I started using Google photos several years ago, but only recently have I put the power of the platform to proper use. I believe that pretty much everybody with a smartphone was using it now, but I have run across a few who are not, and really don’t know much about it.
The way that I got into it was because I set my smartphone camera where all of the pictures I take both go into the gallery on the phone and are also backed up on Google photos. That way, I can view my photos on my phone or on my PC by going to Google Photos.
Now, if I have thousands of pictures on my phone, if I delete the pictures from the phone they are still on Google photos. If I go to Google photos and delete pictures, those are also deleted on the phone. I find it a good system, it works great for me. It allows me to free up memory on my phone, even though I have a ton of memory, and also keep my photos available on Google photos.
You actually have an unlimited amount of storage on Google photos, as long as you allow them to re-size the photos to the size that they allow for free storage. Is still a very large image, so it’s not an issue with me. If you want to store photos in the original camera size, that will count against your Google memory limit. Earlier this year I signed up to increase the amount of Google storage that I have, I think I have around 150 GB of storage on Google now. I’ve only used about 25 or 30 gigs, so I’m not worried about running up against a limit. But, still the photos that I can store for free are of sufficient size for my needs, the extra storage is mostly used on Google Drive. I will write more about that in another article. I feel the Google photos are great, and I would see no reason not to give it a shot.
After I told a friend how the smartphone can sync photos to Google Photos, he asked about the pictures that he has on his PC, and how you can get them on Google photos. If you just use your browser and go to Google Photos – and you should have a different Google photos account for each different Google account that you have – sign in just like you would with Gmail, or actually go to Gmail, and then use the little tab up at the top where you can choose different apps, Google photos will be there.
When you get to the Google photos site, you can just drag-and-drop from any location on your computer into the Google photos. All of your pictures will be uploaded. You can also set up for your PC to sync with Google photos, but I don’t use that feature. I sync my phone, but not my computer. I get too many extraneous images on my computer, images that I want to use in a blog post or something like that, I have no need to store those in long-term storage like Google photos.
Once you have your photos uploaded to Google photos, you can set up folders, and such. Now, if you wanted to set up a folder, just upload only the images that you want in that folder, then after the upload is complete you have a choice whether you want to add that to an existing folder or make a new folder, and name the folder. If you were to upload images that are mixed, maybe you want them in three or four folders, there’s no way to do that. For any upload, you can choose one folder, either an existing folder or make a new folder. So, just upload images to a single folder, not multiple folders, then move on to another upload. When you first do this, you probably have thousands of photos to upload. Just start the upload at night before you go to bed and let it work while you are sleeping.
Another thing you can do, which I love, is that you can use facial recognition within Google. So, if I chose a picture of my wife, and then told Google who that was, every time I put more pictures of her it will automatically recognize her face. In the future anytime I do a search and say I want to find my wife, Google Photos will show me every picture I have of her, even if there are tens of thousands. You can set up as many different people for facial recognition as you want.
I learned a lot about using Google Photos from a webinar done by Steve Dotto, a Canadian tech guy. On just about anything Tech related, I find Steve to be an excellent source of information. He gets the message across in easy to understand language, and in an enjoyable format. You can visit Stev’s YouTube Channel here.
A few weeks back Steve did a webinar about how to organize your photos. He talked a lot about Google photos, and I learned some things that I didn’t know, things which will greatly improve my Google photos, and make me a lot more productive in terms of storing and retrieving photos.
When it comes to storing and retrieving photos, Google Photos is the key to my system. These days, with smartphones, we all have so many thousands of photos. I think a lot of us take the photos and never even look at them
because our storage system has not been developed in a way that makes it easy to find and view the photos that you want to see.
One real downside that I have found of using a digital camera, especially one built into a phone is that we take too many pictures! I see most people taking 2 or 3 (or more) copies of the same photo – “Just in case it didn’t turn out good.”. Well, that just clutters up our camera roll and leads to us never looking at the photos at all. There is just too much to dig through!
Heck, the smartphone itself is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to photography. It is a blessing because compared to the past, we now have a camera with us virtually 24/7. Even while sleeping, most of us have our smartphone sitting on the nightstand right next to our bed, I know I do. That means that anytime there is a good photo to be had, we can get it. It also means that we take way too many pictures that we will never go back and look at.
Excess photography makes it hard to actually look at and enjoy the pictures that we take, there is just too much to dig through. But, setting up great photo storage and retrieval system will fix the problem to a great deal.
Give Google Photos a try, I know I love it!