Organize Photos With Folders?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ManBearWaffle, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. ManBearWaffle macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010

    I'm looking for a photo management program that will organize my photos using folders for events, so if I ever decide to switch programs, it will be easy because it's all organized already. I currently have iPhoto, but it doesn't seem to create folders in the "Pictures" directory, so I doubt switching to another program from iPhoto will be simple. Do any of you know of an app that does what I want? Am I wrong about iPhoto? If so, please explain.

  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Check out iPhoto's preferences.

    On the Advanced tab, if you uncheck the 'Copy items to the iPhoto Library', iPhoto will leave the originals wherever they are. So you get to chose the folder structure of the actual photos.

    Overall, I'm enjoying Aperture 3 better. You can structure your stuff inside of it in so many more ways than iPhoto lets you. If you've not familiar with Aperture, check out -- there are a lot of videos that show the various features. Lightroom is supposed to be similar, but I've never played with it.

    Hopefully iLife '10 ('11?) will be out soon, so I wouldn't purchase any new photo management program until I saw what the next iPhoto has in store. :)
  3. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I know about the copying items thing, but I want to be able to have the folders automatically created from within the application, so that it's all organized as soon as I import it. I don't want to have to make it a two step process.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I think you can scratch iPhoto and Aperture off of your list. AFAIK, they both require you put the originals into the folder structure you want, then add them to the app, in order to maintain the flexibility you want.
  5. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Well then is there a way to keep it from popping up every time I put an SD card in or plug my iPhone in?
  6. lordshaker macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2008
    I use Picassa to manage photos across a server at work.
    This is on a PC, but I'd imagine the mac version would be the same.

    It's pretty similar to iphoto.
  7. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Lightroom will manage your images in folders, and manage those folders on your hard drive(s). You can set up various import actions depending on what you want to do, including creating dated (sub)folders for each import.

    Plenty more options, but best to take a look at the documentation and/or download the demo.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you launch the Image Capture program while the SD Card or iPhone is plugged it, there should be an option at the bottom that says "Automatically launch [iPhoto, Aperture] when connected". Uncheck that box.
  9. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Thanks! Now I just have one more question. iPhoto seems to create each folder as an event. How do you handle things that aren't events? I really only have a hand full of actual events. The rest are like albums. For example, I have a folder full of pet pictures. How do I organize this?
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Personally, I have an event called "Pet Pics", and when I import new pictures, I drag them to that event if they're just generic "aww, cute" kind of shots.

    Then I use keywords to tag my pets by name, and I have smart albums that will display each pet based on the keywords in the photos.

    That way if I have a picture that should otherwise be in its own event (and not the "Pet Pics" event), say a Christmas picture where one of my dogs just happened to be in the shot, that picture will show up in the smart album for that dog, even though the actual picture is in the Christmas event, not the Pet Pics event.

    Personally, I really like how Aperture doesn't limit you in how your organize your pictures inside of the application. I do a top-level folder for each year (2010, 2009, 2008, etc). Then each event from that year goes in there. If it's a big event, like Christmas, I'll actually make a sub-folder in the year, and then put the different events in there, like "Neighborhood Party", "Parent's House", "Christmas Morning", etc). Click the little triangle next to each folder or event, and it either rolls up or expands the sub-contents. Much tidier for me to keep everything from the last 10 years rolled-up into 10 folders that easily collapse than seeing 500 events in a long scrolling list like how iPhoto does it. For me, anyways. :)
  11. HvyMtlPlyr macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    OK - here's what I did. I came from Windows and like most Windows people like the structure of file folders. I had my photos in Windows organized by year and then within each year the event. You can't break it down that way in iPhoto so my first attempt was to create a separate iPhoto Library for each year and each event was within the corresponding library. The problem with that is you have to constantly re-open iPhoto to load a different library. Plus if you're working in other apps and want to pull in a photo, it only shows photos from the last Library you were in. You have to go to iPhoto, load the library... you get the point.

    I have around 12K photos and ideally I'd prefer them in one library. So what I did was name each event starting with the year: 05 Vacation, 06 Easter, etc... Now they are all in one Library, in chronological order and if I search on "Florida" for example, all my events for Florida are displayed. I've been very happy with this method so far.
  12. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    What do you guys do for other things that aren't events though? I have tons of random photos from inside my house, and other random macro photos. It seems like it would be unorganized. Unorganized kinda defeats the purpose of a photo manager.
  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    To me, I use events just like I used to use folders.

    Just like I had a "Misc Photos" folder when I organized my pictures by folders in Windows, I have a few different "Misc" events in iPhoto/Aperture. That's where I put pictures that aren't worth their own event.
  14. jms969 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Keywords and smart albums are your friends. Import the photos, click on "last import", select the appropriate photos and add keyword(s).

    Then create one or more smart albums that sort on keywords. Put similar smart albums in a folder, i.e., Folder name is Travel and smart album names are 05 Florida, 04 Florida, etc...
  15. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    The only bad thing about using it the way you use folder is that you can't actually do that. You can't have events inside and event. I also can't use keywords + smart folders because that would take weeks with the amount of photos I have. Maybe I should just avoid using a photo manager.
  16. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Which is exactly why I switched to Aperture. lol Maybe iPhoto '10/'11 will feature that ability.

