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Projects vs Albums vs folders

2294 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2010 6:05 AM by Nameless68 RSS
andreas123 Calculating status...
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Dec 14, 2010 4:57 AM

How do you guys organize your photos?

Im thinking about having 1 project per year and create albums for "events" like trips, birthday parties... you name it

Tell us a little about your organizing workflow!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)
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    Dec 14, 2010 6:48 AM (in response to andreas123)
    Doesn't it depend on the type of photography you do? Pro? Hobbyist? And the volume you shoot? The point of any organising system is to make the photos available to you as easily and quickly as possible. The system you describe will work for a hobbyist with a low volume.

    I'm a hobbyist and use Folders to organise the years, and within those I have projects for major Events - the Trip to Paris or Xmas. I also have generic projects 'Spring', 'Autumn'. Then within those projects I may (or may not) create albums of the various picks.

    I keyword extensively, on Who, What, Where basis (the When is in the Exif) and have a couple or three Smart Albums that search the whole Library based on these: So, all the Kids pics are available easily, and sorted by date you can see them from birth to the point where they are lippy and won't stand still for photos anymore...


    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)
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    Dec 14, 2010 7:31 AM (in response to andreas123)
    Like Terence said a lot depends on the type and quantity of your photography but one project per year seems like it will be a problem unless you shoot something like 50 photos a year and then why bother with Aperture?

    One of the really nice things about Aperture is you're not locked into any one schema. You can try out different organizations and are free to change it if down the road you discover a better way to do things. Yes it would be nice to get it 'right' the first time but thats unlikely to happen unless you've done this dozens of times before.

    You could even go so far as to set up side-by-side libraries using different schemes and see which one works better for you.

    So just read what you can on the subject and then pick a way that seems reasonable knowing that you're probably going to be changing it at some point in the future.
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Aperture 3.1.1
  • thenextbutton Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
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    Dec 14, 2010 7:42 AM (in response to Frank Caggiano)
    It pretty much is whatever works for yourself.

    I personally have the following setup for my personal use:

    2010 (Aperture Library)
    |- January (Folder)
    |- February (Folder)
    |- March (Folder)
    |- April (Folder)
    |- May (Folder)
    |- June (Folder)
    |- July (Folder)
    | |- 6th (Project)
    | |- 15th (Project)
    | |- Walk Around The Park (Album)
    | |- Firework Display (Album)
    |- August(Folder)

    Anything I do for a specific event, wedding, awards ceremony, i.e. a paid for job

    I will create a new aperture library and then put a single project in there and work it out from there.
    Mac Mini 2.26GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)
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    Dec 14, 2010 8:39 AM (in response to andreas123)
    MacBook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.5), 4 G / 500 G internal / 4 TB external / NEC 2490 / ColorMunki Photo / Sony a850
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)
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    Dec 14, 2010 11:45 AM (in response to andreas123)
    It sounds as though you did not read what I posted at the second of the two links I pasted in for you. I recommend it .

    The task you face is to create an +access structure+ for your images.
    Your images must be in a container.
    You can have as many containers as you like. Almost everyone prefers having more than one.
    You can group those containers. Group them so that you can find them more readily. (Remember, you are creating an +access structure+ .)

    The +access structure+ can, and imho, should be different from your +output structure+. I suggest that you put your images in one place in order to retrieve them, and that you put virtual copies of the retrieved images in another place when you are preparing them for output.

    In Aperture, the container through which you access you images is called a Project. This is, imho, indescribably poorly named -- but the name is a given, and is immutable. No matter what, your images have to go somewhere -- stick them in these containers called "Projects".

    Group your "Projects" using Folders.

    When you have a project (small "p") for which you will be preparing and outputting images, create an Album. If you have parallel projects (small "p"), use Folders to group them by kind.

    You'll end up with two "trees" in your Aperture garden:
    . a nested Folder tree of containers which hold your images: those containers are Projects
    . a nested Folder tree of containers which your projects (small "p"): those containers are Albums

    That's (basically) what I do. Read through the long posts linked above for more.

    The number one suggestion I have is to cleanse your mind of the misleading label "Project". Just think of them as bins which hold your images. Make each bin hold a shoot (much like a "roll" -- if you've ever seen those antediluvian strips of sprocketed plastic) and you'll be well on your way to working with Aperture in a way that is simple and smooth.
    MacBook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.5), 4 G / 500 G internal / 4 TB external / NEC 2490 / ColorMunki Photo / Sony a850
  • Nameless68 Calculating status...
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    Dec 19, 2010 6:05 AM (in response to andreas123)
    I used to have just one project for each year then albums under it, but found that having a folder for the year and various projects under it mades it easier when you want relocate images into another group. Projects range from months to different events or topics.

    I also make a project called the Holding Room to put imported files to easily add keywords before moving to final location, that way I may decide where and what project they would best be under based on the keywords.
    Mac Mini x2, 13" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)


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