Organizing Your Photo Library

Karl Barth

Posted February 03, 2013 in: Announcement  How To 

Several weeks ago, my wife was preparing for her annual Creative Memories scrapbooking trip.  She was working on getting her photos together and had trouble finding them.  She was looking for photos taken in a particular month and year.  Unfortunately, my photo library was a mess.  The pictures were put into folders based on an event or subject.  I’ve wanted to reorganize my library but I kept putting it off because I knew it was going to be a big task. 

My wife was able to find her photos but I decided to take action and start organizing my photos better while she was out of town.  I couldn’t take any more of the disorganization.  I took action and decided to reorganize my photo library.  The first dilemma was deciding how to organize 46,000+ photos into folders.  I knew I wanted to organize my photos into folders based on the month and year.  Easier said than done right?  Thankfully in using Adobe Lightroom some of my pictures were already in folders under the date they were taken.

After working 2.5 days I got my photos organized into yearly and monthly folders.  Now I had to work on updating my Lightroom catalog which was my next dilemma.  For those unfamiliar or not real experienced with Lightroom catalog, I recommend checking out Understanding the Lightroom Catalog and File Management System.

Unfortunately I wish I read this article sooner.  When I setup Lightroom, I thought it would be easier to set it up using one catalog.  This way I could easily find my images and search for them.  What I didn’t consider is how Lightroom would be affected performance wise.  Lightroom took a long time to open and to backup.  When synchronizing Lightroom with my folders that took a longer amount of time.

After reading Understanding the Lightroom Catalog and File Management System I created new catalogs based on the years and removed the original catalog I setup.  Once I was done, Lightroom was working much faster.  I was able to synchronize my folders and backup a lot quicker.  I wish I had organized my library a lot sooner.  It’s a lot easier to find my photos now.

About Karl Barth - Karl is a husband and father of two kids. He loves photography and shooting whenever he can. He runs Karl Barth Photography. His site is


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