How do you catalog your photos?

ElisaEmic

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Hello,

I really appreciate the exchanges on Lightroom and photography that take place here.
So I thought of you because I am currently working on a market study on the best solutions to manage and sort your photos.
There are a lot of articles about photo editing but less about cataloging.
What software do you use? Only Litghroom or others ?
What do you think is missing in the current photo management software?

Elisa
 

PhilBurton

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My advice is to read the DAM book from Peter Krogh. In my opinion the best resource on this subject!
https://thedambook.com/the-dam-book/
+1 to the Krogh book. Another good source is Victoria's Lightroom Classic FAQ book
Whatever you decide, unless you have a very good, specific reason for multiple catalogs, probably as a professional, keep all your photos in just one catalog.
 
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From my experience, and reading, one size does not fit all in my humble opinion. I think there are different needs between amateur and professional.

I store my photos by location then year if I get a large number. I do this because if I’m looking for a photo I will likely remember where I took and not when.

The big disciplinary step is detailed metadata on your photos I find. This includes location and keywording.

So, you need a tool that will allow you to organize your photos and apply metadata to suit your needs IMHO.
 
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Define best solution.
There are many. I am a former Lightroom Classic user, I switched to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem. I did lose some "organization" features I used in Classic. However, I gained significant device flexibility which means I am managing my photos much better.
So, therefore in my example, you can state Lr Classic is the best due to features. However Lr cloud is the best due to multi-device which means I actually do the organization.

There are many other examples. In addition, what market are you considering? Hobby photographer? Social media focused? Professional single user practice? Professional multi-user practice?

What is best? and what is the market you are researching.
 

Jimmsp

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My simple answer to the OP's question of "How do you Catalog your Photos" is -- not as well as I want to, or should.

I know the Krogh theory; I just am not consistent in my practice of it with respect to Key Words.
Every so often, I force myself to revisit my "good" photos and add appropriate key words.
Lightroom C will do everything I want or need - I just have to use it consistently.

So my advice is simple - decide on a methodology, and then commit to doing it consistently.


PS - editing can be fun, typing key words is work.
 
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Jim,

Seriously consider switching to Lr cloud. Now that I have it on my phone, laptops, desktop.... I have found I am significantly better at keeping images organized and up to date. I have found I can often spend five/ten minutes here or there doing keywords/titles/whatever on my phone. It really adds up... For example yesterday I was in the car waiting for my wife to run into a store to grab something. I was going through the images on my phone from a class I took on Saturday. If using Classic and had to wait until I could sit at my desk, I likely would not finish till later this week. However I was done late yesterday after only spending roughly 30 minutes doing my final selection on my large wide gamut monitor.

Tim
 

PhilBurton

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Jim,

Seriously consider switching to Lr cloud. Now that I have it on my phone, laptops, desktop.... I have found I am significantly better at keeping images organized and up to date. I have found I can often spend five/ten minutes here or there doing keywords/titles/whatever on my phone. It really adds up... For example yesterday I was in the car waiting for my wife to run into a store to grab something. I was going through the images on my phone from a class I took on Saturday. If using Classic and had to wait until I could sit at my desk, I likely would not finish till later this week. However I was done late yesterday after only spending roughly 30 minutes doing my final selection on my large wide gamut monitor.

Tim
All good points. Too bad Adobe hasn't done a better job of integrating Classic and Cloudy. A reasonably "seamless" two-way integration would turn me into a Classic + Cloudy user.
 

Jimmsp

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All good points. Too bad Adobe hasn't done a better job of integrating Classic and Cloudy. A reasonably "seamless" two-way integration would turn me into a Classic + Cloudy user.
As it would me. I don't travel as much anymore so a desktop with LRC is just fine for 90% of what I do. But if I could have LR Cloudy on my travel laptop, I'd be just fine. As it is now, I use my second copy of LTC on my laptop, make a new catalog when I travel, and merge it when I return. That works quite well.
But I don't envision it helping me with keywording -- that is a personal problem. ;)
 
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This is such a personal question! Every Lr Classic expert has their own system for file management. I don't count myself as an expert, but I am an experienced and successful user and I haven't experienced catalog or library problems through numerous computer and storage upgrades over the years. I use a simple filing system.

I have a folder on an external SSD entitled Lightroom. Inside that folder I have sub-folders named by subject. I have no sub-sub folders. I am meticulous about keywording and naming my files at the time I import them to the appropriate folder. That allows me to use LrC's search functions to quickly find any photo that I want. Most of my work is macrophotography of arthropods and wildflowers (or, hopefully, the two together). Because I am photographing mainly living, moving animals in situ a high percentage of my photos are rejects. I delete those from LrC, so I have a relatively small catalog, no more than 25,000 photos. Although I feel compelled to handle my files in this way (subject subfolders) because it appeals to my sense of order, the fact is that so long as I remain meticulous about naming and keywording, all of my photos could all be dumped into the Lightroom folder without subfolders and they would still be just as easy to locate in LrC. I use Carbon Copy Cloner (Mac OS) to back up my SSD to an identical SSD and to two 16TB mechanical drives. I also back up my catalog (.lrcat) and associated files to these same external drives.

