Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Catalogs in Lightroom 4

Photographer

King Tay

Posts: 168

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

I'm new to LR4, and I'm trying to understand how I organize my shoots.  Should I use one catalog for all my, which each shoot has it's own folder on my hard drive.  Or should I start a new catalog for each shoot?

Feb 19 13 09:38 pm Link

Photographer

Images by MR

Posts: 7782

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I create one catalog for every shooting.

Feb 19 13 09:43 pm Link

Photographer

King Tay

Posts: 168

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

Images by MR wrote:
I create one catalog for every shooting.

I was thinking that, then you just save the catalog in the same folder as the images. I you create a LR folder with all your catalogs.

Feb 19 13 09:48 pm Link

Photographer

RW Steele

Posts: 107

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

It depends on your style and how much you shoot. If you want images to be easily searchable then creating a catalog for each shoot is NOT the route to go. I'm pushing 20K images (RAW/DNG) on a laptop with 2GB RAM and haven't had any problems. Just be sure to back up often because if LR crashes then it will take the catalog down with it.

Feb 19 13 10:17 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2463

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

At 20K, my laptop began to slow down, at 40K it was unbearable.  I do not use LR to catalog now, instead using a system of folders.

I love the idea of LR, but even with a SSD and 8GB of RAM on a newer Mac, it really doesn't perform well.

Actually, Bridge might do what you want pretty well.

Feb 20 13 01:29 am Link

Photographer

Sentimental-SINtimental

Posts: 1314

Castle Rock, Washington, US

I just have lightroom create folders by date and apply keywords on import... very simple to do this way. I also have it backup images to seperate drive also. Creating a different catalog for each shoot seems like it would take forever to find what I'm looking for cause I would have to load each catalog prior to searching.

Google Lightroom workflows and see what will work best for you

Feb 20 13 03:38 am Link

Photographer

sofiane korichi

Posts: 16

Paris, Île-de-France, France

I create one catalog per shoot.

It allows me to browse and select photos I use the star ranking. And when its done i jump to photoshop for editing.

I shoot in raw. My PC : i5 2500K , 8GB RAM , 1 SSD system 2To storage , GTX 560 Ti

Feb 20 13 03:39 am Link

Photographer

sensual light studios

Posts: 45

Hollywood, Florida, US

I use three catalogs, one for each of my areas of interest - landscape/nature/street, fine art nudes, and adult.

Feb 22 13 12:32 pm Link

Photographer

Dan K Photography

Posts: 5466

STATEN ISLAND, New York, US

Robert Jewett wrote:
At 20K, my laptop began to slow down, at 40K it was unbearable.  I do not use LR to catalog now, instead using a system of folders.

I love the idea of LR, but even with a SSD and 8GB of RAM on a newer Mac, it really doesn't perform well.

Actually, Bridge might do what you want pretty well.

that is strange. I have 27k photos in one catalog 4gb ram and no ssd. Lightroom works perfectly.

I do use a PC though. Maybe you need a genius to look at your Mac:)

Kidding about the last sentence. Were you using 4? then again I never had a problem when I had 3.

OP I do it exactly as your first choice. One catalog with each shoot(day) is in one directory. So far it works fine for me.

Feb 22 13 12:36 pm Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10331

Santa Ana, California, US

I use one catalog per project.
If I was selling images to stock or some other purpose where I needed to do bulk searches, I'm sure I wouldn't do that. But for the project-centric work I do, one-catalog-per is just right.

Feb 22 13 12:45 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Daggett

Posts: 80

Carmel, Indiana, US

I catalog by years.

2011
2012
2013

Feb 22 13 12:47 pm Link

Photographer

Mask Photo

Posts: 1404

Fremont, California, US

I catalog as follows:
* Personal work
* erotic work (the kind i don't post here!)
* one for each long-term repeat client
* family snapshots

Feb 23 13 03:14 pm Link

Photographer

King Tay

Posts: 168

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

Thx everyone.

Feb 24 13 07:14 am Link

Retoucher

Rafael_Alexander

Posts: 84

Atlanta, Georgia, US

I organize my photos based on each shoot

Feb 24 13 10:37 pm Link

Retoucher

Internos Photography

Posts: 546

Los Gatos, California, US

I use 1 catalog for all photos (nearly 60k).  I've never had a performance issue related to the catalog, but my PC has always been well spec'd even with the actual photos stored on another server.

I even used the catalog today to determine that only 2% of my shots are at 1/8000 so debating between the D600 and D800 became a little easier.

Within the catalog, I have 2 folders, personal/business, then a folder by year, and then by "date - shoot name" to make sorting/backups nice and easy.
http://valid.canardpc.com/cache/banner/2708374.png

Feb 25 13 01:17 pm Link

Photographer

Scott McLeod

Posts: 228

Birmingham, Alabama, US

I catalog per year. Its makes it easy to go back and all 3, 4 or 5 star images from a year. I've been with LR since v1 and my first catalog started to take to long to backup, test integrity and open, etc. But that was after multiple years with everything in it.

I know some people who 1 catalog a month, or 1 per quarter.

Feb 25 13 03:44 pm Link

Photographer

A-M-P

Posts: 18211

Orlando, Florida, US

Michael Daggett wrote:
I catalog by years.

2011
2012
2013

+1

Feb 25 13 03:51 pm Link