How many photos do you have? It feels like trying to count the stars, right?
Some are in Facebook, some Instagram, and if you are like me – the majority are saved in an iPhoto library. And while each photo is in each place for a reason, sometimes it feels really scattered. Not to mention, how are they all backed up?
I worked on a promotion with This Life founders a while back, when they were just launching. Really nice people and very smart. I applauded when Shutterfly incorporated the service into their suite of products. I was even more excited when the folks from Shutterfly asked me to check out the new and improved This Life, which has just launched.
This Life is a cloud storage for all your photos, but much more. You select what services you would like to import from (like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Smug Mug, and – of course- your computer). And I mean ALL of them, except any duplicates. It pulled all my 3,000 Instagram photos over very fast, within an hour. Then we tackled my 45,000 high resolution files from iPhoto. It took several days, and I had the ability to pause and restart the uploader when I needed to, but they all made it. And now This Life automatically syncs up any new photos that go into the services I have synced.
This Life then takes all those photos and organizes them into a timeline that scrolls left and right, beautifully.
The photos are chronological and can be viewed by day, month, year. You can also sort by people, places and tags. If your photo does GPS tagging automatically, this information will come along, but you can also tag photos manually, or change the tags. Any of this type of info from iPhoto imports right along into This Life. All the faces I had from iPhoto was there, but This Life found many many many more matches automatically. You can also dismiss sets of people forever if you don’t need them tagged in your This Life library.
If you made a spelling mistake like I did (many times), or iPhoto has a different name than Facebook, you can just drag and drop to combine people.
So, you have all these organized, tagged photos in This Life. Now what?
Obviously one huge benefit is a dedicated backup system for ALL your photos. But, here’s the thing. I am a photographer and I take a TON of time to organize and share my photos with family, friends and on my blog. It is a huge priority in my life. And my photos STILL become a mess. How do you organize your photos? Friends tell me all the time they feel like they are the digital equivalent of a hoarder when it comes to their photos. They save, save, save – which is great – but they never go back and enjoy them or do anything else with them.
Here are things I have immediately done with This Life, or plan to do:
1. Actually look at my photos.
The timeline format makes it easy to swipe back and forth and see my photos over time. I have already remembered so many things I forgot even happened!
2. Share my photos.
Sure, even my mom is on Facebook, thus sees a bunch of the photos we take. But in This Life, I can quickly select a few photos from a date and share them in various ways like email, a link, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. When people get this link, it’s a simple slideshow and they can download the photos for themselves.
3. Create This Life stories.
These are like slideshows of anything you want. I immediately started making them for our trips, which seems the natural thing to do – so you can share a pretty overview of travels with very little work. But really, a story could be anything you want – like all your son’s karate photos, or pics of the dog from puppihood till now, anything.
4. Use This Life photos on Shutterfly.
Every year, the ONE thing my mom and aunt ask for at Christmas is a calendar of Dex photos. I admit, early December is usually a frantic rush of finding, editing, and organizing photos for this project. Now I can just search for my son within People in This Life from Jan – Dec from any given year and easily pull those photos over to Shutterfly’s calendar section. Don’t tell mom!
So there you have it! My quick overview of This Life. Feel free to ask questions because I have been playing with it for a few weeks now, and also please share any tips you may have too.
I have one standard This Life subscription to give away, which is a $59 value and allows you to upload 25,000 photos.
Either way, check out the free subscription option and let me know what you think! Good luck!
Also cool! Here are some other awesome bloggers who are showcasing This Life: