I think that PirateMyke is thinking of his photo management in the traditional file approach a la the Finder or Windows Explorer ("My Computer"), and -- iPhoto Buddy or not -- iPhoto just does not work well that way. It's the same thing with iTunes and how it pulls all music files into particular order; an order that might not be what the end-user wants... but if the end user understands and adapts to Apple's approach then they're better off -- and doing what they always have done with their photos in a better manner. The bottom line of Apple's approach is DO IT IN THE APPLICATION, NOT THE FINDER.
When you import photos into iPhoto it creates thumbnails of them to make scrolling through thousands of photos fast, makes database references to their keywords etc. etc. in the iPhoto library folder that is inside your "Photos" folder of your user (Home) account. When you edit a picture the original is still left untouched (and hidden within iPhoto as an ultimate "revert to original") and the results of your editing is rendered as an altered copy of the original. When you look in iPhoto's folders via the Finder after all of this work it may appear to be madness but if you look at it within the iPhoto environment itself it all makes sense and is WYSIWYG.
The first time I used iPhoto, I went digging around via the Finder and thought "WTF??!"... but if you unlearn what you have learned -- a good habit to have when using a Mac even for the veterans -- you'll realize a greater benefit from using the platform.
Now, there is a preference in iPhoto to NOT copy photos when importing but the problem with this is that, when you edit a photo, the edited version -- derived as a copy of the original -- does NOT get saved to the original folder structure (yours); it is saved within iPhoto's folder structure. From iPhoto's help under "using advanced options when importing from a hard disk":
Select or deselect “Copy items to the iPhoto Library.”
Deselecting this option means that iPhoto will not duplicate photos when importing them into the application, but will leave them in their original files on your computer. When you edit these images in iPhoto, however, the edited versions will be saved in the iPhoto library, not your original files. Your original files remain untouched.
Given this, I further recommend abandoning your photo management at the Finder level. Trust me, if you give it a little time and once you've laboured through the migration of your existing organization you won't regret it. iPhoto's presentation of your library is extremely transparent anyway -- from within iPhoto. Even if you want to drag a photo RIGHT OUT of iPhoto's window to your Desktop or some Finder folder or into an email you can do so
. So really there are no limitations, and the usage and editing of photos goes FAR beyond what the Finder or Windows Explorer should do anyway. The end result will be WAY less running around your hard drive when working with photos.
Now, if you want to preserve your organization as you import YOU CAN... but this one-time effort might be a little time consuming. What you must do is import each folder one at a time. I know it's a hassle but waddayagonnado? Once you're done you're done. Here are the steps:
1) Go into iPhoto's preferences and, under the advanced tab, ensure that "Copy items to the iPhoto library" is TURNED ON (remember: when this is done your photos will be within iPhoto's structure and you will Trash the originals).
2) Click the preference's Events tab and, where it refers to auto-spitting events, uncheck "Imported items from Finder" (iPhoto's events analysis is based on time frames, and the EXIF data for dates and times of your photos may not relate to how you organized them. Unchecking this option -- at least for now -- will not split each folder as you import them).
3) At this point you are ready to drag each folder in, but you have two choices:
If you want to just create events for each folder (iPhoto's "events" are like folders themselves) then, with iPhoto set to display your library as events (right under "Library", top-left of your screen), drag each folder into its main display area. Each folder will appear as a separate event
. The downside to this is that, while you can reorder and merge Events, you cannot embed events within subgroups and the therefore Events view can get busy.
Option TWO: If you want SUBGROUPS of "folders" within iPhoto, then you need to create photo albums within iPhoto which can then be sorted into any folders you want (click here to see a sample result; a floder of two albums with another sub-folder inside the first folder
A) From iPhoto's File menu create a new Folder and name it. It will appear under the "Albums" portion of your Library's list.
B) Drag each folder of photos from the Finder into that folder you created in iPhoto. iPhoto will import the photos and create a photo album nestled within the Folder you dragged it to. As you go, and if you want even more sub-folders, you can create more folders and drag folders into other folders.
When you're done, run through iPhoto's preferences to make sure they're back to what you'd want. Hang on to your original photo structure for a while until you know all is well with the import... then trash the originals and move on with your life.
Going forward from here, importing, organizing and utilizing your photos throughout your applications will be much easier than before! Most of Apple's applications (and some 3rd party applications) tie into iPhoto's structure, presenting your libraries and events as you handled them in iPhoto to these other applications (ditto with iTunes' playlists). So, the work you do in one (iPhoto, iTunes) is available within
other applications (Pages, Keynote, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, Mail etc. etc. etc.). It's awesome!
Now, as a final thought I don't put EVERY photo I have into iPhoto. Avatars, desktop pictures and the like or very itinerant photos are stored within sub-folders of my account's Photos folder. Use all these features (iPhoto) as you see fit.
As for iPhoto buddy, the appearance of Events within iPhoto has diminished its value somewhat -- but I still use it to switch between iPhoto libraries containing content exclusive to a particular project, a project that when completed is no longer relevant to my ongoing photo library (for example, doing a media project for a friend, or using iPhoto in a professional scenario of various clients and/or projects).
Hope all this helps!
PS: You're not alone in this confusion the first time