Best program for organizing my pictures - tagging by checking a box rather than free form tagging?

I have loads of digital pictures and videos.  they are in folders with the date they were taken.

I really need a way to tag / sort / search them.  all too often I need a picture and have to think what date I took them and look in those folders.

I know I can free form tag the pictures, but what I am looking for is tagging by fixed categories that I set up.  Any picture with my son, I'd check a box next to David.  That way, if it was free form, I might type the tag as David dave davd (a typo) and never find the picture.  I'd envision looking at the picture and then check all the boxes related to that picture - WDW not walt disney world, Sue, not susan, etc. then for searching, I'd check the boxes that have things I want - David at Wdw on the April 2008 trip (not the dec 2006 trip), etc.    ANd I'd rather search by trip name rather than have to remember what days we were in WDW in April 2008.  just check boxes.

any ideas?

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HackneyCabConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If I was still using Windows as my operating system, I'd be using an Adobe product for photo tagging and browsing. I used to use Adobe Photoshop Elements for this purpose, but they've probably rebranded their range since then. Look into their products range, though, as Adobe know what they're doing when it comes to image workflow.

I use Linux, however, and the very best (free) software I've found for this task is digiKam. Unlike most free photo organisers, digiKam supports the XMP metadata protocol (created by Adobe) so your tags can be stored in the image file as XML with support for Unicode characters (handy for labelling holiday photos with names like "Slovenské Národné Divadlo"). Once you've added tags (which are metadata strings you can apply using tickboxes) you can filter on those tags very easily. If you create tags for each continent, then sub-tags for each country, then sub-sub-tags for each city, it becomes very easy to filter by location. I also recommend creating tags for each "event" such as "Baltic trip 2010" and "Fred and Lisa Wedding 2010", so that you can filter by event rather than just location.

Whatever you use, make sure you also ask yourself how you're going to backup your photo files. One hard disk failure should not cost you the whole deal.
ThisIsAToughOneAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  you raised things I was thinking but forgot to mention - I'd want the tags in a neutral format - being in the picture file would likely do that.  And yes I'd want event and location and people checkboxes.  and backing up is important.  photoshop elements?  they offer(ed?) check box tagging?
This Bulk Rename Utility allows you to easily rename multiple files or folders and change their time stamps and attributes at the same time. In renaming you can use extremely flexible criteria. You can remove or add digits, symbols characters and words, append dates/clock times in many formats, auto-number files with flexible rules. As you set criterias, program automatically previews the new naming conventions, so it is safe to try various criterias.
This program suits every kinds of renaming but is especially recommended for digital camera owners.
HackneyCabConnect With a Mentor Commented:
ToughOne, I haven't used Photoshop Elements for years, but it used to offer drag-and-drop tags which made it easy to tag all selected images. Adobe offer a trial version, so you might want to give that a go to see what it has to offer (though you need to install their pointless Download Manager software first).
Paul SauvéConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
I use Windows Live photo gallery. It finds people automatically using facial identification. Also, it seems to me that I have seen automatic geo tagging if your photos contain gps information.
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