Managing photo library

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sukach, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Sukach macrumors regular


    Oct 9, 2011
    Against my wife's wishes, I am transitioning her to a Mac, replacing her current Windows laptop with an iMac (I already have an MBP). Her computer stores our photo collection, thousands of pics of our two kids.

    What is the best way to manage a large photo library in OS X? Do I just store the photos in folders exactly like i do in Windows? If so, I guess I need to figure out how to download and remove the images from her phone to the folder. Or is keeping them in iPhoto the way to go? Or some other program?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You didn't tell us how "you do it in Windows".

    On the Mac, you probably have two choices:

    Choice #1:
    Just let Photos (or iPhoto) store and manage the library. The pics will be copied into the Photos library in her home folder.

    Disadvantage of doing it this way is that Photos (or iPhoto) uses its own scheme to sort and store the pics, one that isn't readily "usable" to the user in a meaningful way.

    Choice #2:
    Create your own hierarchy of folders and files OUTSIDE OF Photos (or iPhoto), and then choose the option of a "referenced library".

    This is what I do myself.
    I like the idea of having my originals in a folder/file order that is immediately understandable TO ME.

    I then import pics into Photos, and it does create "edits" and "previews" within its own library, but the ORIGINALS remain untouched and "stored outside of" my home folder (on another drive, actually).

    Disadvantage is that it takes more thought and work to do it this way.
  3. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    with Photo are you forced to keep the database in your home folder?
    My boot volume is small (ssd) compared to other volumes.
  4. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    First, make two copies of the photos before you move them. You don't want that to go downhill. I took option 1 above and let Photos manage my collection. I also use iCloud Photo Library with a copy of the files in the cloud that are also available on my other devices. I keep a full copy on my Mac and compressed copies on my portable devices.

    If you like you can store the photos anyplace you like and just tell photos where they are.

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