Whats the difference between Events and Albums in iPhoto on Mac OS X?


iPhoto events and faces


When I first encountered Events and Albums I wondered how to use each one. It turns out that 'Events' and 'albums' are just other words for groups. If course there are very important differences which will help you decide how to use the different types of grouping.


Firstly, Events should be used for Events. I mean birthdays,trips any significant event in ones life. If you cant put a photo in an event, make one which it would fit into for example 2009, Shortland Street, living in Germany, parties,  etc. Oh, sure that is obvious, but the important thing is to know you should make Events your main groups and that every photo should go in an event.

Albums should be used as something more dynamic.

Let me say at this point. It is important that you keyword everything to make sure they work with events and albums properly.

All photos should have at least:
Who (all main visible people in the photo)
What (important subject that aren't people)
Where (...was the photo taken)

When is automatically in the photo's Exif metadata

Also very important for using albums is that you rate every thing (1 - 5 stars).

Finding photos in iphoto's Events and Albums will only take a few seconds if you take the time to always keyword them.

Ok, so how do you use albums in iPhoto? The best way is with smart albums.
If you have correctly added keywords to your photos in iPhoto like Spain with people Tom, Sean, Dee with locations; Madrid, Ibiza, Barcelona.

To show all the best photos of Tom in Barcelona, just make a Smart album:

File -> New Smart Album
set it to 'All"
title contains Barcelona
keyword is Tom
rating is 5 stars

Or, want a chronological album of your time with Dee school life?

New Smart Album
Keyword is Dee
Keyword is School
Set the View options to Sort By Date Ascending

Only want the best pics in your album?
add Rating is greater than 4 stars

This way all you albums are dynamic. If you simply have a smart album in iPhoto of photos of Sean then every time you take a new photo of Sean and add the keyword it will show up in that group.
To summarise:

Events a groups of photos of a significant event/time.
Albums are dynamic 'window' into groups of photos that may be scattered among various events of just be a subset of an event.
Keyword all your photos. It can be time consuming for people moving to iPhoto for the first time (like switchers) but it will be worth it.

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