I just upgraded to iPhoto ’11 and now have the daunting task of assigning face names to 24,000 faces in my iPhoto library. How do you do it, and are there ways to speed up the process?
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After you’ve imported your images, iPhoto will set about identifying faces in your library. Select Faces under Library in iPhoto’s Source list, and you can watch it work through your images, displaying faces it finds as it goes.

When Faces has completed the job, you’ll see a collection of faces on a corkboard background, with Unnamed appearing beneath each image. Highlight one of these fields and enter the name of the person in the image. Repeat for the other images on the corkboard. If you like, click Show More Faces and you’ll see other faces from your library. Enter their names as well. When you’re ready for serious naming, click Continue To Faces.

This screen will show one picture of each face you’ve identified. Double-click on one of those faces, and you’ll see the entire image that the face came from. At the bottom of the window, you’ll see a ‘Person X May Be in 46 Additional Photos’ message. Click the Confirm Additional Faces button at the bottom of the window.

iPhoto makes its best guess about which images contain the person’s face. At the top of the window you’ll now see the one image you’ve named and confirmed. Below are unconfirmed faces. Instead of clicking each image individually, click and drag across contiguous images of this person. When you do so, each image is assigned the person’s name. If iPhoto has done its job properly, far more faces will belong to the person you want rather than someone else. If nearly all the faces are identified correctly, the quicker method is to drag across all the images and then just click those that are incorrect to reject them. If you’ve chosen the first method, be sure to Option-click those faces that don’t belong to the subject to reject them before you click Done. This improves iPhoto’s identification results.

When you click Done, you’ll return to this person’s page, where you’ll likely see another entry at the bottom indicating that they may be in additional photos. Click Confirm Additional Faces and repeat the previous process. You may find that you have to go through this process a few times before you’re no longer prompted to identify this person in other images.