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Tag: Apple Photos

How to Use Apple’s Photos App to Quickly Create a Memory Movie

If you need a way to display a group of photos in a movie-like presentation, Apple’s Photos app can do this trick for you. Here’s how.

Apple’s Photos app on a Mac contains the powerful functionality to organize your pictures into collections and then display them as “Memory Movies,” complete with photo zooms and transitions. The app does this on its own to generate unexpected and often delightful photo-montage movies from your photo archive.

But you can also put the Photos app to work to create a Memory Movie using your own (human-directed) collection of pictures.

It’s simple to do, and with a couple of clicks, you can also add music and a title graphic.

How to Make a Memory Movie
The trick to quickly creating a Memory Movie is choosing one of your existing albums of photos. But it’s also not hard to create a new album for this use. The bottom line is the album feeds your movie structure.

Once you’re in your album, you’ll see the option on top to click on “Show as Memory” or “Slideshow.” (The difference is Slideshow doesn’t contain the photo moves and zooms.)

On the next page that appears, you’ll see your Movie Memory ready to start.
Click the play icon.

That’s it!

To adjust your music choices, click on the tools icon on the right side of the playback controls.

Fast and Good Enough
Once you understand the easy steps to creating a Memory Movie, you can pull one together in minutes by using one of your existing albums.

It’s a much faster process than importing your photos into a video editing program and then manually setting up all of the photo transitions before exporting your video file.

Sure, a manually-edited version would be more creatively precise. (AI-directed photo moves and transitions can sometimes be a bit off balance.) But I’d say for most uses, letting your computer do the work is just fine.

A Memory Movie is also an especially simple way to quickly pull together and share a collection of photos for a Zoom meeting.

A couple caveats: You can’t create a Memory Movie using a shared album. It needs to be one that lives locally on your Mac. And you can’t actually export your Memory Movie into a separate file. The movie experience is generated and remains within the Photos app.

Display your Memories
There are any number of ways to display digital photos these days. But if you’re already using the Photos app for your photo management, this quick and easy presentation trick is a no-brainer.

How to Build a Cloud Family Photo Archive for your Smartphone

It’s time to release the power of your best family photos! Here are four steps to help you create a family photo archive that you can carry around in your pocket.

Remember how your parents and grandparents liked to carry around wallet-sized photos of you when you were a kid? I think some folks still do that. How quaint… how silly…how unnecessary!

With smartphone tech that can house thousands of photos, why would anyone want to carry around a tattered physical family photo in a wallet?

Well, for one reason… you know exactly where that photo is. And when someone asks you about your family, you can pull it out on demand and show it off.

Can you boast that same super power?
…Right now?

Stop Looking for a Needle in your Visual Haystack
Yes, this topic may fall under the category of ‘super obvious,’ but you can’t simply hope to swipe through a mess of photos in your smartphone representing years of moments and successfully pull the desired image out of a hat whenever you need to.

You’ve got to tuck away a few of the really important ones in a place where you can easily access them (beyond your wallet).

And I’d say the best way to do that is to create a family archive photo album in the cloud that you can access from anywhere, including your smartphone.

Here are four easy steps to help get you going…

Step 1:  Create a Shared Cloud Photo Album
In the Apple ecosystem, of course that’s really simple to do…

You can create a ‘Shared Album’ either on your iPhone or in ‘Photos’ on your Mac and then simply pop in your top 50-100 pics that represent the entirety of your family and your life to date.
(Keeping the number down is much easier said than done, because you’ll find so many choices that you’ll want to include!)

The trick here is to only choose a small number of pics among the thousands you’ve got. Remember, you’re trying to essentially simulate the tattered wallet photo experience… with some obvious improvements. Simplicity and easy access are paramount.

Then after the heavy lifting of curating your little photo collection, simply share the album with your partner and whoever else you’d like…
How considerate of you!

Step 2:  Choose only a Few Photos
So which photos are you going to include?
Well, think about which pics best represent your family’s ‘story.’

Yes, that may take you some time to figure out…
(Our ancestors had it easy with only having to manage through a shoebox of disorganized photos.)

But once you go through your digital collection and pull together this new group of archive-worthy gems, you’ll realize the awesomeness of your accomplishment.

Step 3:  Include the Major Moments
I don’t think there’s one particular recipe to follow… you just need to take a little time to decide what those exact photos are…

For me, I wanted to include some of the obvious milestone family moments…

  • Our wedding
  • Our son’s birth and first days


Then show off a little of the ‘where…’

And then I realized, beyond the several landmark moments in life and fun places that anyone might want to display a picture from, there’s a blur of countless other experiences over the years that you really don’t need to consider.
(That’s sobering, right?)

So, what’s left…?

