Previously, I did this:
- Move pictures from camera;
- Create "date-name" directories for each session: e.g., if I shot a show that had three bands on June 1, the directories would be 2005-06-01-foo, 2005-06-01-bar, and 2005-06-01-baz.
- Put all the photos of each subject in a RAW/ subdirectory (e.g., 2005-06-01-foo/RAW/). Never touch those.
- Copy */RAW to */EDIT. In the EDIT subdirectory, delete the junk, and color correct and crop the rest.
- When publishing to the web, copy some subset of EDIT, and resize and post the copy.
I don't think I can easily do this with iPhoto. iPhoto seems to want to obscure the actual location of the files on disk from me: it wants me to access my photos only through the iPhoto UI, using its notion of galleries. It always stores files on disk in its world in directories like YYYY/MM/DD/, which is close to my layout, but I want my "keywords" in the directory names as well, not solely in some undocumented metadata file off to the side somewhere.
I think that PhotoMechanic makes it easy to do things the way I want, since it doesn't make assumptions about where your files live. Basically you can just point it at a directory and it will let you browse, flag, and manipulate things in that directory without first importing copies into some central place. rzr_grl swears by PhotoMechanic, and it's used by a lot of newspapers.
But, PhotoMechanic is $150, and contains a lot of other features that I don't particularly need. So before I buy it, I'd like to know if any of you iPhoto users out there know how to bend iPhoto to my will.
Update: Turns out that Adobe Bridge does everything PhotoMechanic does, and it came with my copy of Photoshop CS2. Goodbye iPhoto!