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How To start organizing photos #1's picture
March 4, 2018 - 7:52pm

Just watched your organizing photo video. Wish my life was so organized. How do you start organizing thousands of photos if you have not been organizing them. I started your method a long time ago. Then iphoto and Aperture switched. So everything is kind of a mess. I’ve done some organizing but I need more. So how to start the process all over again?

Thanks. Love your videos!



PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
March 5, 2018 - 8:22pm

I would start organizing in big chunks, then making them smaller. First put them in albums by year (all of 2017, 2016, 2015…). Then go back and break any obvious events (i.e. a family vacation) into its own album, and anything that is just random fluff into either “year-month Misc.” albums, or simply “year Misc.” albums. That's up to you. Start with really big bites, and then start cutting them into smaller pieces. 

Make sense?


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Jim Pappas's picture
by Jim Pappas
September 19, 2021 - 6:42pm

I agree with Joseph’s approach.  When I started my conversion process, most of my 50K+ photos were scanned from negatives, slides and prints.  Once I had all photos in folders by year (sometimes just approximate years), and then within albums of specific events (vacations, holidays, trips, etc) I selected each event and changed the YMD/time of the photos, generally in blocks.  It didn’t have to be an exact date/time, just enough to keep the events sequential.  I also adjusted the location of all photos in a block.  Generally, I didn’t worry about the exact location.  If it was a vacation on Maui, I just dropped them all on a pin in the center of the island.  I also created a folder for each year called “yyyy-01-01 | Misc”  that I stuck miscellaneous photos that could not be easily classified by event.  After that project was over, I started the face recognition process and occasionally go in and verify new phots as the face recognition process does it’s magic.  

I now have over 73K photos in Apple Photos, all of the most recent 20K+ taken from my iPhone which automates everything.  Generally speaking, when talking with friends and relatives, and old times get brought up… I can find a specific photo within a minute or two by the combination of location, date (usually year), and face recognition. 

I still create albums of my events occasionally, generally just a few time a year, when I sync my photos with with those from my wife’s iCloud account.  However, these chronological albums are not quite as important as they once were (especially during the process above).   Apple does a great job automatically creating moments using dates, locations, people, etc.   Generally those are good enough.   Still, I go go through Joseph’s classification system because it is fun to do.

/Jim Pappas's picture
March 5, 2018 - 10:42pm

Yes, you make sense.

When I started organizing my photos, I suddenly noticed that I have tons of iPhoto events. Can I organize them and  add them to my Photo albums and folders ? 


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