I don't know how it is with most families, but with both "sides" of my family -- ancestral photos were not evenly divided.
On my mom's side of the family, everything went from the eldest to the next eldest in line (upon the former's passing). My mom didn't get the photos of her parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts until she was in her eighties. By that time, some people were unidentifiable by her. When my mom passed -- her younger and last surviving sister didn't want the photos. So I have them all -- and I even kept those of relatives that are complete mysteries.
On my Dad's side -- his eldest sister had all the photos. She gave them to her son. What photos I have of my paternal relatives date from my childhood. There are none of my grandfather. I assume he did not like being photographed.
I do not remember what my grandfather looked like. He died before the accident which wiped out all my memories prior to my hospitalization.
For whatever reason, I got a note from my cousin along with an army photograph taken in 1917. He attached a notation that my grandfather was in the first row, second from the right.
I had to laugh because he wouldn't have had to tell me. I could have picked him out of those fifty or so men without being told. He looks exactly like my brother.
That finally answers the question for me after all those years. Genetics are an amazing thing.
I have always had an interest in ancestry and genealogy -- but have never pursued it because I think it's a good way to get your identity stolen. Particularly, if you post all that personal information online. Shame too. It's interesting.