Lightroom Tips - Best Practices for a New Year - New Catalog, Archive and More hands-on look at cleaning up your catalog, archive the past year and getting ready for a new year, new catalog in Lightroom. Full of best practices in Adobe Lightroom for an organized photographer.I create a catalog for each year - this keeps the size of the catalog manageable and performance fairly snappy. I add the previous year’s catalog to a catalog I call the archive - this contains ALL my photos from the last several years and while it is a bit slower it is nice to be able to access all my photos, see all my 5-star images from the last several years, in one location. Catalog Clean Up - A chance for you to get rid of the junk before you merge the catalog with your archive catalog

  1. Take some time to go back through the past year’s photos and delete the junk - Ideally you get rid of the junk on import but there might be some files that you couldn’t just bring yourself to delete - if you haven’t done anything with them in the last year, maybe it’s time to delete.

    1. Mark the files you wish to delete as rejected - Keyboard shortcut: X

TIP: Set rating filter to show you all images rated 0 - in Grid select all of them at once and Reject

  1. Use the flag filter to view all files you have rejected. Make sure there are no images you wish to keep

    1. Click Photo > Delete Rejected Photo AND CHOOSE REMOVE FROM DISK

  1. All images should be in a descriptive subfolder inside a folder for each year - before combining the catalog with the archive I like to make sure there are no orphan photos, photos outside a subfolder.

    1. Click the + sign to the right of the Folder text in the Library Module and uncheck “Show Photos in subfolder”

    2. If any photos are shown use that same + sign to create a subfolder(s) appropriate for those photos.

  2. I use keywording to further organize my library of photos, keywording is a powerful way to find images that may be similar but exist in different folders. Before I archive the past year I like to check that I have given ALL images at least some basic keywords.

    1. Library > Grid Module

    2. Library Filter - Click Text - Set Keywords : Are Empty

    3. Add basic keywords to any images that are displayed. They will vanish quickly from this filter. As you add keywords the statement is no longer true.

  3. Remove Previews- I typically build 1:1 previews on import and Lightroom by default will remove these after 30 days - saves space in your catalog. I like to make sure that they are all gone and I remove any smart previews too.

    1. Library > Previews > Discard

You are now done with the cleanup of the catalog.

  1. Open or create a Master Archive catalog that will contain ALL past years (if you need to create the new catalog it is simply File > New Catalog - Choose a logical location.

  2. In the Archive Catalog select File > Import from Another Catalog and find the 2017 (or last year’s catalog that you just cleaned up)

  3. Take a moment to uncheck the import box next to any items or folders that you do not want to be imported.

  4. Press Import - Go get a cup of tea.

  5. Once completed you do want to make sure that the number of photos matches your expectations.

  6. Now create a new catalog for the upcoming year and if your previous year catalog has imported correctly you may delete it to save space.

Empty Trash and get out and get shooting!

Do you have older photos you want to get organized in Lightroom? I have a video on that topic and lots more in my community - visit to learn more.