iPhoto on steriods

Ready to kick some butt? Excellent. We're going to transform your simple iPhoto library into an archive system.

All the tools that you've just learned will help you transform iPhoto into a tool that saves time. We're going to use Folders and Smart Albums to create saved searches that update automatically as your library grows. 

Click on Photos in the Source list. Then go to the File menu and select New... and then select Folder. A new folder will appear in the Source List. Rename it News.

new folder

Go to the File menu and select New... and then select Folder. Rename this folder Government. Click on the folder icon and drag it into the News folder. You should end up with something that looks like this:

nested folder

Go to the File menu and select New... and then select Smart Album. This will open a new window with pull down lists. Change them to match the image below. If you have not made any keywords yet, add them now.

make smart album

This will create a Smart album in the Source list. Drag it into the Government folder. This Smart albulm will now look for photos with the keyword Government and add it to the Album. 

Click on Photos in the Source List and select all the photos (Edit->Select All or Command-a). 

Under the Window menu, select Manage my Keywords then click on Government to apply the the keyword to all the photos. Then click on the Government Smart Album and voila, all the photos appear there.

And if you click the search button in the bottom toolbar, you can search within the smart album. Neat!

Imagine how powerful this becomes when you really build it out. If you want to see an example, quit iPhoto when you're done with this tutorial and double-click the iPhoto Library that's in the downloaded files. Here's a screenshot:

iphoto structure

Take advantage of Faces

Click on Faces in the Source list. Now drag the Barack Obama stack to the Source list. This automatically creates a Smart Album that you can drag into the Government folder. How is this useful?

Imagine that you had a Faces stack for everyone on your local city council. You could drag multiple stacks onto one Smart Album and rename it to City Council. That's handy. I've done something similar here with a Federal Leaders smart album. It includes Barack Obama, Harry Reid and John Boehner.

federal leaders

Now say there's a big election next year and you make Faces stacks of the candidates as they campaign. After the election, you simply edit the Smart Album to update it.

For example, let's say that the Republicans take the Senate in 2012 and Mitch McConnell replaces Harry Reid as the Speaker. Simply right-click or Control-click on the Federal Leaders album and choose Edit Smart Album to see the following.

edit leaders

Click on Harry Reid and change it to Mitch McConnell. Hit OK and you're done. Easy peasy.

edit leaders

And this is just the start of what you can accomplish. You can also:

  • Create a quick retrospective slideshow on the loser in minutes. 
  • Create a slideshow of quotes from an important public meeting
  • Quickly find photos of a crooked politician at a public event with the person that bribed him. (Don't laugh. I experienced this at least three times in my career. )

The value of file photos cannot be overstated. Taking just a few minutes to organize them as you add them to your library can make you more productive and better engage your readers.