Getting Started: Changing a Portrait

A portrait is displayed for your ancestor in the Photos "People", page, "People in this Photo" list, on the "Person" page in photos, and in the FamilyTree. The portrait in each case is determined the same way.

Many are wondering how is the portrait determined in the first place and how can I change it?

You should have just one tag for each ancestor. This means on the "People" page you should only have one entry for each ancestor. The "People" page is like a directory into your tagged people. If you have duplicate entries for your ancestor on your "People" page, these instructions may not work for you. You need to start with just one entry for your ancestor on your "People" page. How to delete duplicate people from your people page needs to be a separate topic.

How is the portrait determined in the first place?

When you tag an ancestor in a photo, an entry is created for your "People" page and a portrait is created to go with it. From then on, when you tag that same ancestor you should re-use the same tag by selecting it from the list.

If you don't like the way the portrait was cropped, you can go back to the photo from which the portrait was made, resize and move the tag to frame the face the way you want. When you save the changed tag, the portrait created from that tag will also change (processing a new portrait may take a few minutes and may be delayed in showing up on your screen).

But what if you have uploaded more photos for this ancestor, and now you want to use a different photo for the portrait?

How can I change the portrait?

You can change the portrait that is used in Photos and in FamilyTree from the Photos person page. The person page is the one that is displayed when you click on one of the people on your "People" page that has tree data (or the match to tree option) and all the photos for that person.

To change the portrait, mouse over the photo that you want to use to make the portrait. You will see a silhouette appear. Click the icon to change the portrait. Portrait processing will be initiated that will change the portrait used in FamilyTree and in Photos.

Here's a step-by-step using Mary Cropper as an example:

Here's the ancestor page for Mary Cropper in FamilyTree:



Notice that Mary has a black and white picture of her as a mature woman as her portrait. There is also a colorized photo of her as a young woman that we would rather use for her portrait.

Here's the person page for Mary Cropper (we got here by clicking the "People" option near the top of the Photos page, and then clicking Mary Cropper on the "People" page to get to this person page:



Notice the portrait used on the person page is the same black and white one that is used in the tree. To use the colorized picture, mouse over the photo. Notice the silhouette icon that appears in the lower right corner. Here's a screenshot:



To use this photo as the basis for the portrait, click the silhouette icon. This will start creating a portrait for Mary based on the tagged area for Mary in this photo.

Here's a screenshot after clicking the silhouette icon:



Notice the portrait cirlce is blank. The spinning daisy continues until the portrait change process has been started. The portrait may not be finished and the screen returns looking like this:



The message tells us the portrait is not yet available, but will be in a few moments. To see the portrait change, wait a few moments, and then refresh the page. If the portrait circle does not have a photo, wait a little longer and refresh again. When the portrait is ready the page will look like this:



Notice the portrait circle now uses the color photo. Let's go look at the portrait in FamilyTree. Here's a screenshot:



The next question everyone asks is, can I use someone else's photo for my portrait. The answer, right now you can't, but it is being considered as an option.
Reply
  • Thanks, very helpful. I have completed all the steps but still have lace instead of a face. Do you recommend putting a new picture? Here is my ancestor in question -Rosella Calder
    KWCC-C6M
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  • I'm not sure what you have tried with Rosella.

    I assume you went to the People page, found Rosella there, clicked on her, saw her photos (just one), and then clicked on the silhouette icon to change the portrait.

    What happened there? Any error messages?
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  • I went and looked and Rosella only has 1 photo, and it is properly tagged to her face, but the portrait photo did not update. That is our mistake and we will try and fix it.

    CSMabey, you can either wait for us to fix it, or you can try these things: either delete the tag and create it again and see if that fixes it, or edit the tag and click Save again.
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  • Thank you Beth Ann and Logan. I did not get any error messages after completing all the steps, but nothing changed. If you could fix it that would be great. I will check on it to see if I can make changes, but if it takes code I don't have I'll leave it to the experts.
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  • I reviewed the steps Beth Ann gave me and tried again-went to the People page, found Rosella there, clicked on her, saw her photo, and then clicked on the silhouette icon to change the portrait. It was a long wait but after about 30 minutes the picture changed. Thank you for your help!

    Is it possible to delete pictures and albums?
    • Yes, you can delete the pictures after you've moved them to a new album & when it is empty, then you can delete the album. I did this & it worked well for me.
    • You can delete pictures on the page where you view them, by clicking the Details button and then clicking "Delete this Photo". This deletes the photo from the system entirely.

