Just drag the library from your Pictures folder onto the external HD to make a copy there. The library should be located in your Pictures folder that's in your Home folder.
If you want to make your Home/Library folder (not the iPhoto Library folder) permanently visible do this:
In Lion the Library folder is now invisible. To make it permanently visible enter the following in the Terminal application window: chflags nohidden ~/Library and hit the Enter button - 10.7: Un-hide the User Library folder.
Most Simple Back Up
Drag the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to another Disk. This will make a copy on that disk.
Slightly more complex:
Use an app that will do incremental back ups. This is a very good way to work. The first time you run the back up the app will make a complete copy of the Library. Thereafter it will update the back up with the changes you have made. That makes subsequent back ups much faster. Many of these apps also have scheduling capabilities: So set it up and it will do the back up automatically. Examples of such apps: Chronosync or DejaVu . But are many others. Search on MacUpdate
Thanks for your post, I think I have had your help before so kind!
I tried to unhide the iPhoto Library using the command chf lags nohidden ~/Library in Terminal but I still can't see this folder. My pictures folder only contains Aperture, BR board game.jpg (trash), MP Navigator EX (Canon) and Photo Booth Library. I am running Max OS X v10.7.3....
The drag and copy sounds most simple if I could just find this folder. I have have checked iPhoto to make sure that my library still exists...
Thanks Terence Devlin! Nice to be getting advice from some more experienced users!
I will consider your slightly more complicated backup appoach but first I think I just want to find this file on my HD and do a simple drag and drop a copy to the external HD. In the long run I think a back up app such as Deja Vu looks great maybe worth the cost. Do you use either of the two mentioned apps off the top of your head?
I have used both in the past.
My Library lives on my iMac. It’s Backed up to two external hard disks every day. These disks are permanently attached to the iMac. These back ups run automatically. One is done by Time Machine, one is a bootable back up done by SuperDuper
It’s also backed up to a portable hard disk when ever new photos are added. This hard disk lives in my car. For security, this disk is password protected.
I have a second off-site back up at a relative’s house across town. That’s updated every 3 or 4 months.
My Photos are backed up online. There are many options: Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug etc. However, check the terms of your account carefully. While most sites have free uploading, you will often find that these uploads are limited in terms of the file size or the bandwidth you can use per month. For access that allows you to upload full size pics with no restrictions you may need to pay.
Every couple of months I test the back ups to make sure they are working correctly. It’s very easy to mis-configure a back up application, and the only way to protect against that is to do a trial restore.
Pardon my directness but your entire set up is extremely secure. I would guess that I must be communicating with a very serious photographer. I do appreciate all your advice and information very much!
I guess today I will visit the Apple store just so that someone can tell me how to find and access my iPhoto Library folder as I have still been unable to find it on my HD. I am afraid that I am not that much of a computer expert.
Aside from all of this, do you share photos on line in a public forum such as flickr?
All the best
Drag the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder...
As I said above: It should be in your Pictures Folder
That's Hard Disk / Users / Your Name / Pictures
I'm a hobbyist shooter, the rest of my family are avid snappers. There is probably nothing more valuable on the family computer than the snaps for a variety of personal reasons.