MacMost Now 402: Organizing Your Photos in iPhoto 09

There are many ways to organize your photos in iPhoto. But the best method involves using keywords to tag each photo so you can search your collection for anything at any time.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 402: Organizing Your Photos in iPhoto 09.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On todays episode lets look at organizing your photos in iPhoto 09.
Been getting a lot of questions recently about how to organize your photos in iPhoto. See you have tons of options so it can be a little confusing. Lets take a look at some good ways to do it.
So, here in iPhoto, you've got several ways to view your photos in your collection. You've got under Library - events, photos, faces and places and then under albums you've got your albums and smart albums that you've created.
Now, looking at events, first, you have all your photos in your collection. Each one listed exactly once. Now faces and places are two very different things. See episodes 212 and 215 for more details on those. But they're basically ways of tagging your photos with the people that are in them and the place where they are located and viewing them by those.
So organizing by events and photos is basically limited to the time you took the photo. You just want to group photos together. Say, if you took a bunch of photos at a single event obviously that makes an event. If you took a photo here and there throughout a week or month you may want to group them together in an event like say 'May 2010'.
Now the best way to think about albums - To think of them not containing the photos but containing links to the photos. So you could actually have the same photo in more than one album. So here's an album that's got this picture of some mountains and if I go to this album I have the same picture there. The picture isn't in iPhoto twice. It's only in there once and you can think of it as being here in events but I've created two albums and both of them link to that same photo.
So you create albums and smart albums by pressing the 'plus' button at the bottom left corner. And here you can just create a regular album with any name and then drag photos into it or use the selected photo. So you can select a bunch of photos first and then create an album.
Smart albums are kind of like searches except when you do a search you just get the results once. In smart album you can go back to it and see the results and see them updated all the time.
Now, if you want to organize your photos you can create a ton of albums. You can create hundreds of them for different categories and different things and populate them with the photos you want. But, I think there's an easier way to do it and that's using keywords.
So when you're viewing your photos either in events, photos or in an album you could see the title and add keywords underneath as you roll over it. If you don't see these you can go to view and make sure that both titles and keywords are selected. Now, you can add keywords by just clicking there and typing. And then you could do that for any of the different albums for instance 'animals' here and 'animals' there. And we can continue to add more than one tag so for instance this could also be tagged to 'landscape'. You can continue to add keywords to photos and go back and add more.
Now, once you've done this you could do searches on those keywords. So for instance you want to find all your photos with animals in them, just type that and I can see I've got these two photos here cause I've tagged them both as 'animals'.
So the ultimate way to organize your photos in iPhoto is first, of course arrange them by event and if there's no specific event that a photo fits in maybe just use groups like, say, for every month. Then use faces to tag the photos with who's in the photo and use places to label where the photo was taken. Next, use tags to represent other things about the photo like for instance if there's other objects in the photo that aren't people. Maybe they're animals, maybe there's a concept like landscape vs indoor or artistic vs just a fun party shot
You can create all sorts of tags, whatever you think is best to organize your photos and once you have them all tagged now you can actually search on these tags, you can also search on the people and the place the photo was taken and even the date range. So you can on the fly create these quick albums just by doing searches.
Hope you found this useful. 'Til next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 20 Responses to “MacMost Now 402: Organizing Your Photos in iPhoto 09”

    9 years ago

    Gary can you do a video on organize photos in Aperture latest version.

      9 years ago

      I’m not an Aperture user, actually. I find iPhoto does all I need, and more.

    Mabel Martinez
    9 years ago

    Very informative..

    Ken Herman
    9 years ago

    How would you organize a mix of video clips and photos taken with a Canon SX20IS to be used in a family travel DVD. Once organized in Iphoto could you recommend a simple workflow that would give the best chance to add narration and voice over to a combination of video clips and slideshows in IMovie for subsequent export to IDVD.

      9 years ago

      Wow. That’s a big question. There isn’t one answer. iDVD and iMovie are creative tools, so I would recommend being creative. Experiment. Get to know both iMovie and iDVD and try some different things. Once you get better after playing with them for an hour you will have all sorts of creative ideas as to how you want to arrange a DVD with your material.

    9 years ago

    Can you further organize events? I switched from a PC to a mac, and all of my photos were organized in folders by year, with sub-folders for each ‘event’. Now with IPhoto, it seems I will either have hundreds of events, or one event per year with no organization within? Any suggestions!

      9 years ago

      You wouldn’t use events to organize. Use albums. Albums let you organize your photos in all sorts of different ways. You can organize with faces and places too. Or just apply tags to your photos and look at them by searching.

    9 years ago

    Some time a go, all my events, merged in one big event. I don’t know if me or my girlfriend did something wrong. Is there a way to come back to previous events? Or I just have to do it manually again????

      9 years ago

      If they are all one big event now, then there’s no way to get it back into specific events again — unless you want to restore to a previous Time Machine backup.

    David Paris
    8 years ago

    Is there an easy way to change the viewing order within albums?

      8 years ago

      On the iPhone itself? No. You’d need to do that in iPhoto on your Mac and then sync.

    8 years ago

    HELP! I just want to delete some photos in iPhoto 2009 and it doesn’t work when I click on the photo and command/option and click x

      8 years ago

      Are you viewing them in your Photos library, or an Album. make sure you are viewing them in Photos (choose from the left sidebar)

    8 years ago

    How can you view just the VIDEOS in iPhoto? Is there a way to do this within I photo? I do about half video and half photos when using iPhoto and this would help a lot.

      8 years ago

      Create a smart photo album. File, New, Smart Album. Then set it to only show photos with where it Matches ANY of the following conditions: Filename contains .mov, Filename contains .mp4, etc. Add as many rules as there are different extensions that you have in your collection. .mov and .mp4 cover it for me, but you could have others, perhaps.

        7 years ago

        Thank you Gary!

    8 years ago

    I need an opinion, and you guys seem like the right ones of whom to ask it! I’m digitizing my family photos, scanning from negatives taken by my mom. The negs are in paper envelopes you get when the prints come back from the developer; each envelope holds one roll of film. On that roll of film might be 6 pix from a birthday party in 1989, then 6 pix of my niece and nephew as little kids (because they’re on the same roll from 1989), then a pic of my sisters new car, etc. When I import them into iPhoto, I get one event with all the pix, which are related by TIME, but not by CONTENT. So how would YOU organize them? Do I create separate events like ‘birthday party’ and ‘kids in 1989’? Or separate albums? Each album might only have half a dozen pix – that’s a LOT of albums after the whole project is done! Is it better to have a ton of albums or a ton of events? And even if you tag everything, you can’t leave thousands of pix lying around in iPhoto without SOME sort of top level grouping. I’d appreciate any suggestions, or sources where I could get some more guidance. Thanks much.

      8 years ago

      It really is up to you. I would probably group them into events that roughly correspond to a roll of film. Then I would tag them as much as possible. I wouldn’t create albums unless I wanted to do something like make a slideshow or sync a set of them to an iPhone or something.

    8 years ago

    Photo in Finder

    How do I set up the Finder in order to be able to see the photos like in Windows?
    I mean I open one picture and than just press the arrow for the next. Is is annoying when I look for a pic. and I have to open a window for each picture…

      8 years ago

      So you mean you want to look at pictures in the Finder, not in iPhoto? Lots of ways to do it. For instance, select the pictures and use Quick Look (press spacebar). Then hit the “Index sheet” button that appears if you have more than one image selected.
      Another would be to change the Finder window to show icon view. Then use the slider at the bottom to make the icons larger.

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