      In an album, when you mouse over a photo, an X appears in the lower right corner. If you click that X, it will remove the photo from the album, but does not delete the photo from the system. In other words, it's gone from the album, but is still available as one of your photos.

      As long as there is something in your album, you cannot delete the album. If you want to delete an album, you need to remove all the photos and stories, and then delete the album.
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  • I’m confused
    You're missing one step.

    I followed and got nowhere and went back to the beginning to find the missing step - It went from Tree, to the person, and according to your instructions, should open to that page, but in my case it went to the page where it is tagged and linked, then click the tagged name, and under that, click on photos icon, taking me to the page where I pick photo to switch to be default.
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  • As long as you get to the person page it will work. You can get there from the People page, or from a tag in a photo. Either way, just get to the person page and you can change the portrait.
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  • I’m confused
    I see the mistake I've made in having more than one tag for each individual and have figured out how to untag people. I'm having problems with entering new photos for the same individual and read that "when you tag that same ancestor you should re-use the same tag by selecting it from the list". When I go to tag that second photo, there isn't a "list" to select it from. How do I get to that list after clicking on the photo and moving the circle/square to where I want to see him? (Were there instructions on how to use the program that I missed in the first place? I looked for them when I got in the first time, but just figured it out by trial and error).
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  • Once you start typing in the box below the circle, it should bring up a list of people you've already tagged that match what you've typed. See image.

    Does that not work for you?
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  • I’m happy
    Yes - When I start typing! Hurray!
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  • I’m Thankful
    KFCJ-K2L this is my father and his picture
    Ok just starting and uploaded some pictures and they look great, however, in the family tree the picture looks magnified, your pictures look the same as the one in people photos?
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  • Reply to Susan,

    Your original photo happens to be same size.

    in my case, William Henry Seward, his was scaled down and Mary Ramsey scaled up from tiny.
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  • Since all photos added to Family Tree are public, you can use someone else's photo as the tag you want to use. You just save the image you want to your own computer, then upload it in your photo area. It was easy.
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  • That's great! I know there are still things to work out... but I absolutely LOVE the photo process for Family Tree!
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  • I would be concerned if a photo is taken from somebody else's album within the Tree and uploaded, breaking the connection between you and that person who had original. (it also amount to stealing, too.)

    Still waiting for the comment feature to be added to photo for others to write comments instead of stealing the photo.
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  • Once you post a photo on Family Tree it becomes public... so how could you consider that stealing? Public means just that. Available for anyone to do with what they want. Just wondering what your rationale is.
    • Photos contributed to FamilySearch are publicly available to view, but they are still governed by copyright of the owner of the photo, so you can't quite do whatever you want with them, for example sell them or distribute them in ways that violate the rights of the copyright owner.
    • Logan, well said! I still shudder when somebody come along and think, just because it is public, it is available for stealing. In FamilySearch Wiki , all photos are subject to copyright laws. Wikipedia will not allow any photos that are still under copyright unless specifically released to public domain under common creations laws.
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  • Better start taking some of your photos off from this site then, because under the copyright laws you are talking about means that you "own the copyright" to the photo in question. Just because you possess a photo, doesn't mean you are the copyright holder. The holder in the case of most of our ancestors photos are photographers who are long gone. If you didn't take the photo yourself, it isn't your "intellectual property" and you have no copyright authority to that photo. So, under the very copyright laws you are quoting... means nobody can post any photos to Family Search that you did not take yourself, or you would be infringing on the copyright laws. Read it and weep folks.
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  • I e-mailed this earlier today to Logan, but didn't get an answer back: In the spirit of furthering the sharing (collaboration) of photos within a family to further the work, I would think that the language you have in the terms applies in this case. I copied a photo from another family members photos, and uploaded right back into the same program so that I could use it within that program. I didn't take it away from anyone (or steal it) as the other contributor claims. The answer has to be a bit more simple than that. If someone doesn't want to share the family photos they possess (not own by virtue of copyright) with their other family members (which is what I thought Family Search Family Tree was trying to encourage) then, maybe they should not be loading their pictures to the site? Go back to Ancestry.com and mark your photos "private." Did you take every single photo that you have loaded onto Family Search? If not, you have already infringed on the photographer's copyright. I was simply "combining" my data and my cousin's data so that we could both share the same info. So... who's going to be the new photo copyright monitor?
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  • I would suggest that a number of sites have already tackled many of these issues and the need to educate users. Take a look at Flickr, DMCA, public domain...
    http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/
    http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_...
    There are a couple other threads on GetSatisfaction that address some of the copyright, privacy, IP, property dealing with photos, and photos as derivatives of original works.
    Yes, it would be helpful to provide a guide to users so they better understand what they is appropriate to upload - legally and site standards, how it can be used, and what should/not be uploaded. BTW, Eurozone typically has more restrictions.
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  • Joe, thank you for adding these links.

