HOW TO ORGANIZE (AND FIND!) YOUR PHOTOS
Here we are at the third part in our 3-part series. In March, we discussed how to organize our computer files. In April, we took a look at why it’s important to delete old apps and accounts. This month, we’ll tackle that age old problem of gathering all of our photos together in one place. For many of us, we have photos on our phone. We also have some photos on our desktop, in a Photos or Pictures folder, and a bunch in emails and texts that people have sent us. It’s time to take control of the situation and get these photos wrangled.
WHAT APP DO I NEED?
What type of phone you have is how to decide which photos app you’ll use. If you have an iPhone, then you’ll want to use Apple’s Photos app for your organizing, because the pictures you take automatically go to the Photos app. You can use Photos on either your iPhone or Mac computer. If you have a Windows PC, then you’ll access the Photos app using iCloud.
If you have an Android phone, you’ll want to use its Google Photos app. To access Google Photos on either a Mac or PC, go to the internet at www.photos.google.com.
When using either app, you can then set it to sync with all of your devices. This way, a couple of minutes after you take a picture with your phone, you’ll be able to see it on your computer, too.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR PHOTOS
Once you snapped your beautiful pictures of the grandchildren, or the fort at Mackinac Island with your phone, the photos immediately become a part of your photo app. In Apple Photos, the main directory, where all of your photos are stored, is called the Library. In Google Photos, it’s just called Photos. Both apps arrange your pics chronologically to make it easier to find them.
To organize your pictures even further, you can create albums. Put all of your Mackinac photos into an album and call it Trip to Mackinac 2023. Did you have a family reunion? Put all of your pictures from that celebration into a new album and call it Family Reunion 2015. See where I’m going here?
You can even create shared albums, where people you invite can upload their pictures from the event to that album. This way, you have the photos that everyone took on that trip or at that event. Now you can pick and choose the best ones.
WHERE’D AUNT BETTY GO?
Albums make finding photos from a particular event a snap. But what if you just need to find pictures of a particular person? A few weeks ago, I was searching for photos of my Aunt Betty. I began by scrolling chronologically through my Library, going back, back, back, to my oldest pics. After scanning the first couple hundred photos with no luck, I began to panic. Where’d my 96-year-old aunt go? That’s when I remembered that I could search my Library using a filter for people’s faces.
In Apple Photos, look at the navigation pane on the left and click on People. Here’s where the app has scanned faces of people it has seen regularly in your library and placed them together for easy cataloging. Click on the person you’re looking for, and you’ll see photos of that person in your library.
In Google Photos, you’ll want to click on Explore in the navigation pane on the left. There, you’ll find a section labeled People & Pets.
Note: In both apps, if you ever need to add someone to the People section, locate a picture of that person (or pet) in your Library and click on the “i” for information.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Another nifty way to find a particular photo is to search by location. In Apple Photos, click on Places in the navigation pane on the left. In Google Photos, type the location in the search bar at the top. The apps differ as to how they determine the location of where the photo was taken—camera settings, landmarks in the background, manual entry of the place under Information, etc. Nonetheless, searching by location can be a very handy tool.
MORE TO EXPLORE
These are the fundamentals of organizing your photos and finding them. Unfortunately, going into detail about each app just isn’t feasible here. Each step would require its own article. Just know that both Apple and Google can help you get your pictures housed under one roof and allow you to find them easily. I encourage you to give them a try, and if you ever need help, please feel free to contact me.