Just purchased Aperture - best way to import pics?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2009
Having just purchased Aperture I am looking for the best way to organise my photos as it is very confusing!

The way my photos are currently stored is as follows:

Folder_Event 1
- 1.jpeg
- 2.jpeg
Folder_Event 2
- 1.jpeg
- 2.jpeg

Folder_Event 1
- 1.jpeg
- 2.jpeg
Folder_Event 2
- 1.jpeg
- 2.jpeg

Basically all events for that year have their own folder.

Now, there seems to be a few options on importing.

I can either 'import folders as folders & projects' or 'import folders as projects & albums' - with no explanation of what these are.

There is also the option to 'store in current location' or store in aperture library. Again with not much way of helping you decide.

I appreciate the need to move with the times and stop thinking of a flat folder structure - but I like the comfort of knowing if ever I wanted to view photos outside of aperture, this structure I have in place makes it easy (I don't want to just lump all photos into one folder and rely on keywords as was suggested on another forum).

Any help greatly received!


macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2002
New Jersey
If you import as "Folders & Projects", in your library, you will see a folder called "Folder_2011", and under (inside) that, projects called "Event_1", "Event_2", etc.

If you import as "Projects & Albums", in your library, , you will see a project called "Folder_2011", and under (inside) that, albums called "Event_1", "Event_2", etc.

I'm not 100% sure what the difference is in importing one way or another. It's mostly just an organizational scheme. I have several libraries, and each event or place I shoot is a separate project. That works for me.

As for 'store in current location' and 'store in aperture library': If you store them in 'current location' Aperture does NOT make any attempt to move the master (original) files. Your library file will be pretty small after the import. But, in order to edit the photos, any drive the photos are on must be accessible.

If you choose to store in 'Aperture Library', Aperture copies all the images into the library, so the library is now as large as your photo collection, or larger.

No matter which you choose, you still need to archive your pictures on a separate drive (and even better, to a separate physical location). Aperture can do that for you during import.



macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
I've been facing the same dilemma.

I'd go with folders & projects. I think of most events (the iPhoto sort) as projects in Aperture. I might have a three day trip that I'd combine as one project, but it's always easier to start with many projects and then combine them than to have an event that's too big and split it, IMHO.

And I can't see a whole year as a project (unless that year really is a project, like a year-long set of photos of a building's construction or something).

And albums? They are most like finished projects, the sort of thing you'd export to a web site or whatever.

I like to store my media outside of Apple's structures (iPhoto, Aperture, iTunes). It can be a pain to move stuff out in bulk, and this way you can lay another structure on the files that makes them accessible to applications that don't play nice with Aperture. Just remember not to move them around once you've "imported" them to Aperture.

But I would use tags as well; it's a way to make the photos accessible quickly for other uses. For example, I wanna keep photos sorta together, but some are for work, some for my photography hobby, some just as archives of events for other uses. With tags I don't have to develop another folder structure or obsess on whether I should file something in a work, home, or eBay folder.

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