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October 15, 2010

Mom of a Thousand Faces: Using Photo Gallery to Easily Manage Digital Photos

As a mom of two young kids, I’m constantly taking and uploading multiple digital photos and videos. My PC stores over four thousand digital photos, and this does not include the many additional ones on my portable hard drive. Looking for that perfect picture is overwhelming and I often feel a little lost in my own PC. Seriously…who has time to sort through thousands of photos and individually tag and organize each one?

Thankfully, I found Windows Live Photo Gallery to include quite a few tools to help me get more organized and make finding and sharing pictures much more efficient. By tagging people in your pictures, facial recognition in Photo Gallery will automatically start to identify similarities across your photos. What I noticed is that even with my youngest daughter who is 17 months, the technology started to pick up on her facial features and could identify her in photos. The more I tagged pictures, the better Photo Gallery got at identifying the similarities and providing suggestions. I noticed that by around 10-15 photos tagged of my husband, Photo Gallery was beginning to give accurate suggestions. My youngest child took a little longer as her face has changed so much throughout her first year, but after around 20-30 times of tagging her I found that Photo Gallery could identify her face.

Does this still seem too tedious due to the fact that you have to tag the photos? I thought so too until I started to use Batch Tagging. Simply go click on the Home tab in Photo Gallery and click on “Batch people tag.” As a busy mom with thousands of photos, this simple feature has saved me hours of time. Instead of forcing me to sort through my many digital pictures, batch tagging uses facial recognition to bring up a batch of pictures which look like the same person. It saves me from having to always tag photos when I upload them. Now, when I have a few minutes I just click on batch tagging and spend around 5-10 minutes confirming name suggestions to the faces in pictures. It seriously is that simple.

Once your photos are tagged, use the new Find tab in Photo Gallery to search for the pictures you need. My digital photos have been a source of stress for years, especially when I needed to find that perfect picture to share with friends and family or to add to a baby book. Like most moms, I search for tools that help me stay organized and efficient, which allows me to spend more time on the things that are important: my family. And Photo Gallery has been a life saver for what was my digital photo nightmare.

To download Photo Gallery and other Windows Live tools (all of which are free!) go here.