Fresh on the boat!!!


Hi guys I have just got my first mbp!!! coming from a windows background am still gettin the hang of things...

A little abt me am a designer and a photographer. and want to use the mbp for both.

Have a few queries to begin with
Photography- I do photography for fun/ professional assignments and as reference for designs. What is the best way to catalogue my extensive photo collection.

I like the idea of having tags - for e.g.. an image i could like the pattern / motifs and a particular color.
in future if i wanna seek geometric patterns i can run a search and find all me geometric patterns in my archives.

I would like to keep my filing system ( i believe iphoto destroys the existing filing system)
picass i have used a few times
Adobe bridge i have heard is pretty good but have not used it
light room is a tad expensive

Also what is a good photo editing software - like photoshop but cheap (read free)
in todays economy I am in one of the worst hit professions and cant really afford buying new software. ( used up all my money buying a mbp)

Also i got a deal and my mbp came with parallels (free)
I would need to run autocad. I already have a windows autocad 2012 bought last year, buying a mac autocad will be too expensive. is it wise to load it using paralel? or shall i keep a windows system in my studio just for cad?
Please advise