You can use the Mac-native Image Capture application to import photos to your Mac if you prefer a more basic or manual approach to handle photos or if you do not wish to use the Photos or iPhoto apps.
The Image Capture application is also what controls and allows you to set the default behavior in the Finder whenever a device that uses Picture Transfer Protocol (“PTP”) is plugged in — those devices include SD cards, digital cameras, and smartphones. Go to that article here.
The following process instructs you to create a new folder on your Mac in which to place the photos you will import. If you have already created a preferred location, existing folder, or system of organization that works best for you, you can disregard steps 4-7 below that instruct you to create a new folder for each time you import.
1. Plug your camera, SD card, Android phone, or iOS device into your computer. Quit iTunes or Photos if it automatically opens.
Note: Some devices, like Android, may require an extra step, such as selecting PTP on the phone itself whenever it is plugged into the computer:
2. Navigate to Applications folder and double-click Image Capture application
3. In Image Capture under the “Devices” header, click on the device you just plugged in. Photos from the device will start populating in the right pane.
Note: The photos will appear in order of “date taken” with most recently-taken photo at the top of the list
4. Click the Finder face icon on the program dock
5. Click “Pictures” folder in sidebar
6. Press the gear button in the window’s toolbar and click “new folder"
7. Rename the new folder
8. Click Image Capture icon on program dock
9. Click on an individual photo, OR to select a range of photos, click on the first photo of the range of photos you want to import, press and hold shift key and scroll through the list and find the endpoint of the range of photos you want to import, click that photo as the endpoint, and then release the shift key — this will select the entire range of photos from the first photo you clicked to the last photo you clicked
10. Observe the number of photos to be imported
11. Click on drop down menu next to “Import To"
12. Hover over the arrow on that drop down menu, scroll to and click “Other"
13. Click on “Pictures” on the sidebar
14. Click on newly created folder
15. Click “Choose” button
16. Click “Import” button
17. Verify that all pictures you selected are present in the new folder by navigating to that new folder in the Finder and verifying that the picture count matches
18. To remove these imported pictures from the device, click on Image Capture on the dock
19. Verify that the same photos that you just imported are still selected
20. Click on the button that shows a circle with a diagonal line, and confirm to delete from the device