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Best way to organize large volume of Dog Photos for a Breeding Business

600 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012 3:23 PM by SierraDragon RSS
ArturoCelleru Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 9, 2012 12:57 PM

I am looking for a suggestion on the best method of organization using Aperture for a large volume of photos that will continue to grow.


I was using iPhoto and upgraded to Aperture.  I haven't transferred the library to Aperture because of an issue with iPhoto so I'm starting newly in Aperture with all of the new photos that I take from now on. 


I take photos for a dog breeder .   I take photos of each Litter that is born at least 4 to 5 times before they are all sold. Most of the dams have more then one litter.  I also take photos of the customers, the studs, and the dams as well as public events.


In iPhoto, I imported Events and then created Albums for each Litter Photo Shoot which I stored inside of a Folder Structure.


It look like this:


Dogs/Litters/Clarie Litters/ Clarie Litter 1 081212/Clarie Litter 1 081212 WK 5


So the largest folder was the Dogs folder, then Litters, then the specific Dog's litters, then the specific litter, and then the specific photoshoot at week 5.


In this same Litter, I will take 4 to 6 more photo shoots at different weeks and put them all inside of the Clarie Litter 1 081212 Folder.


So what I end up with in my iPhoto library is a nice organized system of Dog litters filed according to the Dam' Litter #1 and then Litter Date.


Within Dogs, I put all other folders of different marketing, or events, or customers..etc.



Now, I'm moving to Aperture and I have Projects.


It seems intuitive to be using Projects as the largest overall BIN/Box to store all of the photos in and then to have folders inside of the project to distinguish between litters and litter weeks, etc.


So my project would be named Dogs (similar to the Folder Dogs in iphoto named above)

And then I would put a folder inside of that project called Litters and so on...


It seems to have it organized this way, that I would have to import all of my photo shoots to one project called Dogs.  And then create albums within folders to sort each litter using meta data etc.


I don't feel good about putting each different photo shoot into one box without being able to distinguish one photo shoot from another as the basic structure vs using meta data and sorting.


The other method that I started with was to import each photo shoot as a project and name it according the the litter week...(just like the album in iphoto) and then store the project inside of a folder structure as listed above.  The project would be deep withing a folder structure.


That seems counter intuitive to how Aperture is desinged with it's Project Box...??? 


I can't put projects inside of other projects. 


So, this seems like a distinct case where I have volumes of the same category of photos that all need to be organized so that I can pull photos from any specific photoshoot of a litter date/week.


It seems like Aperture is designed for photographers who work on diverse projects and who can afford to throw all photos from one project into one project.


I'm asking myself, where does a project begin and end?  How big do I want to let it get before I cut it into another category?


I know this is very involved, but I am truly looking for a professionals input on how to best tackle this organizational challenge.  If you or anyone you know has a similar work flow where you have large volumes of one category of photos, to you organize?


Any suggestions are welcome. 

MacBook Pro, iOS 6.0.1
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    That seems counter intuitive to how Aperture is desinged with it's Project Box...???

    Your library design will be much more flexible, if projects are smaller items - they correspond more closely to the events you used in iPhoto.


    So the second solution - each photo shoot a project - and then grouping the projects hierarchically in folders of folders of folders -..... is what I'd recommend and what I am doing with my main Aperture library.


    Have a look at Kirby Krieger's user tip:

                     The Well-Trod Path: a Beginner's Guide to how Aperture's major parts inter-relate


    It describes how projects and folders can be used to structure the library.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    This is digital not film so try to forget folders as much as possible. It is really easy if one thinks digitally instead of film-think.


    Let each shoot be a Project like Léonie suggested.


    Use Keywords:

    The Litter name is a keyword

    The Litter number is a keyword

    The Dam's name is a keyword

    The Sire's name is a keyword

    Each animal's sex, color, AKC#, birth date, awards, etc. are keywords

    The Litter date is a keyword (hint: use 120812 instead of 081212 for sorting purposes; computers see year-month-day-hour-minute-second).



    When you keyword properly Albums of any type are instant. Folder usage is bad form more often than not.





  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)


    keywords are useful tags, but don't think folders are useless, only because they have been around for hundreds of years.


    Both - keywords and folders - serve completely different purposes.


    Keywords are best used to assign categories - disjoint, unique labels; I would use them for tags like the breed of the dogs or the sex.


    But for tags that are neither categories nor are disjoint, I prefer custom tags or the IPTC content tags.

    i.e.The Litter name, The Litter number, The Dam's name, The Sire's name.

    These are not disjoint categories, and conceptually better modeled as content tags, imho.


    Folders can be useful for two purposes - navigational and computational:

    • When navigating the library they will serve to group related library items, so you can collaps them and get them quickly out of the way, when you want to move library items around.
    • When defining searches or smart albums they restrict the scope of the search and the search will be quicker, if Aperture has not to scann all projects.




  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)



    You are totally correct regarding custom tags instead of keywords depending upon the instance.


    My main point is that Folders are mostly misused. Images need to be keyworded or tagged and linked to Albums, generally not put in folders. With digital images almost always folder organization of images is just wrong, because folders by definition locate an image in just a single category. And few images are ever just in a single category.


    Some usage of folders can be helpful. Folders of Projects (e.g. 2001 Projects, Client royalfrenchel, etc.) make sense to help collapse a large number of Projects. However note that even in that simple two-folder example images cannot be in both folders at the same time without splitting the folders up.


    IMO users should spend  time carefully establishing how to keyword/tag and aggressively avoid using folders as much as possible. Eg. in Arturo's instance "week5" should be a keyword, not a folder. That way if one wants to make a brochure and use 5-week-old puppy pix it is an easy search on "week5" to retrieve pix to create an Album to peruse for brochure purposes. If "week5" instead comprises multiple deeply nested Folders subset to every litter of every Dam the process of retrieving becomes a nightmare.


    I welcome further discussion of this important topic.




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