The best advice that I can think of for keeping your catalog and library safe is to never manipulate or move your files outside of LrC in the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. Everything needed to add, delete, move, and rename photos is in the LrC app. I never have occasion to look inside the Lightroom folder that contains my photos.

A small sample of my photos.
 

ElisaEmic

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Thank you all for your answers which will help us a lot on the improvement of our software. As I said, I am currently doing a market study to understand the users' requests to be able to answer your needs in terms of photo cataloging.

[Post edited by moderator (VB) to remove self-promotion in accordance with the forum rules]

You are right Jim, what we love is to edit our photos, keywording is work.
And yes David, I also share your opinion: photographers should keep their catalog and library safe, without manipulation. I don't like the managing software that create copies of your photos and contribute to file overload!

I would be curious to know: Are you using several photo editing software?
 
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Jimmsp

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....
I would be curious to know: Are you using several photo editing software?
As for editing software - yes I use other software.
90% of what I do is done in LR Classic
But I also use Photoshop, and the Topaz suite of DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and occasionally Gigapixel AI; mostly on my "best" photos or very good ones shot at very high ISO.
Very occasionally I'll use NIK for a B&W conversion that I like.
 
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And yes David, I also share your opinion: photographers should keep their catalog and library safe, without manipulation. I don't like the managing software that create copies of your photos and contribute to file overload!

I would be curious to know: Are you using several photo editing software?
I'm not certain to whom the question was addressed. I use only LrC and Photoshop for editing.. I've tried just about all of them, but those two serve all of my needs. And as LrC has advanced in its editing capabilities, I use it about 75% of the time.

As for file overload, I don't see that in LrC. I make virtual copies, which take up almost no storage space, and I edit those. Then, if I plan to put them on my Flickr feed I export them as JPEGs. If I plan to show them in person I sync them to the Lr Cloud version, and show them on a 12.9" iPad Pro.
 

PhilBurton

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See https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4654848#forum-post-66266301

So I thought of you because I am currently working on a market study on the best solutions to manage and sort your photos.
There are a lot of articles about photo editing but less about cataloging.
What software do you use? Only Litghroom or others ?
What do you think is missing in the current photo management software?

Elisa
Who is the intended audience of your study? Are you a solo researcher or do you work for a large market research company such as Gartner Group opr Frost and Sullivan? Or is your work sponsored by a vendor (Adobe???), perhaps as competitive analysis?
 
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I removed the name of the company to comply with the forum rules, but it's a small company creating software for managing photos on macOS. They previously created a tool for migrating Aperture catalogs to a variety of other programs.
 

ElisaEmic

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Thank you Victoria for the clarification (and sorry for mentionning the comapny name).

Phill, I’m working for a startup, nor for an adobe supplier. Our sofwatre are compatible with Lightroom. That’s why I was curious to have your insights and your answers are really interesting.

For our next developments, we would like to improve photo sharing. When it comes to sharing your photos, what solutions are you using? what are their defects?
 
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For our next developments, we would like to improve photo sharing. When it comes to sharing your photos, what solutions are you using? what are their defects?
I have used Box, Dropbox, Zenfolio, Wetransfer, Frame.io and Hightail depending on the need and recipient. I find the latter three the easiest to use, and the latter two to have the easiest UI. They all have defects of one sort or another, and what is a considered a defect would be based on your needs and that of the recipient. I do not like services that require recipients to sign in to access the files. I do like the option of offering password protection. And I like the option of receiving comments without having to sign up to the service. Display of EXIF data is sometimes appreciated, as is support for raw files when needed.

What I will say is the days of using ZF are pretty much over for me. Most folks just want to be able to download an image or a group of images. Making a nice gallery seems almost overkill for my purposes. If you were doing something like wedding photography, it would be a different story, so again, it depends on your needs.

--Ken
 
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For our next developments, we would like to improve photo sharing. When it comes to sharing your photos, what solutions are you using? what are their defects?
I am using Lr cloud version. The feature I have been looking for is in concept very simple. But likely hard to make it simple :D
I am a hobby photographer. I want the ability to send photos directly from Lr to multiple picture frames. e.g. like one of the connections available in the Cloud. e.g. what WHCC, Printque, Adobe Portfolio... I also want to control which albums are being displayed on each frame; ideally from within Lr.

My current process using Pix-star is cumbersome. I export images from Lr; create what Pix-star calls a web album; upload the images; then activate the web album on the frame. I have to repeat this process for each frame....

Tim
 
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