3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2012 1:21 PM by Cynthia
Cynthia Level 1 (0 points)


I am new to iPhoto I am trying to organize my pictures but I am not sure how to start.  I am not to familiar with iPhoto and wanted to read some suggestions. 


  1. Folders and Albums:  how to organize pictures either in folders or albums?  What is the difference? 
  2. Once organized in step 1, do they stay in both locations?  How can I view in either the folder or album?  I am currently able to view them in both.
  3. I am curious about the tagging but not sure on how it will work?



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), iPhoto 11
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,600 points)

    Basic elements of iPhoto:


    Events hold pictures. Every picture is in an Event.


    Events are organisation for those who can't really be bothered. They are automatic - based entirely on Date and Time the camera records the photos as taken. You can move photos between Events, you can Merge Events, you can Rename them and sort them in various ways except one: You cannot manually sort in an Event as Events are all automated.


    Albums hold pictures but they reference the Photos in the Events. So while a photo in two Events uses double the disk space, it can be in as many Albums as you like with no wasted space.


    Folders hold Albums. You cannot put a photo into a Folder in iphoto.



    I use Events simply as big buckets of Photos: Spring 08, July - Nov 06 are typical Events in my Library. I use keywords and Smart Albums extensively. I title the pics broadly.



    I keyword on a



    Where basis (The When is in the photos's Exif metadata). I also rate the pics on a 1 - 5 star basis.



    Using this system I can find pretty much find any pic in my 40k library in a couple of seconds.



    So, for example, I have a batch of pics titled 'Seattle 08' and a  typical keywording might include: John, Anne, Landscape, mountain, trees, snow. With a rating included it's so very easy to find the best pics we took at Mount Rainier.



    File -> New Smart Album

    set it to 'All"

    title contains Seattle

    keyword is mountain

    keyword is snow

    rating is 5 stars



    Or, want a chronological album of John from birth to today?



    New Smart Album

    Keyword is John

    Set the View options to Sort By Date Ascending



    Want only the best pics?

    add Rating is greater than 4 stars



    The best thing about this system is that it's dynamic. If I add 50 more pics of John  to the Library tomorrow, as I keyword and rate them they are added to the Smart Album.



    In the end, organisation is about finding the pics. The point is to make locating that pic or batch of pics findable fast. This system works for me.

  • Cynthia Level 1 (0 points)

    THank you, your advice helped me understand this a little better.  If a photo is duplicated in events it's taking up space in my hard drive.  Now how can I avoid duplicates?


    I want to organize my pictures because I would like to add all the pictures into iPhoto so I have about 3,000 but have no idea how to go about it organizing the ones I have in there now without having dups.

    Thank you again,