So after much angst and debate, I have finally decided to take the plunge and commit to using iPhoto. I realize that this decision may not seem like a major one to many of you, but to me, well, let's just say that I have probably spent way more time than necessary on it.
You see, I am only a recent Mac convert, having bought my Macbook for my birthday back in June. I had been using Photoshop Elements on my PC for photo management in addition to editing, so I switched over to the Mac version. However, the Mac version is different than the PC version, in that it uses an adobe product called Bridge to manage photo files. Bridge was ok and had some areas that I really liked, but it did not seem as flexible as I needed.
So about a month back, I decided to give iPhoto a try and imported my photos. What I did not realize is that iPhoto basically creates its own photo library...which means that all the photos are duplicated. Which means that if I was going to use it, I was going to have to delete all my photos once they were imported into iPhoto. However, you can not see the individual photos unless you are in iPhoto. As a PC person, this scared me...I wanted to know exactly where (in what physical directory) my photos were stored.
I talked with a few Mac friends of mine and they, to a person, all reassured me that I did not need to know where my photos were and to trust iPhoto. In fact, most of them looked at me like I was crazy for even caring about where they were stored. All I could do was mumble something about being raised a PC person and having learned to NOT trust the computer...
So needless to say, it took several weeks and talking to different people and pouring through tutorials and help pages (and backing up my photos on an external drive) until I felt comfortable enough with importing all my photos into iPhoto and <gasp> deleting them from the directories I could see.
It has been about 3 days now and I have been having a blast organizing and tagging. iPhoto is definitely much more flexible and I am really excited by a lot of the things that I can do. I have not completely shaken off this fear that I am someday going to want to switch to something other than iPhoto and when I export I will have this huge unmanageable mess to deal with, but, for now, I just push that thought away (denial can be a wonderful thing). And each day I am getting more and more comfortable with iPhoto.
The organizing capabilities are incredibly flexible and immediately resolved some issues that I was having. The tagging function and search features are very easy to use and incredibly powerful. There are lots of interesting bells and whistles, such as the "faces" feature that can identify individual people in your photos. Still not 100% sure if I will use it much, but it is fun to play around with. It integrates seamlessly with Flickr (now that I upgraded to iLife 2009) and it makes getting photos onto my iPod much easier.
I have only begun to scratch the surface, I am sure, and I am looking forward to discovering more, such as how to make slideshows that I can load onto my iPod and making calendars and photo cards (I am really impressed with the templates that I saw).
So if I am a bit quiet here, it is because I am having a blast playing around with my pictures and iPhoto. Now all I need is a scanner...