Working With Photos (newbie alert)

I am one of those folks that has never done much to manage my Photo library.

My goal is to be able to go through my Library and update and clean up and sort my images.

Do things like:

  • Find the best version of an image and remove all the similar and duplicate Versions. (I may have taken several Photos within a few seconds to make sure that I got a good one at the time)

  • Choose and manage higher and lower priority photos

  • Categorize images in basic ways (by location or event or year etc.)


  • I have a large main photos folder with subfolders sorted by year

  • I can start from scratch with an empty Photo app Library

  • Photos app preferences set currently import copy items to the photos library = unchecked

Hi I’m hoping there are some suggestions how best to manage this fun project.

Thanks – Dave

I don’t use Photos, so I can’t offer any app specific suggestions. I can however suggest the following:

  1. Curate new images as you take them. Don’t add to the backlog.
  2. Do this in small steps on a regular basis. Depending on the number of images you have, perhaps do one month’s folder at a time.
  3. Do make if fun. Share images you find with family and friends.

Good luck.

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I have a pretty basic workflow that works for me.

I have a structure of Albums per year which corresponds to special events like holidays, travels, and so on but also some sort of “evergreen albums” where I leave stuff that does not map to any event/travel. These categorized as Fine Arts, Street Photos, Memorabilia (during my Kondo streaks, I take a picture of everything I am disposing, and that includes anything, from parallel printer cables to old socks), Home pictures, Work, .

So every photo in my Library needs to belong at least to one album, otherwise it is “uncategorized”. I set up a Smart Album that captures these photos (“Album” IS NOT “Any”). Every month or so I review that Album and process the images. For the photos that corresponde to one of the “Evergreen albums” I have BTT/Keyboard Maestro macros that move the photos directly to the “evergreen albums”, and after a couple of minutes I only have photos that correspond to events, travels, etc. For these I create their own album and move the photos manually.

This has been working for me for almost a decade, and with iCloud Photo Library this includes every picture I take.


I’m curious what app you use to organize?

The Finder. :slight_smile:

Photography is a hobby. And I’ve been doing it for quite some time. And I’ve got well over 100K image files.

Every month I create two new folders, one for Originals (the raw files)and one for Derivatives (the processed images). And those folders are created inside a top level Originals or Derivatives folder. And those two folders live on two hard drives called, … wait for it … Originals and Derivatives. :slight_smile:

Inside the monthly folders are folders for each photoshoot. As an example, in August I went to Peru and Bolivia. So in the August 2022 folder are two sub folders, one for Peru and one for Bolivia.

So for the raw (and iPhone JPEGS) there is a Peru folder inside the August 2022 folder inside the Originals folder on the Originals drive. (I have local and offsite backups of these drives).

And thus the app I use to organize is the Finder.

Now to find images I use two apps. NeoFinder and Photo Mechanic Plus. Both just look at the folder structure and build a catalog on top of the folders. The key to being able to find any image is Keywording and using the search tools in those two apps.

For example one of those Peru images may have the keywords: “Peru”, “Mach Picchu”, “Inca Trail”, “Ruins”, “South America”, “Sunset”, and more such as the names of the people in the image, etc. And I can use those apps to find “Peru” + “Sunset” or “Inca Trail” or any other combination of keywords along with other image data such as date, file type, camera, and more.

It is a simple yet powerful system.

I am also looking for a good Photos organization (or DAM) app. Take a took at ACDSee for Mac, it is relatively inexpensive (while on sale)