Best way of organizing pictures?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MacRazySwe, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007

    I recently got a new iMac 21.5". Before filling it with lots of content, I would like to achieve a nice structure.

    I have been using iPhoto since I got my first Mac in 2004, at the time it worked nicely as I only used it for pictures taken with my camera. Recently though, I use iPhoto to sync my DSLR, Point n' shoot, iPhone and so on. The trouble is however, I have thousands of iPhone pictures in worthless quality. Furthermore, these thousands of pictures from my iPhone and also cameras are then sometimes duplicated in iPhoto, leading to a massive library of unorganized junk.

    Also when I sync my iPhone with iTunes, I have set it up to sync photos from iPhoto. Therefore photos in iPhoto taken WITH the iPhone (still on the camera roll in iPhone) are copied over to the picture album in the iPhone, creating duplicates in the phone as well.

    I'd be interested to know how you guys organize your pictures? I think I would like to only use iPhoto for my professional pictures taken with my DSLR, as these are the only pictures I edit (very basic editing). Perhaps the best thing to do would be placing iPhone pictures in normal folders on the hard drive? That would not enable Photo Stream for me though.

    Perhaps I should just get an external disk to place all pictures on?

    How do you guys do it?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. Big D 51, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    I use folders as well. I have a folder for each year. Then each folder year will have a subfolder for each event. When naming the folder for the event, I always use a good description, location and exact date.

    Example of event folder:

    Brayden's Birthday @ Chuck E Chesse_Mobile, AL._August 27, 2011

    Currently all my pictures are in dropbox, then I drag new folders
    into aperture as I add new ones. I sync iTunes with Aperture for adding them to iPhone and iPad.
  4. flynz4, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I ***had*** decades of pictures in folders by year. Then subfolders by project. Example... in 2011 I might have had:
    • 2011-01-01 New Years day
    • 2011-01-15 Ski Trip
    • 2011-02-14 Valentines weekend at the coast
    • 2011-03-16 St Patricks Day Party
    • ...
    • 2011-12-25 Christmas
    • 2011-12-31 New Years Eve Party

    While I probably had one of the top 1% of well organized photo collections... I have come to the conclusion that it was barbaric compared to what is possible using either Aperture 3 or Lightroom. Either one is great. Through my research, I chose A3 over LR... but it is probably a coin toss between the two.

    Having your pictures in A3 or LR (vs finder or windows) is the difference between using pictures vs storing pictures. The difference is night and day.

    For me... switching to A3 in itself was enough reason to switch from a PC to a Mac. I read the very inexpensive but extremely valuable ebooks published by Robert Boyer. He was OTT helpful over on the A3 discussion forums on, and his ebooks were even better. Check them out, along with his hundreds of blog posts on if you want to learn more.

  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Thank you so much for your advice. :)

    I have now abandoned iPhoto in favor of Aperture 3 and finder. I place all of my files in Finder, and import photos and events which I consider worthy of my photo albums into Aperture.

    I realize that being able to create subfolders was a dearly missed feature from my point of view, therefore Aperture 3 is a major improvement. Hopefully I will no longer have to deal with duplicates either.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2008

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