Tips + Tricks

Is my grandmother wearing this cameo? Who is that man on the left? What was the occasion?

Tip: Learn the Details in Old Family Pictures by Asking Specific Questions

Is my grandmother wearing this cameo? Who is that man on the left? What was the occasion?

Ponga is a new software service that lets you organize your pictures quickly and easily then use them to privately explore their stories with family and friends. It’s also a terrific way to get specific answers to specific questions that come up when you explore a picture.

Exploring a picture is like playing detective

That cameo she’s wearing — is that the one you inherited? Who is that man standing to the side and looking down? Is he a family member? He appears in many of your pictures.

You can look for more clues in the picture, but your best sources of information may be your elder grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins. While it might be hard for an elder to retell stories they were told as children, they probably know the answer to your question. In fact, if you ask a specific question, you’re likely to get a specific answer.

If you a specific question, you’re likely to get a specific answer.

Ponga makes it easy for our members to do just that. By detecting all of the faces in your pictures then collecting those that appear to be the same person, Ponga makes quick work of the organization chore. If you aren’t sure who a few people are, that’s okay, you can add, update spellings, or change names later. Very quickly you’ve named the key people and you can dive in to explore the rest of the details with family and friends. Bring them in and it’s like crowd-sourcing the storytelling.

Add a selection, ask a question, then share the picture

Exploring your high-resolution images often leads to questions about the details you can now zoom in on so easily.

  • Does the clothing suggest the 1910s or the 1920s?
  • Who is this guy second from the left?
  • What are the kids playing with in front?

These kinds of “what-when-where-why” questions naturally follow when you know who was there. To engage someone else to help answer your question, you would typically point to the detail. Using Ponga, you do that by making a selection around the detail. Add what you do know, then reach out to ask.

Every Ponga selection is specified by a link, or URL. To ask a specific question, copy the selection link, then add that link with your question in the invitation to share the picture. The link will be clickable for your guests, much as it would in any other email. All they have to do is to click the link and they’re taken to precisely that detail in your picture.

As a best practice, it’s best to introduce your guests to Ponga from a picture invitation first. On your invitation, they’ll create their account as your free guest after clicking the “View on Ponga” button. Then when you follow-up with your question and link included in the email, they’ll understand that clicking that selection-specific link will take them to your selection.

Want to explore this or other Ponga pictures on your own? Visit us at and we'll walk you through it one step at a time.

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