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I am evaluating Photoshop Elements and Lightroom for my photos. I store my photos in the cloud (currently OneDrive) and on a website (currently SmugMug). At the end of every year I like to go through the photos for the year on my laptop, organize the photos into folders, and add metadata to my photos including a description, tags, and face tags. After I am done I put them up on the cloud and they will no longer be on my laptop. I am looking for software that will make it quicker for me to add metadata to my photos than my old approach (Windows Live Photo Gallery) and will allow for the workflow defined above.

I desperately want the software I use to store all metadata within the JPG file itself. This is what EXIF is for! I realize that face tags are not part of the EXIF standard, but understand that face tagging is part of Adobe's XMP "standard" (Is there an EXIF standard for tagging people in photographs?). I want all of my photos to be portable to whatever location I choose so that I am not bound to any storage service or image editor.

I see that Photoshop Elements by default stores the user added notes/description to the file, but does not by store much of the metadata in the EXIF properties such as title/caption, tags, or face tags. However, I did discover that the "File > Save Metadata to File" menu option does save title/caption and regular tags. However, face tags are still missing. Does anyone know how I store face tags to the image file with Photoshop Elements? If not Elements, would Lightroom or some other software do this for me?

I see that Picasa (which I once tried and stopped using for this same reason) now may have the ability to export metadata: How can you write/convert Picasa's People tags to the EXIF data?. I'd like to stay with Elements or Lightroom (I'm undergoing a trial of both right now), but this problem needs to be solved or I won't use them.

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You are right that Faces are not part of EXIF but XMP. You can take a look at Daminion (where I work). It can import face information from Windows Live Photo Gallery and Picasa into the People tag. All your image annotations called tags in Daminion can be synced with your image metadata as EXIF/IPTC/XMP/MWG and "travel" along with your files including face information.

Syncing process (tags to metadata) can be automatic or manual.

  • Thanks for responding. I see that your pricing is decent from my perspective (15k files and under is free; maybe I can get away with that). However, I'd rather not have an extra database hanging around, but I might be able to live with that. So is it your understanding that Windows Live Photo Gallery is the only editing software that saves face tags to XMP? – Kirk Liemohn Dec 28 '15 at 19:41
  • Unfortunately I only know about WLPG and Picasa, that they save faces into XMP, because a lot of their customers asked as in past to import faces from these programs. But perhaps there are some other tools for this. Once we'll add support for face recognition to Daminion, you can write it into XMP too. – Murat - Daminion Software Dec 29 '15 at 16:49
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digiKam (https://www.digikam.org) writes tags into the metadata of the image.

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Picasa will write face data to JPG EXIF, you just need to enable the option under TOOLS | OPTIONS | NAME TAGS | STORE NAME TAGS IN PHOTO.

Only problem is that it won't go back and update all your photos. You need to change each photo and save for the data to be written. I wrote a macro to change all filenames, then change back, then write all files to deal with this.

When you have written the Picasa data to EXIF, Lightroom recognizes it.

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Mylio also does XMP-stored face tags. It can interchange them with Lightroom. IIRC it can't move the frames around, but that may have changed. Check out their demo for details. Mylio syncs across a variety of devices.

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Photo Station for DSM (Synology NAS operating system) supports XMP Regions for tagging people (names), which is the same as for Windows Live Photo Gallery: "the Supports people tags from Windows Live Photo Gallery" https://www.synology.com/en-uk/dsm/6.2/software_spec/dsm#photo_station

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If you are using Windows Photo Gallery (WPG), the "People Tags" are stored within the file as XMP Metadata using the Microsoft People Tag Schema. I you wish to move to another format, check out my blog post on the subject: Converting and Exporting Windows Photo Gallery People Tags. Among the apps which can read WPG People Tags are Photo Supreme and Digikam.

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