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Call me anal, but I like things to be in folders of my choosing, so I can find them later without going through my iPhoto library. Importing photos to iPhoto creates a new folder. I’ve figured out how to give that new folder (film roll) a name of my choosing. Sometimes I’d really like to add photos directly to (or import directly to) an existing iPhoto folder (film roll). Is there a way to do this?
Sort of, but first we need to clear up some semantic issues. You don’t say which version of iPhoto you’re using, but starting in iPhoto ’08, new photos are imported into dated Events, based on when they were taken. We think these Events are probably what you’re referring to as folders or film rolls.
iPhoto ’08 and ’09 automatically split your photos into Events when you import new photos, but you can control this autosplit somewhat in iPhoto > Preferences > Events. If you want to see all of your photos without them being split into Events, just click Photos in the iPhoto sidebar, under Library.
Merging two Events into one gives you more control over organizing your photos.
After iPhoto imports new photos into automatic Events, you can redirect them into already-existing Events. Click Events in the iPhoto sidebar if you’re not already in Events view, then click the new Event that iPhoto just created to select it. Now find the old Event you want to combine the new photos with, and select that one too by Command-clicking it. Now just click the Merge button in the toolbar at the bottom of the window to combine those two Events into one. You might have to rename the new Event; click its name to do so. For example, we take a lot of iPhone screenshots, as you can imagine, so our iPhoto libraries have lots of Events that are just a few screenshots, rather than a party, trip, or real-life occasion. So every month we combine all those screenshot-only Events into one, and call it, for example, “August 2009 iPhone screens.”
If you double-click an Event to view its photos and notice some that shouldn’t be there, just select them all and click the Split button to split those photos out into a new Event.
And, of course, iPhoto still supports Albums if you’d rather organize your photos that way. Just select any group of photos, click the Plus sign button at the bottom-left of the window, and use the pop-up dialog to create a new Album. Later you can drag in new photos, change their order, and even delete photos from the Album without deleting them from your whole iPhoto library. You can also put a single photo in as many Albums as you like, even though each photo can only be part of one Event.