iPhoto is one of the most used photo management and editing systems on the market today. This is widely due to the popularity of Apple computers in the creative industries as well as a large amount of consumers who like to try their hand in hobbies such as photography. While iPhoto may not be as powerful as photoshop, it can be an amazing management system and it is generally capable of handling most small edits that can make almost any photo look good. I am not a professional photographer, but I do have many years experience working and training customers at Apple retail stores. I’ve picked up quite a bunch of good information, so let’s take a look at some iPhoto tips and shortcuts that can help you get the most out of your Apple Computer. 



Some of the most useful iPhoto tips are the ones that deal with organization. They are often the things that you can do to clean up the look of your iPhoto, and give you a good starting point for managing your photos going forward. Here are a few easy tips that will give you a better idea of what iPhoto does with your photos, and how you can manage them on your own. 

Events Vs. Albums

When first looking at the newer versions of iPhoto, it can be a bit difficult to distinguish what the difference is between Events and Albums. The easiest way to think about it is that Events are automatically created albums that are sorted by date. They create themselves when new pictures are uploaded, and they organize themselves how they see fit. For instance, if you take pictures in the morning, and then take pictures later on in the evening at a different place, iPhoto will usually split those into two different Events. 

Albums, on the other hand, are for manually choosing pictures by your own criteria. For instance, if you’d like an album of pictures of only your family, chances are you have pictures from a large variety of events. If you make a “Family” album, you can drag and drop all of your family pictures directly into the album, without having to worry about iPhoto’s automated event structure.

Cleaning up Events

One of the quickest ways to make your iPhoto library look a lot better is to clean up the events area. Usually, iPhoto opens by default to the grid of events, and it can either be an eye pleasing view, or a horribly unattractive, disorganized group of photos. This happens because sometimes, iPhoto splits events incorrectly, or it splits single pieces of clip art or single photos that you took into their own events. In order to solve this problem, you can simply drag one event onto another and select “Merge Events” when the warning pops up. If you have an Event that has too many photos in it, as sometimes iPhoto puts two or three days together even though they are separate events, then you can also separate them again. You simply go into the Event, and click on each photo that you want to separate out while holding the Command key. Then go to Events on the menu bar at the top of your screen, and select “Split Events.” Another good tip is to create a “Misc. or Etc” Event where you can put things like clip art or other pictures that are alone and don’t have a chronological order. 

After you have your events split into the appropriate time frames, the next thing to do is set your key photo for each one. This is one of my favorite iPhoto tips as it really lets you give the program a great personal look within a few seconds. As you scroll over each Event, you’ll notice that the Event displays the pictures that are within it. Once you find one that you like and that you would like to set as your “key photo,” or the photo that will show as the front of the Event, simply hit the space bar! Then once your mouse is away from the event, you will see that picture as the main picture.

Another quick tip for Events to make them look quite a bit nicer is to rename them. Most of the time, the Events are labeled “Untitled Event” which isn’t a very appealing name. If you simply click once on the Untitled section directly under the Event photo, you will be able to edit the name of the Event and make it a lot nicer looking.

Events Clean Up(61249)
Credit: Scott Entwistle

Check out Part 2

Since I don't like to create articles that are so long they strain my readers eyes, I have divided to split this article in to two different posts. If you are interested in checking out some tips about doing basic editing, check out Part 2!