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.

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 to the left 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.

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 undertake. Once photos have been tagged friends, family members and carers can revisit the task with an individual to help evoke memory and improve facial recognition.

You may want to write information directly onto photos or onto photo albums if they are already mounted. This will again help to add context about the people and the events that were captured. You might also consider writing about a collection of photos at the start or back of a photo album. If an album is full of photos extra pages of paper can be stapled to it to help ensure that the writings remain with the photos and is not removed or lost overtime.

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

Learn how to make plans for yourself and those you care about

MyWishes free to use software was developed under the guidance of healthcare, hospice, legal and funeral professionals. Our platforms empowers society to make plans for both themselves and those they care about.

Michael Sobell Hospice 
Palliative Care Department
Mount Vernon Hospital, Gate 3
Northwood HA6 2RN
United Kingdom

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