Help with photo management!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by san001, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. san001 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2014
    I would like to store my photos on iPhoto by year then by sub category eg months.

    Is the only way to do this is create a new library for each year?

    Or is it easier to buy software to do this? (If so recommendations please)

    I have around 15,000 photos that I used to keep by year on my PC

    Any help appreciated
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Do some searching in this forum for this is well covered. But... basically iPhoto already has built into it the ability. Simply set up a number of Smart Albums with the date filters you want. However, I would tuck them all into a single root folder to keep them handy but out of the way. As a Digital Asset Manager iPhoto can organize your images in far more powerful and intuitive ways than the old-fashioned date order folder structure. As I said... search this forum ... the info you need is here.
  3. apple-ette macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    You may want to look through this article, there is a procedure there on how to use Hazel and other apps to move photos to folders by year and month (plus some other interesting info).
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Part of the beauty of iPhoto/Aperture is that you can organize your photos in many ways, not just one. If you want to re-organize things, just create new Albums and Folders in iPhoto, and ignore or delete the ones you don't need.

    Important: The albums and folders do NOT contain actual photos, so deleting an Album does NOT delete the actual photo. Albums are just collections of links to the original photo.

    The suggestion to create Smart Albums is a good one, as this automates the process

    There is never a need to re-organize the folders inside the Library database - if you do that, iPhoto will not know where the photos are.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    The extra good news is that once you get the library organized the way you like, you can purchase Aperture to edit your photos. Aperture will fully understand and use the library structure you set up in iPhoto. So you don't have to redo or relearn the library structure to use the more powerful Aperture.
  6. san001 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2014
    Thank you for all feedback.

    For now i have created one album with lots of folders that represent months.

    I am still however unclear if i need management software or not.

    This is just a database to store my photos, in which i like to do by year, and then list the different type of events, eg xmas play, holiday by month.

    I have since learnt however from your feedback, that it is wise for me to also save my photo's away from iphoto, so that in the future if i change my computer, software i can easily trf the photos, so thank you for that advice.

    I am new to Mac so learning fast!
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Transfering an iPhoto library to a new computer is just a drag-and-drop case, and very easy. But backup is something everybody should do.
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think you still need to read some more on how Digital Asset Management system works. Having the Date/Event structure is one way to store your photos... but a DAM allows you organize your photos in different ways... simultaneously.

    So for instance, if you really like Dalmatian Dogs you can set up a folder for all of your photos of Dalmatians regardless of the year. Photos here would also be in the dated folder album. Maybe you have a good friend called Mary... create a folder for Mary and put photos of Mary - regardless of the year - in this folder. They are still in your dated folders too. Perhaps Mary owns a Dalmatian and visits you at Christmas. That one photo is now in 3 folders. Lets say she visited you (with her Dalmatian) several years ago... was it 2008 or 2007? You don't need to remember the date... just look at either the Dalmatian or the Mary folder until you find the photo.... then that photos will tell you what year it was... (it was 2005 by the way... good thing you didn't try to look it up by date... would have taken forever).

    The photo is not 'copied' into each of these folders... it still stays in that database structure. Each of these folders simply holds a pointer to the actual photo. If... down the road... you decide to move away from iPhoto you simply start using Aperture... which will read the library just fine. Or you take the time to Export the photos.

    Also... make sure you start backing up your photos.

    Unless you really know what you doing or have a very specific need... there is no need to store your photos away from the iPhoto library. You haven't specified the need, and with all due respect... you don't yet know what you are doing with regards to iPhoto. So my recommendation is to just use it in its default mode. People who muck about with the innards of iPhoto are the ones who then tend to post here later looking for solutions to borked up libraries.

