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Apple photo library workflow for my kids? Apple expert question (no LR)

Selwin

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
832
Location
The Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Hi all, I have three kids who all have personal iPhones and iPads now. As expected, the flow of photos is unstoppable. Must be a genetic disorder ;). Anyway I am deciding on a workflow for them when they run out of space on their phones. I have tried to be concise here but failed regrettably. However the quick question is at the second smiley below.

Photos and videos shot on their iPhones and iPad are stored in the Apple System Photo Library that is linked to their iCloud account, and are thus synchronised across their devices.

The essence of the workflow solution to be devised/chosen is to move older photos out of their synced Apple System Photo Library to another location. To cut to the chase: the current #1 solution I'm considering is to create a second Apple Photo Library on hard drive, which is not sync'ed in any way. So we have:
- recent photos and videos in the Apple System Photo Library
- older photos and videos in the second Apple "Older Photos" Photo Library

But could there be a better solution? I ask for your insights :).

Requirements:
1 child must be able to manage the workflow without parent intervention, in order to preserve parent time and energy assets
2 all photos and videos, including the older photos moved out of the Apple System Photo Library, must be accessible on a computer of choice
3 child wishes to have edit functionality for recent and older photos
4 special "containers" like slomo, live photos and even RAW must remain intact after the move operation
5 absolutely no solutions that involve Google, Facebook or Microsoft products (yes I know Google photos is a massively functional solution but ... no)

Available hardware:
- three iPhones and three iPad 2019 minis, a pair for each of three children, each currently running iOS 13
- Mac Pro Late 2010 running High Sierra (no option to upgrade to Mojave or later) that they can use in turn
- Family Macbook Air which is also used at school on a regular basis
- iCloud account for each, installed and syncing well on all of the above devices
- photo library active on all devices
- 5GB free iCloud space

My current #1 solution in detail:
- Maintain Apple System Photo Library to be active on all devices so photos and videos continue to be sync'ed across iPhone, iPad and Mac
- Maintenance and edit procedures to be operated by the child on one of the Macs using the Photos app
- Create a second Apple Photo Library on one of the Mac computers
When photos need to be moved:
- Make sure all photos in the Apple System Photo Library are completely synced
- Follow this Apple Support article (read from 3rd paragraph) to "export unmodified originals" to an export folder on hard drive. Export "unmodified" makes sure the original formats are exported, but edits are lost so the user must agree to start the editing process not before the export.
- Switch to destination (older photos library) and import the originals by dragging the export folder into the library
- Inspect imported files
- delete the export folder or back it up to NAS just to make sure
- If need be, move the older photos library to a USB SSD drive for portability. The main caveat is that Apple may update a photo library on newer MacOS versions, so once it is moved from say a High Sierra system to a Mojave system (and updated) it may not be readable on the High Sierra system any longer.

Lightroom options
As Adobe allows simultaneous use of their software on two computers, there is a Lightroom option. I set it all up on the Mac Pro and it works. In this setup I logged in to each Mac Pro child account, opened Lightroom and entered my own Classic CC subscription credentials. I created a personal library for each child, CC sync off. In this setup every child can use this one computer in turn. I contacted Adobe and they agreed that this setup is not against the EULA. However, photos and videos are accessible only on that one computer, thus violating requirement #2. But it may be an interesting option for other users.

So, what do you think?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
33
Location
Worcester, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I realise that this response is probably too late for the original poster, however, the solution is to purchase the 2TB family sharing plan for iCloud and put everyone in the family on it so that you all share the space. Photos on their iPhones and iPads will automatically store the photos that they take into iCloud and manage the disk space on the device so that they don't run out of room. No management needed on their part.

As a bonus, all their photos are backed up for when they drop or lose their phone.
 

Selwin

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
832
Location
The Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Hi akrabat,
thanks for responding! Not too late at all :). I actually do have the 200MB Apple icloud Family subscription. It’s €3 per month and so far it’s enough to hold all photos of me and my three kids. However, at some point it will be inevitable to move photos. You are right about icloud, iOS will manage the photos in such a way that space on the devices is freed up, with only thumbnails or smaller previews on the device while the full size originals are in icloud. And we could come a long way using this approach.

meanwhile I laid down the various possibilities for them and they all opted for the Lightroom option. That was a couple of months ago. none of them has asked me to sit on the Lightroom computer since then, so its clear that that route won’t work and you are providing the only workable solution.

by now, they also have a lot of downloaded Apple Music songs on their devices and some of them have 10 gigs of podcasts. I think I may need to educate them a bit about what their devices can store And how they should set their Download options in prefs.
kids...
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
33
Location
Worcester, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Good luck! I'm pretty sure Apple Music will also automatically tidy itself up when space on the device runs short. No idea about the Podcasts app though.

The iCloud storage prices aren't especially onerous for the peace of mind of never losing a photo and never having to think about photo storage management.
 
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