Lightroom Housekeeping: End of Year 2018

December 8, 2018



With 2018 coming to an end it's time to think about housekeeping. Managing your image collection is more than just backups. If you don't want to get into a pickle with an unmanageable photo collection, it's good to just have a run through and tidy up your last year's work. If you keep on top of it, your catalogue will continue to run smoothly, and finding things as the years go by will be easier.



I tend to start by going back through the year and deleting all the rubbish that I kept, thinking it was better than it actually was. I tend to completely delete images, but there's nothing stopping you just removing them from Lightroom & leaving them on disk. One tip if you do this is to mark them with a keyword of "rejected", then save the metadata to file (CTRL+S). This means that if you ever re-import them, you'll be able to find them easily.



I also get my keywording up to date. I did write a longer post about this here, but the gist of it is to have a set of smart collections looking for keywords (or lack of) so that you have an easy sorted group to work with. Start with breaking your images down into categories (Landscape, Portrait, Still Life, Abstract etc) then you'll generally have smaller (more manageable) bits of work to do.



I tend to forget to rate images as I go, so a quick review of my work over the year allows me to just add a single start to anything decent. I'll figure out how many extra stars to add at a later date, but for now, the decent stuff gets 1 star. I also "blue label" any finished images to make them easier to find. Generally, blue label images should have at least 1 star (why was I working on them if not?)



I set up a 2019 folder, ready for next year, and put a "phone pics" folder in there to remind me to choose a new folder for phone image imports. All my phone photos go into LR Mobile, so they sync back to LR desktop - but you need to specify the folder. Moving it every year into a new "yearly" folder works best for me.



I also set up a copyright import preset for the following year too. I don't switch over until the following year, but having it there saves time later. Because it's a once-yearly task, it's a "how did I do this again?" moment every time.



I have a disconnected off-site backup that I update twice a year. I've got multiple backups (NAS, cloud, external HDD) but they're all "connected" which means that they auto-backup, but if I were to get a virus that went through all connected folders, I'd lose the backups too. Because of this, I have a disconnected backup that requires manually messing about with. That's why I only do it once every 6 months - because I'm lazy.


And that's it. If you've kept on top of your keywording, it shouldn't be too tedious.

For me - it was tedious...

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