  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I highly recommend the book "iPhoto - The Missing Manual" for a good lesson on how iPhoto stores and manages photos. Once you gain that knowledge, it becomes easy to import and organize your photos the way you want. I've since moved to Aperture for additional capabilities but still organize my photos the same way as I did in iPhoto.
  10. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    I used to use iPhoto when I first got a Mac going on 6 or more years ago but switched to Aperture when I started getting more serious with photography. However, the file management is essentially the same. I have a library for all of my old iPhotos and another for my Aperture ones. I use folders by year and date all of my projects using y-m-d | and unique project name. I then have albums within the project that breaks down the picture according to there grouping. For example, I recently took a trip to Las Vegas so my project was y-m-d | Las Vegas 2013. I broke my Albums down by each Day and location where the photos where taken. Here is a great article on file management and organization:
  11. san001 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2014
    Thank you so much for all your replies, i have read loads on here about how photos are stored in the DAM so understand the concept.

    In conclusion for now with regards all tips, i will stick with iphoto.

    I like the idea of the smart albulm but would need to tag all my photos, a job that needs doing as once done it will be valuable to me.

    I have backed iphoto up onto 2 external hard drives (I dont keep photos on the mac), (I just have to remember when adding photos to back up both), and also have another external hard drive that stores the photos, i assume this is sufficent.
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I enjoy the endless variety of ways people use the same tools to organize their 'stuff'. I have two 'root' folders (I use Lightroom, not Aperture, but the logic works the same). One 'root' is for my stuff... and the other 'root' is 'Clients'. This ensures I don't accidentally use a client's photo in some of my own art projects.

    For my professional work I then group by client name, and then within the client name I will use 'YYYY MM DD Month' .... so for instance '2014 04 22 April' However, there will possibly be several days of photos in that one folder. Since a DAM already sorts and stores by date I see no need to duplicate that structure...the date I am using the day I started the job. If it takes several days to shoot they call go into the same folder. The structure of the name means the folders are chronological... and the redundant 'April' means I can quickly read the date instead of converting. When a client calls about a past job they usually refer to the date... so this just helps me find the job while on the phone.

    For my personal projects I only name folders by date if there is some sort of date connection. The Sooke Fine Art Show is in July this year, so anything to do with that is 2014 07 Sooke. I don't bother with the day in this case...or even the text 'July'. This just keeps my shows and other date related projects in chronological order.

    Everything else tends to be sorted simply by Name. Since the dates are already part of the metadata of each image I can always search by date, or simply go to the actual library folders - which are created in YYYYMMDD by default.

    Hope this helps the OP and whoever else....
  13. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I find that photo management is a personal thing. All one can do is post their method and you can then cobble together your own.

    For me personally, all my personal photos (meaning my family and friends) are organized using a folder based system. I don't use iPhoto/Aperture for this because it's proprietary and can't be put in the cloud for me to use on my mobile device or other non OS X platforms.

    The folder based system is platform independent which is the goal of an organization system.

    So for me, my folders look like:

    Year > Year_Event Name

    There's no point in naming folders with strange dates. A folder named 04232014 tells me nothing. But a folder named 2014_Vacation to Puerto Rico tells me alot and I go straight to the set of photos I'm looking for. No fuss.

    I also reename my files in the manner than Dropbox does it when auto uploading. That way, I don't get duplicate file names and I can tell exactly when the photo was taken just by looking at the file name.

    Before this wasn't the case. My personal pics where just thrown in the "Pictures" folder (no additional folders and files named IMG_4567) which became a PITA after you get a couple thousand in there. Especially with names like IMG_4567 that duplicate after the camera makes a full round and I end up with IMG_4567 (2), which leads the photos to be out of order because of the alphabetical nature of Finder's organization.

    I finally switch to the folder based system last year after ditching the mess that is iPhoto and it's been serving me well with over 10,000 photos to date. You simply can't manage photos with iPhoto with that many pictures.
  14. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I import my photos into events named for what it is. If it's an annual event I will add the year to the event name like "Xmas 2013".

    If I want pix from a particular date or dates I use a smart album. Made a photo book for the year's activities and it was trivial to create a smart with every photo taken that year.

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