Forum Question: What Is the Best Way To Organize Photos While Using iPhoto?

I have currently gotten into photography and have been uploading photos to my Mac Book Pro a lot more these days. I have not gotten into any major editing just yet so I have been using iPhoto for now to make any minor adjustments. When I do upload the photos they are imported straight to iPhoto. My question is that should the photos that go into iPhoto be the only version/copy on my laptop?
Before I started using iPhoto I just had my pictures in folders under in the Documents folder but when I put those into iPhoto it seemed like I had them in two spots. This worried me about having doubles and taking up extra space on my hard drive.
I also want to plan for when I need to start using an external hard drive so I can arrange and organize my groups of photos in the best and safest way. This would be used to save pictures directly to the external drive.
I am currently using iPhoto ’09 version 8.1.2. I also run Time Machine as well once a day.

Comments: 10 Responses to “What Is the Best Way To Organize Photos While Using iPhoto?”

    7/17/12 @ 9:51 am

    First, I would upgrade to the latest iPhoto. Why run old software?
    I don’t see any reason to have your photos in two spots. Keep them in iPhoto where you can organize them, tag them, apply faces and places, titles, and edit/adjust them.
    You can put your iPhoto library on an external drive, but note that this is slower. You see when you flip through your photos in iPhoto, it has to load thumbnails of every image to display them. We think nothing of flipping through hundreds of photos in a few seconds, but that is a lot of work for your hard drive. An internal drive is much faster than an external one hooked up through USB. And much much faster than a networked one. My iPhoto library is a priority to me on my internal drive. I’ll move music and other content to an external before I move my iPhoto library.

      7/26/12 @ 10:43 pm

      reading this post made me think of iTunes, as I always wondered when I see my music folder on finder there is an iTunes within my iTunes, is this normal?

        7/26/12 @ 11:21 pm

        You should have Music > iTunes > iTunes Media. Is that what you mean?

    7/17/12 @ 10:09 am

    That is what I figured.
    I am running iPhoto 09 since I am still running Snow Leopard. My Mac Book Pro is about 3 years old.

      7/17/12 @ 10:38 am

      iPhoto 11 works with Snow Leopard.

        7/17/12 @ 11:23 am

        Do you think it is worth the upgrade?

          7/17/12 @ 12:10 pm

          It has been a long time, so I can’t remember what iPhoto 09 was missing that 11 has, so I can’t be specific. But I don’t see the point of wasting time using old software when upgrades like this are cheap. And it sounds like you want to get more serious dealing with your photo collection, so why use outdated stuff?

    7/17/12 @ 12:19 pm

    Valid point. I haven’t thought of it until recently. I have read some review saying that the upgrade process was a pain and that it ruined some users’ photo collections/libraries.
    Is there any tips or suggestions on how to upgrade properly?

      7/17/12 @ 12:31 pm

      Never had any issues with the upgrade. As long as you have a good backup, you can always revert to the backup. Save a second copy of the iPhoto library (duplicate it) just before the upgrade if you want to be super safe.

    7/17/12 @ 10:48 pm

    The image, as captured, is what it is. Save it wherever you wish. Use whatever photo-processing “darkroom” software from there. Learn how to move images from iPhoto to Picasa, Photoshop or….
    DO pony-up for the external hard drive. Now. Period. Back up the whole system.
    Don’t particularly care what f-stop or white-balance, color saturation or shutter speed was used. Just judge the image as taken, and do best you can with it.

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