    Findagrave.com and GPPs (stateGravestone Photo Projects) share copyright warnings. Neither of them tolerate taking of photographs without permission of the photo owners.

    I administer 4 state gravestone photo projects and I always refer those who wanted photos to the submitters (the submitters own these photos themselves.)

    I have hundreds of photos from 1920s and they never had been made public until now and are still under copyright since I own the negatives. I make clear distinction as to the source of my photos. And I await the modifications to photos to include comment area so I can list source of some photos I obtained from museums in Oregon converning my family.
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  • If those links to TOS are not visible please let the site people know.

    Yes, some uploads may require citing the owner. FamilyTree Sources provide that mechanism via the Source's Citation field.
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  • Patty,

    There is a kicker standing behind you no matter what or how.

    First photo linked to a person has the dibs on being the default photo, no matter what because in Family Tree, the duplicate records are found and merged.

    Meaning one person might have a photo of that person and it is first photo linked to that person, All other photos from various users linked to that person will show up in a gallery for that person but the default one is in control.
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  • David... LOL... you are definitely right about that. However, you actually can change the little "view person page" photo from one to another... and still keep the first photo as the first photo in the page of photos about that individual. I managed that too.

    However, since the photo copyright issue (can of worms, don't ya know) has been opened it seems it would behoove Family Search to print some general guidelines on the page where you upload photos.

    I appreciate your insights. I've learned a lot. For instance, since you own the negatives of your photos... there's no question about your rights. Most of us are not that fortunate. Did you know that for photos taken prior to 1976 (yep... the shutter click itself) the copyright for the photographer is 75 years after his or her death? Since 1976 it is 50 years (that's here in the U.S., not abroad). However, the same time frames don't apply to copyrighted photos transferred from the original owner to a new owner. Evidently they still enter the public domain after the initial time period has elapsed. Who knew? I inherited photos and negatives from my aunt, however most of them were taken in the 30's. She died in 1973... I could have had to wait until 2043 to do anything with them... except for the fact that she gave me the negatives as well as the photos. Honestly... it's a wonder we can post anything at all. It will be interesting to see just what Family Search does to "notify" users about uploading/downloading family photos and what they need to consider.

    There is also the fair use act regarding copyrighted material, including photos, which is a whole 'nother session with an attorney. Don't think I'll go there... even though for this particular site it would probably apply to most photos that people upload. Thanks for bringing awareness and sensitivity to the issue. I happened to know who owned the photo I uploaded, so it was easy for me to get permission. For most people that may not be the case. One can only hope sharing will become the norm, not the exception. Thanks again.
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  • Joe,

    "FamilyTree Sources provide that mechanism via the Source's Citation field." This is not practical if the photos are within Family Tree photos already. Been there and done that - and the link was broken. Best to have the source with the photo itself, rather than the Sourcebox citation.
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  • David,
    I agree that the Citation should be with the photo, as well as a Place, Date and description. There are lots of hopes to refine Photos and Sources, but until we get those requested features, we'll have to make use of what we have today and the Source is the only place to store that info.

    One of the biggest fears of archivists, genealogists and users is that the memories and the artifacts of the past will be lost, to death, fire, the trash. If we wait for the perfect system we risk losing those forever. We must be mindful not to violate law and each others personal information. Personally I back everything I have on two different external hard drives. They are stored in different places. There's lots of living info (my family pics) so I will never upload those to a site until can trust that that will remain private. Make sure a loved one knows where and how to access this info.
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  • David,
    I failed to respond to you issue of already having the photo uploaded to Photos. There are future features announced to better integrate photos and sources. In the mean time you could Create a Source, have the URL field point to the photo (https://familysearch.org/photos/view/...), provide a Citation, and Notes. Use the Source to house that info. I know there are some who advise against this, but I err on the side of not losing that memory and will fix it up when a newer feature eclipses my "lesser" solution.
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  • Okay, I'm confused. I looked up photo copyrights earlier and found a site: http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm which states that those published before 1923 are considered in the public domain. Photos published between 1923 and 1963 - 28 years if not renewed. If renewed, could be up to 67 years after the picture was taken. (There are a lot of other sites out there that I reviewed, but this seemed the most clear - although may not have been the most correct).
    I don't know personally what is correct but it seems that there is enough confusion and different intrepretations out there that it would be helpful if something was posted on the website as we are uploading photos so that those of us who are not attorneys knew what the rules really are. I don't think many of us would intentionally violate this if it this was made clear.
    • I asked the Church lawyers to clarify copyright laws regarding taking photos found on fee sites like ancestry.com, and uploading them as sources to FT. I asked them what violates copyright laws from fee sites who make their profit by forcing folks to subscribe to their sites. Basically what the lawyers said was the User or Uploader takes full responsibility to inform himself as to the policies regarding copyright from the various sites you use. And that if a copyright suit is ever brought by a company or photographer, it will be against the User/Uploader and NOT the Church. That is why Joe's inclusion of the Conditions of Use was helpful. The Terms say YOU are responsible to find our from each company what they consider a violation. The Church won't take responsibility to provide that information. Nice Legalize, if you ask me.
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  • Joe,

