Laguna Beach Photographers Should find a Balance with the Lightroom Catalog
The Laguna Beach Photography industry is competitive. Orange County photographers need to be efficient to compete. Managing the Lightroom catalog effectively is one way in which an photographer be more efficient.
Lightroom is the industry standard used by Laguna Beach professional photographers for managing images. This is the case for good reason. Lightroom makes it easy to select, edit, and run macros. However there is one drawback which has hindered a number of professionals - the size of the catalog.
Lightroom recommends that one catalog be used for all images. While this advise is sound when considering a small number of images. It eases the challenge of finding edited images. However, when the catalog gets large it can eat up computer resources and bring a computer to a screeching halt. It simply eats up too much RAM and/or hard drive space.
Orange County Photographers have worked around this challenge by not following the Light room’s recommendations. Many have begun to create a new catalog for each session. Managing the catalog in this manner has some major advantages. The small catalogs can be stored in the same folder as the images. Thus rather than have one gigantic catalog which spans numerous drives or networks and can be extremely difficult to keep backed up and tied to the images, you have a small catalog tied to each folder. In this way, if you can find the picture, you can easily find the catalog that is associated with that picture.
In addition, your system is only running the one small catalog at any given time. This will greatly increase the speed of the system. RAM will be freed and the use of the scratch disk will be reduced. The major disadvantage of structuring the data in this manner is that if you are working on several clients at one time, you need to switch catalogs each time a client calls and makes an order and the OC photographer is working on the images of another client.
A solution to this problem is to create a catalog that is used for only one or two months. A photographer completes most of his work within two months. So, while there may still be some switching back and forth between catalogs, it will be far less than when a catalog was created for each shoot.
No system is perfect (yet). Keep these principles in mind as you are deciding how long to use a single catalog. The longer you use it the slower the computer will run but the quicker it will be to find the work you have done on past sessions. By less time you use a given catalog, the faster your system will run but the more work you will need to do when searching and reusing past images.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen and Vanessa are Orange County residents. Vanessa began her photography business by serving Murrieta and Temecula. She shot weddings, family portraits, and engagement shots.