Add Info To Your Photos

When you get film developed or download your pictures to your computer, be sure to date them and state who is in the picture. Future children (great-great-grand children) may inherit them and then they'd know when the picture was taken and who is in it.


These are small things we take for granted. People are really getting into genealogy and they would love nothing more than to have a picture telling them when it was taken and of whom.

By gem from VA

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November 17, 20101 found this helpful

I totally agree with this, thank you for sharing. I love to read old comments. Also, if you say who wrote the comment - well, it makes the story so much richer!

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November 17, 20100 found this helpful

Yes please it is so important. When my mother in law died we found the bottom drawer of her large dresser stuffed with pictures. and 99% were not marked. It is a shame because my husband and daughter are both in to genealogy and my mother in law loved to take pictures so there were tons.


By the time we got half way through we did not know who most of the people were or when they were taken which is a real shame because now there is no one to tell us.

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November 18, 20101 found this helpful

Before my Mom and Aunts passed, they were in their mid 90's,I bought an inexpensive tape recorder and took their photos and spent weeks with each showing them each photo, letting the recorder run. I numbered each with a pencil on the back 1 2 3 etc. The recorder would record their statements and I would use a notebook and record their findings. Later, I would go back and checking the book and the recorder I would use a pen appropriate to use on the back of a photo (scrapbooking supplier would have them). I then recorded the names and later I would scan them. After the scanning I would then add a lot of the info that they gave me.


I took each of them to their china cabinets and with the aid of a box of grease pencils from Staples. This waxy pencil marks china and other slick surfaces. I had them id the origins of the cake dishes, other things of interest. Before we were finished we had covered all the collectibles, the oils, the dishes, the photographs and the furniture. I used the grease pencils on many of the objects but not all, depending on what they were. Photos of the many pieces of furniture are all filed with their history attached underneath or in a drawer. The 8 grandchildren now share many of the these pieces along with their history.

They are all gone now
I have a real problem with scrapbooking as I belong to an historical group and when the scrapbookers take scissors to the snapshot they destroy most of the information with their scissors. One speaker actually said that "losing the background information destroys the sense of the time, place etc. When my family were identifying we used the backgrounds, the dresses of others in pictures, the buildings and the seasons , all to ID the people. Think about it.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

Many cameras today have time-date stamps that get printed on each pic, although I can't recall if that was the date the pic was taken or the film developed. That, at least, would give some context for each picture.

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November 21, 20100 found this helpful

The time stamp is the date photo is taken, providing you set the camera date. Non-digital cameras, you have to do it each time you change the battery. Digital has an internal battery where simple data is kept in memory. The settings and also the dates are kept.


I send mine to files on an external drive. If your hard drive should crash, all things there go too. You should make a DVD for information and put it away in the safety deposit box.

Anyway, my external drive holds my photos by the year, then labeled year/month. If there are special events, they get their own folder within the year.

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November 2, 20110 found this helpful

Even those of us that don't live near family and don't get to see them very often may not know who the people are in a photo posted on FB or sent in an email.

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November 2, 20110 found this helpful

This is an awesome tip, my grandma died several years ago but when we went through the photos we had no idea who the folks were in a bunch of the photos, they were from the war and such. I must admit that I think the unknown folks in the photos were discarded, but it made me so sad because someone's family may have been looking for a photo of "Uncle Ned" or whoever was in those photos.


I immediately went through my photos and wrote who was in them, what year it was taken and where it was taken if I knew all those details. It is something I want to hand down to my boys and their children as well.

With digital items, I put the year and event in the title of the photo, thank God for iPhoto!

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October 21, 20140 found this helpful

Looking at the WW1 soldier standing proud between two girls - one of my great-uncles was it? If so, which? No-one to ask now. So wish I knew!
Marg from England.

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September 9, 20180 found this helpful

This is the greatest tip. Too many of us just assume our family will know who is in the picture. The sad thing is when you look at old family pictures and have no idea who the people are. I have a picture taken of my mother's family when she was 16 and do not know 90% of the people in it.


My mother has been gone many years and so has everyone else in the picture. I have no one to ask and would love to know. These people were my great aunts and uncles. So very sad. I can't pass this information on to my children. I repeat: If you do nothing else with photos or downloaded photos, label them with dates (include 19 or 20 b4 the year) and names.

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