Using Google Photos in a time of grief

Like an unfortunate number of friends’ families recently, we recently lost a loved one. I thought I’d briefly share a couple of things that worked well for us.

  • In Google Photos search, you can tap on a person’s face to see all your pictures of him or her, then select a number of them and tap the share icon to create a sharable gallery.
  • Friends & family viewing the gallery can download these images, or if they’re logged in with a Google account, add the images to their own Photos library with one click. This makes it really easy to gather together content (e.g. to make a memorial book or video). Before this feature was available, I guided a friend through a patchwork process of trying to get things via email, Drive, etc. The new approach is far simpler, and in the near future, collaborative albums will make it simpler still.
  • Discovering animations that feature your loved one can be a surprisingly moving experience.
  • A friend asked how to make a memorial video for her dad. You can do so directly in Photos (select images/videos, tap the “+” icon on iOS or Android, and tap “Movie”), or you can download content to your Mac or PC, browse it via Picasa, and make a face movie or regular movie using whatever music you’d like. (Select images, then choose Create->Movie.)

The circumstances mean that these tasks aren’t exactly fun, but I’ve found that the results can be very meaningful.

2 thoughts on “Using Google Photos in a time of grief

  1. Speaking of this — it sure would be nice if Google Photos would let us change the icon it associates with all the pictures found for a particular person. The image the algorithm has chosen to represent someone in our family who recently died is simply horrible. Every time I search I see a picture that is (a) not very good and (b) of him near the end of his life not exactly looking his best. Probably not what you were going for with search.

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