iPhoto is an astonishing app, but it's not for everyone. It has its own ideas about where your files should go, and it seems to be just one scary step shy of artificial intelligence. If you're looking for something simpler that won't touch your files without your permission, Growly Photo is a humbler alternative.
Growly Photo does not import your photo files, it just remembers where they are. Within Photo you can create a structure of groups and folders as simple or complex as you like, to make finding and viewing your photos absolutely easy. At the top level are groups, for example you could organize your photos by year as in the screenshot above. You can also have groups for family, animals, collections, trips -- whatever you can think of. Each group contains folders, nested to any depth, and the folders contain references to your photo files.
Importing photos is as simple as dragging them from the Finder or choosing them from an open dialog. Import entire folders at once, or pick and choose individual files. Each photo can appear in any number of folders or collections, so you can store references to the same file by year and by subject.
What is new in this release:
Photo 1.1.1 has many small improvements and bug fixes.