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Case Study: Accomplished photographer


  • Lifelong photographer - has been carrying a camera for over 70 years and is still shooting today. Adobe Lightroom photo library contained 150,000 images.


  • Client has scanned and digitized print photos mixed in with his digital photos.

  • Scans were all dated incorrectly - showing up in the present day when in reality they are 40-50 years old.

  • Client has been shooting digital since 2002.

  • Client shoots both creative photography and family photography and lots of it.

  • All client photos reside in a dizzyingly haphazard Lightroom collection - making it difficult to find any specific photo without endless scrolling - and inviting the creation of many duplicates due to reimporting photos more than once.


  • To create an organized archive of all the client’s photos - that would be easy to search without having to scroll. This new archive should be easy to maintain so that the collection wasn’t in danger of returning to its previously disorganized state as new photos are added in the future.


  • Run deduplication software - this alone eliminated 50,000 photos. Further culling and curating eliminated a further 30,000 - leaving a far more manageable, but still large number of 50,000 to organize. The culling process took about 50 hours.

  • Split the entire library into 2 collections, one for family and friends and one for creative photography.

  • This allowed us to organize the collections in two different ways.

  • The family and friends library is now organized chronologically - which makes sense in as far as it’s nice to watch kids and grandkids growing up over the years.

  • The photography collection is now organized by locations, both national and international and by all of my client’s favourite subjects.

  • Keywords or tags were added to all the final images so that they can be found via search rather than scroll. This included running face recognition - with the (remote) help of the client - approximately 20 hours.

  • Finally I created a third library into which the client now imports, culls and edits new photos before they are ‘sent’ to either the family or photography library.


  • The splitting of the Lightroom library was successful and might be a good solution for all you photographers with large Lightroom collections.

  • Both collections are now easily searchable, allowing my client to edit and post to social media but also to enjoy and share those legacy photos of family and friends.

  • The third library keeps my client honest, encouraging proper editing, with no endless bursts of birds in flight or the grandkids opening every present - less is more, less is more, less is more.

  • Client's photos are now as organized as his camera gear :)

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