use. For video, you can pause it where you want. Enlarge the image as much as possible on the screen and take a Screen Grab (shift + command + 4) and capture the image. 

  • Now proceed with Option 1 above and your photo will likely be located on your Desktop unless set to store screen grabs elsewhere.

From a Windows computer:

Option 1 - Choose a stored photo

  • In the edit screen for either Add Entry or Add Linked Album, just below the Description box, click on REPLACE PHOTO next to the image or template you wish to add or change.

  • This will open Explorer on your computer..  Navigate to either the Pictures folder, or, if your photos are in iCloud on Windows, navigate to the iCloud folder and select from the Downloads folder.  Select your preferred image and click Open.

  • Zoom and Crop then Save the photo.

Option 2 - Quickly create a new preview image

  • Since this image will be used only as a thumbnail representation of your photos album or video, the quality does not need to have a high resolution, so you can do the following:

  • Open the Linked Album on your PC or mobile phone and choose the image you'd like to use.  For video, you can pause it where you want.  Enlarge the image as much as possible on the screen and take a screen shot/print screen (this command is usually on the top-right corner of the F-row on your keyboard.)  This copies an image of the screen to your clipboard. 

  • In a program like Word or Power Point, paste the image onto the page (right click and select Paste).  Now left click on the image to highlight it and then right click on the image and select "Save as Picture".  Choose either Pictures or Desktop as the location to store.

  • Now proceed with Option 1 above to use this image.


    Yes.  Here are quick instructions:

    • First off, this will copy and paste a Linked Album, not an Entry (because an Entry can have multiple Linked Albums).
    • It’s not required, but we suggest you open your collection in two tabs in your browser simultaneously.  In one tab, navigate to the Entry containing the Linked Album you wish to copy.  In the other tab, navigate to the person/couple collection where you wish to paste it.
    • In the Entry where you want to copy a Linked Album, click the edit pencil to the right between the comment and delete icons.
    • In the bottom of the edit box you’ll see your Linked Album in a blue box. In the top middle of that box you’ll see an icon of two overlapping pages. That is the copy button and you will click that. A pop-up message in the top right of screen will confirm that the Linked Album was copied.  Close the Entry edit box.
    • Now go to the Entry where you wish to add this copied album. (It could be a new blank Entry or may already have one or more Linked Albums).
    • If a new Entry, there’s no need to add a Title or Description.  Simply click on the blue banner that says “Add Linked Album”.  (If not a new Entry, this will add an additional Linked Album.)
    • At the top right of the blue Linked Album edit box you will see “Paste Copied Linked Album”.  Click it and it will paste in the album name, description, link, and preview image.
    • Click save and it also saves these data fields to the Entry. Click save again and it’s in your collection

    If you are addressing Preview Images or Node images for your Collection, you'll need to rotate them in your computer or mobile device before pulling them into the cropping tool on Collectionaire.

    If you are addressing photos in one of your linked Albums, Collectionaire does not have control over  your photos stored elsewhere.  You must go the the cloud site that stores your photos and determine how to do this.  You may need to rotate the photo in your ocmputer or mobile device before uploading it to the cloud site.

    Yes... and it's easy...

    1. Place the cursor over the three-line icon on the right of the Chapter or Entry of one or more Linked Albums.
    2. When the cursor changes to a cross-arrow icon, click and hold the left button on mouse or pad.
    3. Drag the Chapter or Linked Album Entry to the position you want.
    4. IMPORTANT: In some cases, you will need to slide the Chapter or Entry to the right a bit before releasing the mouse button to place the item.  It will then "spring" back to the left.

    For a Visual of this feature, see Tips and Tricks in Help section to the right...


    There may be times when you would like to link a person in your Collectionaire tree to that person's profile in another site, such as Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.com.  For example, you might do this for a deceased relative that already  has a full profile in one of these other sites.  Here is how to make this work:

    • Note: For the link from Collectionaire to work, one must already be "signed in" to Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.com, though these sites do not have to be "pre-opened" when using Collectionaire.
    • When implemented for Ancestry.com, clicking on the Collectionaire entry links you to a person's page in Ancestry.com.  You can choose whether this will be their LifeStory, Facts or Gallery page. 
    • When implemented for FamilySearch.com, clicking on the Collectionaire entry links you to a person's page in FamilySearchcom.  You can choose whether this will be their Details or Timeline page.

    Here's how to set it up:

    • Go to the person's Ancesty.com or FamilySearch.com page that you want to link to and copy the URL or web address in the top address bar in your browser.
    • In Collectionaire, enter this link when you add a new Entry to this person's Media Collection page.
    • Now, when one clicks on this link in Collectionaire, they will be taken to the Ancestry or FamilySearch page you linked to.