Like most of us, we have a family group on WhatsApp and follow a little tradition on every individual’s birthday. My dad crops and makes a collage of photos for each one of us on the birthday and sets it as the profile pic of the group with a lovely message. He is in his 60s and we feel it’s sweet of him to do that for us.
It was his birthday recently and I wanted to do the same thing for my old man, but I had a special plan. I wanted to make a photo collage of him with every individual in our family and make him feel how special he is for all of us. The only problem that was waiting for me was the 20K photos that I had to look through to find those 10 perfect photos.
The silver lining was the fact that all these photos were already backed up to Google Photos and, after all, the good things I read and heard about its searching skills, I thought to take it for a spin and trust me, I was amazed by its efficiency. I was able to search through 20K photos and come up with a collage in less than 15 mins and here’s the secret behind it.
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Tag the Names to the Faces
The very first thing that should be done is tag a name to each of the detected faces you wish to search. The option is kind of hidden and only when you tap on the search button, you get a list of faces that are detected by Google Photos. You then get the option to tag each face to a name.
The best thing is, every tag is private for your personal use and you can even give names like Dad and Mom.
So that was the first step of my attempt to search and sort the photos and I tagged every family’s individual with a name and then just searched for “Mom and Dad”.
Search using Location
The next thing I wanted to do was pick photos from different locations and thanks to the location data tagged to each photo, it was really easy. He recently visited the States and my search term “Mom and Dad in USA” was enough.
For the trick to work, all the photos must have the location coordinates as the EXIF data. While photos from mobile have the data, DSLR photos need to be tagged manually. Picasa is the best tool to get that done and you can use this post to see how it’s done.
Search for Anything and Everything
Google Photos has not given any limitation of things you can search and, therefore, you can search for anything and everything. Like, I wanted a photo of my dad in his young age and all I did was a search for the term “Dad Black and White Photos” and to my surprise, I got what I was looking for.
So that’s the thing about Google Photos. It never misses to surprise you. I then searched for Dad selfies, his photos next to a car or even front of Niagara Falls and Google Photos kept on providing me what I was looking for after searching around 20K photos.
Finally, it was Layout from Instagram that stitched the photos and I was able to save the photos and make it the profile pic for my dad’s birthday. So that was all. Start using Google Photos, you get unlimited storage and so many good stuff and with this searching skills, you will be its fan like I am right now.
Special Note to my Dad
We celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday on the 15th of December and I just want to thank him on this platform for everything he has done for me. It was his faith and patience that I left my full-time job as a software developer in a 100-year-old company and pursue my passion.
Dad, if you are reading this, just want to let you know how much you mean to me and thanks for everything.