    Not using a photo manager + keywords/smart albums, at least on the new stuff you import, is shooting yourself in the foot later for saving a little bit of time now.

    I'm not a fan of folders because they make photo organization incomplete. If you happen to snap an excellent picture of a pet during your daughters birthday, which folder do you put that picture in, 'pets' or '2010 daughters birthday'? Unless you duplicate the file and put it in both folders, when you go browsing through your folders years from now, you'll be missing photos that should be there.

    And to your point, no, you don't go back and immediately try to tag 5+ years worth of older photos. Try tagging a few things going forward with your new photos, like your pets. iPhoto/Aperture make it super easy to tag faces and locations. Same thing with ratings. Start giving the photos you like a 4 or 5 star rating.

    Once you get a system that works for you, if you get bored one day, spend 30 minutes going back through old photos tagging a little at a time.

    Once you click on the Faces icon and see hundreds of your friends and family, or click on Places and see pins drop throughout the country/world, or on your smart album of your favorite pet and see years worth of photos of him (from all sorts of different events), or a smart album of all of the pictures your rated 4+ stars, it makes going back through your photos a lot more fun than just flipping through folders hierarchy.
  17. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I guess having a photo manager makes sense if you put it like that, but I still don't know how to organize my stuff or if iPhoto is right for me. I certainly can't afford a photo manager like Aperture right now. Are the tags/keywords exportable? I don't want to invest time doing all of that and end up having to redo it when ever I change to a different app.
  18. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Most of the major photo managers now will embed the keywords into the actual photo file, like how music library managers will embed the artist/track/album data into the actual music file.

    Apple's got a media event in a week (Sept 1st). There's a chance the new iLife (containing a new iPhoto) will be released. If I were in your situation, I'd spend between now and then googling around about keywords/tagging and how other people are using them, and see if it's really something that would work for you. Then see if the new iPhoto has anything that makes your life easier, and if not, keep on looking for an app that does. :)
  19. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Thanks for the tip. I've been messing around with iPhoto and trying other free alternatives such as Picasa and blueMarine, and so far I like iPhoto the best. I have some more questions though. Does iPhoto save things like "Faces" to a photo so that it will work with other apps? If not, is there a way to export it? I really like the facial recognition feature. I made my first smart folder which shows all of my Christmas pictures instead of just photos by year. I can't really think of any other way to use the albums though. Do you have any tips? I've been trying to find how to tag/keyword my photos, but I can't seem to find the button for that. Can you point me in the right direction?
  20. Pomeroy macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2008
    Command-K will open the drop down for keywords so you can add or edit all the keywords you want. Don't forget you can select a bunch of photos at one time and add a keyword to all with a single click. You can also add more than one keyword to a photo to make it easier to find later, you will still only have one copy of the photo. If you make it a habit to add at least one keyword when you first import your photos you will be able to find them at a later date easy by using the Search bar at the bottom of iPhoto. You can also make a Smart Album that will hold only photos that don't have a keyword assigned to them.
  21. ManBearWaffle thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Thanks for the command-k tip. I started added keywords. It's a lot easier than I thought. I have a few more questions that I posted in a separate thread and I was wondering if you guys could answer them.
  22. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    Do the iPhoto keywords = spotlight keywords in the finder?
  23. Tintop10 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    Photo organization embedded keywords

    My question is this: What image format retains keywords or tags and what software capitalizes on that data? Compare the software as to price, platform and ease of use. Does iPhoto embed keywords or does it just add them to its own database. Because sharing these photos or updating the software or restoring your drive is going to loose this info.
  24. Tintop10 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    Aristobrat hit the nail on the head. Keywords embedded in the photo. The same applies to your MP3 collection. The info needs to follow the media if you want your digital life to outlive your software's iLifespan. Organization should resemble a database management system not a hierarchal file folder system where when your photo doesn't fit into your event schema that your organization doesn't simply fall apart. On the physical side, organize your photos say in chronological order (by year, then event or photo session in a subfolder). This gives your photo a unique id -- the date and time or a number. Then apply keywords so that you can 'view' your photos in a logical way with searches or filters. This is the beauty of having your photo albums digitized -- viewing in any order you want. If iPhoto disappears tomorrow or you decide you need something else your investment in organization will live on.
  25. Tintop10 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    iPhoto does NOT embed keywords

    I tried a few experiments with iPhoto 9. I dragged a photo from the desktop to my library and then from my library to an album. I applied a keyword to the photo in the album but it wasn't applied the photo in the library. I applied the keyword to the photo in the library and moved it to the album and the keyword followed. I copied the photo from the library to the desktop and dragged it back in but the keyword disappeared. I made edits to the photo so I was assured that my library contained a photo and not just a pointer to the photo on the desktop and applied a keyword to the edited photo in the library. I dragged a copy out on the desktop and back into the library and the keyword disappeared again. These experiements proved that iPhoto does NOT embed keywords and that if you port your photos anywhere else you keywords will not follow but only be resident in iPhoto's database.

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