How To Use Google Photos
How To Use Google Photos

by Susan Marque

You probably already use Google daily, and now the Internet giant has added a new service to help preserve your precious memories: Google Photos.

Google Photos lets you organize, back up, and store your digital photos for free. If you already enjoy the simplicity of Google’s powerful search engine, Gmail or Google Drive, you’ll feel quite at home with Google Photos.

“Google Photos is very efficient and so easy to navigate,” says Benjamin Cziller, the art director for “I use it in my work continuously. I recommend it to all designers and non-designers as well.”

Here’s how to get started storing and sorting your collection with this great app:

No. 1: Download the app for your iOs/Android device

When you first open the app, just hit the “Get Started” button and then allow it to access your photos from your device. The app will automatically want to backup and sync your photos. Hit the “Continue” button on the bottom right of your screen to make this happen.

No. 2: Review your storage options

The free, unlimited storage seems like the best way to go. There is photo compression involved here, which can degrade quality slightly down the line, but this is likely not a problem unless you are set on keeping videos and photos in their original high resolution for professional purposes. Google has monthly storage plans ranging from $1.99 to $299 per month if you need storage beyond the 15GB capacity offered for free.

No. 3: View your photos

To view the photos you uploaded, you can use standard touchscreen features (like zooming in and out). You can also go to the upper right corner of the app, where you’ll see three vertical dots that allow you to choose between several views of your collection. To select a photo, press it until you get a little check mark on the photo to indicate it is selected. From there you can delete, send, or tap the + key at the top, to create a new album, movie, story, animation or collage. You can select a group of images quickly by hitting the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and choose the select function.

No. 4: Edit photos

Tap an image versus pressing down on it (that will select it instead). Choose the pencil icon at the bottom to access some basic editing tools. There are three editing choices: editing tools (such as light, color, and vignette, which adds a soft framing), filters, and a cropping/rotation tool. Click the one you want, adjust your image, then click “Save” in the upper right of the screen. Then you are ready to export the image to your social media apps or email.

No. 5: Find your photos

Google Photos utilizes the mighty Google-search capabilities to help you find your shots easily. In the upper left corner of your app screen, there are three horizontal lines to access the assistant that can suggest collages or looping your photos together to make a film, or click “Photos” to see your images. By tapping the magnifying glass in the bottom right corner, you will see your images sorted into people, places and things. The search window is also at the top of the screen. You might try the word “beautiful”—a search tip from the folks at Fusion—to reveal images that you took of art or landscapes. Or search the word “food” and up may pop your photos with both food and beverages in them. The searching function becomes increasingly useful as your collection grows.


Susan Marque got her M.F.A. in creative writing from The New School, writes for magazines, television, and is currently working on a memoir. She is also a healthy food expert, loves both food and tech, and all things photo related.  Her photo art has sold in Beverly Hills and London.

Article: Copyright © Studio One.

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