How to Use iPhoto + 1 App for Your Art Inventory and Exhibition Entries

Guest Blogger: Elaine Luther

Were you, like me, crushed when FileMaker discontinued Bento?

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t prepared to restart the search for new inventory software.

Instead, I asked, how I can maximize what I’m using already?

That’s how I came to explore and use iPhoto for my inventory. I currently have two albums within iPhoto: Art Portfolio and Medals You Wouldn’t Want to Earn (for a specific series). Like a good database, everything in iPhoto is searchable.

Screen capture of iPhoto info

All artwork ©Elaine Luther.

As you can see in the above image, the medal Never Recovered is selected and the title of the image is the title of the work. In the lower section of the Information dialog box at left, I’ve entered the date the piece was created, which shows it’s been exhibited in and the materials. I will soon be entering the measurements as well.

If you use iPhoto, what I’ve shared so far probably isn’t that newsworthy to you. But hang on to your hats because the fun part is next.

An App for Your Entries

If you’re like me, when you hate doing something you tend to put it off. A task that I used to hate was creating “slide sheets” – pages of thumbnail-sized images to accompany an exhibition submission.

I dreaded this task so much, and was so bad at it, that I sometimes missed deadlines because of it. I kept pestering all my tech-y friends, isn’t there an app for this?

It turns out, there is an app for this!

It’s called Contact Page ($14.99) and it automates the process of creating thumbnail sheets.

Not only does it create a sheet of images in your choice of outputs, but you can also use Contact Page to pull the title of the piece from iPhoto for you.

Here’s how you do it.

First, from iPhoto, select the photos you need to create a Contact Page for. From the menu, select File/Export. When you Export the photos (I exported them to a folder on the desktop), make sure to select “Use title,” as shown in the screen capture below.

iPhoto Dialog Box

This ensures that the titles, as I typed them in, will be the title of the photos as they’re exported.

Now open the Contact Page app.


Follow the instructions to drag in the folder of pictures. This populates the screen with your images.

Now select your output format. Do you want to create a PDF, or do you want to send the file to a program where you can tweak things a little further?

I like to send the file to Pages, my word processing and layout program. I choose Pages, click Send, and in under a minute, boom! I’ve got a beautiful slide sheet that fast. In Pages I can fix any typos, delete any unwanted text, and add the year to each image.

I save it and I’m done. From there I can make it into a PDF or continue using it as a Pages document.

I love this software! There is no learning curve, it works well with iPhoto, and it saves so much time.

Use this and you’ll never again miss a deadline because you dreaded the slide sheet.

I’d love to hear from you if you use iPhoto or Contact Page. Please leave a comment and let me know.

Photo of Elaine by Tirzah Spang
About Our Guest Blogger
Elaine Luther is an artist living in Chicagoland. She makes Medals That You Wouldn’t Want to Earn, and paints and makes jewelry with a story behind each piece.
Photo by Tirzah Spang.


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