If I post pictures on G+ or Picasa for my parents, they complain that they want only to see the best shots - not all of them. I don't want to have 2 folder trees for primary and secondary photos. Is there a system where you make a subfolder in each photo folder named "secondary" which would be nicely ignored by upload or slideshow feature but still active if you want to have fun with all the pictures in retirement.

Under windows (or in generic OS) - how can you have 500+ picture folders organized by date (350GB) with "secondary" subfolders that would be gracefully ignored and managed well as "secondary"?

  • Do you mean this specifically for Picasa/G+, or in general?
    – mattdm
    Apr 27 '14 at 22:59

I solve this problem with photo management software. There's many options from cheap/free & simple ones like Picasa, iPhoto, ACDSee, etc up to the more advanced like Lightroom and Aperture (this is by no means a complete list!).

This type of software allows you to track additional data relating to your photos, both individually and as groups, as well as letting you organise them in multiple different ways.

For example you can give photos star ratings, flag them or apply specific labels/keywords to help you choose, sort or remember the better shots. You can create albums/collections of photos (even from completely different events/shoots/folders) for sharing/publishing in different places, or for a slideshow you might make one day for your mum's 60th birthday, featuring your best photos of her over 10-20 years.

And this avoids any duplication of photos, as tends to be required by software-free folder-hierarchy systems, as well as easily allowing you to make changes from the original file without having to keep duplicates of original & modified (e.g. cropped or straightened) files.

  1. I assume none of my pictures to be perfect
  2. I make a selection and only put that selection online, based on content
  3. If there are different pictures with the same topic, I choose the 1-2 most pleasing (to me) which generally means a tradeoff between technical quality and other factors
  4. If others don't like that, that's not my problem

Lightroom is a great tool to select and do initial post processing of your images. I'm sure there are others, but as I've not used them I can't recommend them.
And yes, only upload to public places a selection of work that you want others to see, not just dump everything on them. 50 pictures of auntie Jess eating her birthday cake last month at that party is a bit much, however nice the pictures turned out :)


Maybe prefixing filenames of really good images with special sign like ! would work? No duplication of files, though I am unsure whatever it scales well for your situation.


Regarding quality what I usually do is rate my images.

  • 1 star means I'm not sure the image is even worth it. I have to review it and delete it or promote it to 2 stars.
  • 2 stars. I think the photo is good enough for sharing on my social networks but not a perfect pick. It's a photo I don't want to throw away because I like it but it's not into what I consider my "best" photos.
  • 3 to 5 stars. This is a photo that I consider is among the best I've taken. It will go into flickr, 500px or my portfolio.

Then I also differentiate between "artistic" photography and "memories". This is independent of the "quality" component and helps me isolate photos that I want to keep but do not have an artistic side.

With that you can then direct your parents to the appropiate "place" to see your pictures. For example your portfolio should only have you best of the best pictures while I usually direct friends and family to my flickr account.

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