Open letter to Google: Please let me change the dates on my photos

Dear Google Inc.;

I need to change some dates on some images. But you’re not making that easy.

First, let me just say that I have quickly fallen deeply in love with your new Google Photos image hosting service. The sheer simplicity of it, coupled with its uncanny ability to search for and retrieve every photograph I’ve ever taken of – say – a bicycle or a cat or cats and bicycles in the same photo is at once unnerving and extremely cool. And the Assistant feature is pretty cool, too.

Once introduced to its prowess, I went and uploaded every single photograph I had on my laptop that wasn’t already on Google Drive. It’s a photographic record of thousands of images that dates back to 2001.

I'M A TRENDSETTER YOU GUYS This may well be my first selfie taken with a digital camera, circa Summer 2003.

But there is a small batch of roughly 50 images thus uploaded that you seem to think were taken on the day I uploaded them, this past Saturday. I’d like to correct the record on these images, but unfortunately, all of my Binging has yet to produce a straightforward way to do this. (This is not a straightforward way to do that, by the way.)

One of the images that Google thinks was taken over the past weekend. One of the images that Google thinks was taken over the past weekend.

I understand it’s still a new thing, and I also understand that I am just some dude with a blog. I also understand that with my commitment to your app so far demonstrated, it is unlikely that I’m backing out of your ecosystem anytime soon. Still: I’d really like to have this feature sooner rather than later. For one, I am in the (slow) process of developing, scanning and uploading a backlog of old-fashioned analog film I’ve built up in my nearly 20 year career behind a camera. Those scanned images invariably have EXIF data that points to a rather recent creation date, and I will want to update that information to the best of my ability.

Yours in photography,

Michael Theis


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