Step 4:  Focus Mostly on the ‘Who’
Well, it’s the people in your life… your family and friends.

The “who.”

Yes, we’re back to essence of the wallet photo phenomenon.

You’re going to want to carry around the pictures of the people in your life who have mattered most.

Those images are what I immediately felt the need to collect into my own cloud family photo archive…

And so I put those photos in a cloud folder titled ‘Family Portraits.’

Some were candid pics, but most were posed group shots taken at family events. The organic organization of the people in these photos nicely framed much of my family’s history.

Carry Your Family History in Your Pocket
Remember when I said that your photos have expiration dates and that your family and friends only care to see the most recent pics from your life?

While that’s certainly true at one level, some of your pics will defy that phenomenon and retain their long-term value as foundational explainers for your family’s history.

Just make sure you don’t lose them in the endless mass of digital freeze frames from your life.

Sure, they might be properly archived in a portable hard drive somewhere, but if you can’t immediately access them when you want to on your smartphone, you’re going to miss most of the opportunities to share them throughout your life!

A cloud family photo archive that lives on your smartphone is a strategy lightyears ahead of using those tiny wallet photos.

You’ve just got to build it!

4 Ways to Handle the Mess of Taking Too Many Pictures

Irony is everywhere… especially when it comes to taking pictures. If you’re having a hard time managing and sharing all of your disorganized digital photos, you’re not alone. I’ve got a few tips to help you get back on track…

Now that summertime has unofficially begun, I’d like to share a little warning… Don’t fall for what I call the “Quadrotriticale Paradox.”

Remember that “Star Trek” episode titled “The Trouble with Tribbles” where those cute furballs found their way into a poisoned storage bin of quadrotriticale? All of the tribbles had a big feast, but many ended up starving after eating the poisoned grain.

What does this have to do with all of those summer photos you’re going to be taking…? If you’re snapping hundreds of pictures, your family and friends may still feel like they’re starving to receive a few images that show what you’ve been up to.

What’s the Plan?
We all want to share our best summer moments, but the “Quadrotriticale Paradox” can get in the way. The truth is the more pictures your take, the lower the odds you’ll actually find the time to go through, organize and share your top photos.

Short of taking fewer pictures…
The best way to reverse the effects of the paradox is have a good plan on how to unlock and release your photographic treasures.

Here are four ways that help me get the job done…

Rate Your Photos to Find the Gems
There is no magic bullet. You have to review each photo.
(I prefer using the larger real estate of a computer screen vs. a smartphone or tablet.)
Use the 1-5 numbering system.
(Both Adobe Lightroom and Apple’s Photos allow you to do this.)

Here are my rating rules-

  1. Total failure. Give it an immediate appointment with the trash bin.
  2. Really bad photo. Trash it unless it’s the only shot of something special.
  3. Just okay. Decide whether to trash it another time.
  4. Good photo, but there’s a better version of it
  5. The better version or simply a great picture

Then, organize your photo album to display in descending order based on the rating numbers.

Give your 2’s another look and see if any of them should be a 3.

Then move the 1’s and 2’s into the trash, and DELETE!
Your worst photos are now gone forever.
Now it’s time to focus on the pictures you want to show off.
And those are your 5’s.

Share Your Photos Quickly
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s always worth repeating…

Your family photos have an expiration date! Nobody is really interested in last month’s photo. Last week is already yesterday’s news. Yesterday’s pics are okay, but today’s photos are even better.

So, you don’t have a lot of time before your amazing photos are old news.

If you want to tweak your best pics before sharing, that’s fine, but don’t let that delay your process. You can always take the time to crop and adjust the colors and brightness when building your archival photo albums.

One is Better than None
Sometimes, when time is really working against you, you’ve won’t have the luxury of evaluating and rating your photos.

Instead, just ask yourself this question…
“Which one or two pictures tell the story?”

You’ll need to rely on your instincts here, because remember… you won’t have the time to go back through all of your photos.

If you start practicing this technique regularly, you’ll begin to recognize ‘the shot’ when you take it.

Then, you’ll be able to quickly find it again and share it with your world.

Don’t Fall Behind!
After the firestorm of immediacy subsides, you may return to your more organized process.

But there’s never really more time to handle yesterday’s photos, because tomorrow’s are just around the corner.

And if you fall behind and develop a backlog of pictures to review… you may never get to them.

You’ll find yourself sitting on thousands of photos from months and years past that nobody else ever had the chance to enjoy.

It’s Time to Deal with the Mess
The reality is we’re all faced with the likelihood of having to manage thousands more pictures in the years to come.

The Quadrotriticale Paradox is a beast that needs to be kept under control.
Or else.

Now go tame your photographic jungle and hunt down your best pictures to share. And if you come across a wild tribble or discover a way to stretch the fabric of time, please let me know!

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