How to organize photos in both Google Photos and iCloud Photos (aka Apple Photos)

I have photos in both Google Photos and Apple Photos. All my pictures are taken with my iPhone or with my camera and those pictures are added to my iPhone. In my iPhone, I have the Google Photos app that backups my photos to the Google cloud. Then of course my pictures are synced into iCloud so that I can work with them on my mac.

Several of my friends are using Google Photos to manage their photos. My idea now is to organize my pictures in Google Photos and then share albums with them. I have noticed that I have duplicates in Google Photos (but not in Apple Photos) and when I deleted the duplicates in Google Photos, then I have no photo at all left in Apple Photos.

I feel that I have no control over what stays and what goes and I have concerned that I am losing photos that I don’t know that I am loosing at this time.

Has anyone more knowledge about this matter and can shine some light on my confusion?

I used to back up my iPhone photos to Google Photos two years ago when I bought my first iPhone but I too had the same issues as you. If I deleted a photo in Google Photos it also deleted the version in Apple Photos. At the time there was no way to change that.

Also, if you wanted to keep your photos & videos in Google at high resolution, you had to pay for extra storage. Occasionally, I used a Fuji XE-2 camera in RAW also. Why would I upload to Google at a lower resolution. I decided I’d rather pay for storage in iCloud vs Google and eliminate the hassle of managing two albums. Additionally, Apple Photos is better than Google Photos if you want to process/modify your photos.

If a friend wants a copy of an album, I’ll download from Apple Photos to Google Photos or Dropbox and share it that way. I hope this helps.

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I do pay for my storage at Google Photos, don’t want the “free” version.

I have been doing this dance between Google Photos and Apple Photos / iCloud for as long as Google Photos as been around and it is so frustrating. I bought the extra storage space from Apple/iCloud this year (after listening to the MPU #537 episode) with the hopes of fully migrating to Apple Photos but I gave up after getting completely frustrated by iCloud double and triple syncing photos with my desktop Apple Photos app and Apple Photos not syncing with iCloud if I kept my taxonomy as is. Maybe I was doing something wrong with Apple Photos but it just wasn’t working as I had thought it would and was too exhausting to think about adapting my workflows.

I have ~20 years of original digital photos organized by Year and Event and I want to keep that taxonomy and approach intact, and I want to have access to the ‘master’ photo files/images.

My workflow includes the need to add photos that my wife and kids take to that taxonomy structure, so I use Dropbox and Hazel to help process this workflow. Each person has Dropbox and Google Photos apps installed on their iPhones and they open up them every few weeks to sync their photos.

  1. Each person opens Dropbox and it uploads copies of photos to each person’s shared “Camera Uploads” folder.
  2. On my Desktop, Hazel takes the photos via Dropbox in those folders and puts them in the taxonomy I described above in the current year folder.
  3. Every month or so, I go through those photos and put them in the relevant “event” folder. Yes, I could do by year/month but chose not to.
  4. We also open Google Photos and that backs up all photos to their individual Google Photo accounts.

I really wanted to move to Apple Photos but it just wasn’t working as I had hoped. Will try to dig into it again and see if I was doing something wrong.

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