Tagging physical photos

Where the term ‘Tagging’ came from


The term ‘tagging’ is rooted in graffiti culture and was adopted in the late 1970s. Graffiti artists would ‘tag’ their name or their alias name on walls, trains and other public places in order for their work to be seen.


Tagging Photos


Social media ‘tagging’


The term ‘tagging’ was recently mass adopted in the online world with the arrival of Flickr, Facebook and other social media sites that host peoples photos. The word ‘tagging’ is now most commonly used in the context of assigning (tagging) someone’s name when their face appears in a photo.


Facebook tagging example


The image below highlights what a ‘tag’ looks like when it is applied to someone face on Facebook. Once tags are added to a photo they become easier to manage, to find and view photos of other Facebook friends. In this sense it helps to us to collaboratively manage our photos online for both us and our friends.

Facebook Tagging


How to ‘tag’ physical photos


The act of ‘tagging’ physical photos can help ensure that friends and family members who have had an impact in our lives are not forgotten overtime.

To tag a loose photo simply write the peoples names who are in it and other pieces of information surrounding the photo on the back of the photo. This task can be a great way to help ensure that stories and family history is remembered and retold. This can be a worthwhile task for carers of the elderly and those suffering with dementia to carryout. Once photos have been tagged carers can revisit the task with an individual to help evoke memory and improve facial recognition.


tagging photo albums



You may want to write information directly onto photo albums and around each photo held within it. This will again help to add context about the events that took place. If there isn’t any space around the photos you may want to use blank pages in the album or insert  as an appendix at the back of a photo album. Extra pages of paper can be stapled to the album to help ensure that they are not removed or lost overtime.


twinsThe Twins sat outside Nan’s front step aged 4 


By tagging physical photos and photo albums you can help ensure that stories withheld in photos and photo albums have a life beyond the passing of the owner. Furthermore, the sentimental value of the photos and photo albums may increase due to the extra information and context provided within them.