    That was what I did the first time, and the link broke and photo disappeared. That led to next cycle of securing the photos and ultimately opening the direct link to the record.

    I am already uploading but am anxious for the space be created for citation and source asap so I can go back to the ones I already uploaded
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  • Thanks, Beth, exactly what I needed to know
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  • I’m excited
    KN1T-M7X On this individual I have two photos at this point - when I hover over a picture, I do not get a silhouette. Any suggestions? Absolutely love being able to attach pictures. THANKS THANKS
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  • I think you have been looking in the tree (especially since Photos has been down for maintenance). You will not see any silhouettes on the photo in the tree.

    To change the portrait, you need to be in the photos app. From the tree you can click on a photo, and then view the photos for the person whose portrait you want to set. When you are looking at the person's page in Photos, you will see the silhouette as you hover over the photo. Click the silhouette to set the portrait for the person to his tagged area in the photo.
    • view 3 more comments
    • If you have multiple tagged persons assigned to the same Family Tree person, then you will have a problem. One of the tagged persons will be assigned as the default, and only the photos assigned to that tagged person can be the portrait.

      I don't know the best way to merge all of the tags into a single tag for each person, but that should solve the problem.
    • Delete all tags from that particular photo if necessary and do again, carefully tag each head in portrait.

      And if there's more than 1 photo tagged to that particular person, there is a certain route to select one of photos as default. Go to the page where you name the photo file, tag and link. Click Photos under the name of that particular person, and you will see more than 1 photo with the black silhouette in bottom right corner of each photo. Click the one to be default. Wait few minutes for the change to show up in the Tree.
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  • How much longer is the site going to stay down? All day yesterday and still down today as of now - for photo editing, etc.

    There is a certain issue I need to check for but I can't as long as the photo site stays down.
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  • The backend engineers have been working on some infrastructure changes and ran into some problems. They are testing the system now, and if all goes well we should be up within the next 30 minutes.
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  • Looks like all is not well. It's back to we're working on it as fast as we can.
    • Looks like clicking to view on any photo (from the Photos home page, or from FamilyTree) are resulting in Application Error this evening:
      "Oops... Familysearch is currently experiencing technical difficulties.

      Please try again or check back in a little while."

      The FamilyTree seems to be functioning, though a bit slow, but the Photos are throwing the error.
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  • Better hurry with fixing this end....and it is 2:15 am my time.
    Here's the message...

    Oops...
    Familysearch is currently experiencing technical difficulties.

    Please try again or check back in a little while.

    « Return to home page

    the home page? it's Amazon Web Services.
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  • There's a new problem. Mystery blank photos are showing up.Each time I upload a new photo, there's a new blank gray one popping up.

    see here:

    And no way to expunge or delete these mystery photos.
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  • Despite that, it is still producing null and void gray photos like above. Each time I edit a single photo, and go back only to see another null and void gray photo showing up. 5 new ones in less than half hour from 5 new photos.

    here's new proof to compare.



    This is absurd without anyone taking notice of it.
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  • David,

    Thanks for pointing this out and giving us the details to reproduce the issue and get it resolved.

    I have reproduced the issue and provided the details to the engineering team.

    It does seem that the title is not getting saved. It doesn't actually overwrite or erase any existing title, it just isn't saving any new titles.

    And it is definitely generating gray mystery photos when you go back to "MY PHOTOS." They can be deleted, as you say, but they should never have appeared in the first place.

    Thanks for the heads up.
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  • Issue should be fixed. Try it out and let us know if it is not resolved.
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