Unlock the Shoebox 2 -- ORGANIZING YOUR PHOTOS

Posted by Chris D.

In Part 1, we gave some tips for streamlining the process of digitizing your photos. Once your photos are digitized, this post can give you pointers on how to use MemoryWeb to simplify and automate organizing these files. We'll start from that point now.

So, you have all your photos digitized. Congrats! That's honestly the hardest part. Just wait until your family sees what you've done for them. Get ready for some serious hugs and maybe even a few joyful tears. Now first things first . .


If you haven't already, download your digitized picture files to your computer. This is a temporary holding place so you can take advantage of MemoryWeb's computer uploaders. These uploaders will find and add these photos to your account fast.

TIP: Group related photos into folders on your computer, such as Computer/My Pictures/Early 1900s/Bader Family. MemoryWeb's uploaders will grab the last 2 folder names and use these to automatically create a collection. Don't worry, if you want to change any collection name or add more photos to it, it's easy to do that in your account.


You can also import photos by syncing your account from any of these places -- Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and FamilySearch. If you have a Google Photos account, click here to see how to get images from there when you sync Google Drive.

TIP: We'll do as much heavy lifting as possible to use the information that already exists in your files to automatically tag the details to your photos as they are added to your MemoryWeb account. Everything from captions to albums and more. We are only limited by what information the sources themselves will allow to leave their platforms.

To see a chart listing of what photo details MemoryWeb can read and add as tag, click here.


One of the tricky byproducts of digitizing photos/artifacts is that each file will be automatically time stamped with the date it was digitized. And since date information is one of the details MemoryWeb will grab and use from each file, that means all your scanned photos are going to come in with either the scanned date or perhaps no date at all.

No worries; there's a easy workaround. Just select the photos you need to change and over-ride the date with the correct information like this:

TIP: If you don't know the exact date, we've got you covered. Just add what you know using our approximate date feature. Learn more here.


So, what about Locations? Most often, scanned files won't contain even an incorrect location. One of the most fun ways to explore your photos in MemoryWeb is through the interactive map, so you'll want to tag locations to any photos missing that information.

To add a location, select all the photos again and then chose location instead of date. You'll then be able to search existing locations or create a new one.

In this example, I just tagged all the photos to Puerto, Vallarta, Mexico since I didn't remember exactly where each shot was taken.

TIP: Why GPS Matters. With MemoryWeb, when you add a location to a photo, we add GPS coordinates so you can click to see your images on an interactive map. While that's pretty darn cool as a standalone, we think the best part of this feature is that those same GPS coordinates are embedded as metadata inside your file when you take your photo outside of MemoryWeb.


Adding the "who" to each photo is one of the most important parts of each memory. The great news is you have two choices for tagging people to photos.

1) Tagging People the Easy Way

The easy way is to click on one (or more photos) and tag people to it. Since you already have seen how to tag multiple photos through the Date and Locations View, we'll skip that to show you how to do that within a photo.

2) Tagging People the REALLY Easy Way

The really easy way is to wait for our facial recognition to do it's magic.

Depending on the number of photos you've uploaded, it can take a day or so for the database to process all your photos. If you want to help facial recognition get ahead of the learning curve, go ahead and tag a handful of photos to the people who are most important to you. This way the recognition tools already have some verified matches from which it can compare faces.

As the facial recognition feature finishes scanning photos, you'll see a listing of faces that have been recognized and the number of photos in which that person has been identified.

Just click into the face grouping you'd like to review, confirm the matched faces, add the person's name, and click Tag Person. You are all set!

TIP: As you review and confirm face matches, you help train the facial recognition algorithms to be even more precise in matching specific people to photos.


One of the things that sets MemoryWeb apart from other photo apps is the ability to link your family tree to your photos.

How? When you tag people to photos, we build a profile for them. The profile shows every photo, every album, and every location tied to that person. Plus, you can see their family tree. All you need to do is tag a Mother and a Father to the people in your account and the trees will begin building automatically to show:

  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Children

You can click on any person in the tree and then go to their extended tree. You can explore endlessly in any direction - and we often do!

Tip: If you have a FamilySearch account with photos and family trees, you can directly import images and family relationships into your MemoryWeb account. Learn more here.

With these tips, you are now fully equipped with the tools to bring your family archives alive with rich back-of-the-photo details.

That concludes Part 2. In Part 3, we'll cover tips and answers to common questions and concerns about sharing photos with other people.