Total Workflow – Your one-stop source

I find that what photographers really need aside from specific direction (ie. How do i do XYZ in Lightroom?) is a sense of the big picture, a sense of why we make one decision over another, and how it all fits together.

There is a core foundation to any workflow and our favorite resource for staying in tune with best practices is Inside Lightroom

We have taken what we consider to be the best Lightroom and workflow posts and compiled them into a quick list of links and extended resources for photographers.


  • Don’t lose your photos before you download
  • Folder naming conventions (I)
  • Folder and file naming conventions (II)
  • To DNG or not to DNG
  • Approaching a big shoot

Related links …


  • Import considerations
  • Fine-tuning your selection for importing files
  • Using auto import
  • Lightroom and 1:1 previews
  • Copyright and metadata

Related links …


  • Ranking rules in Lightroom
  • Regulating your keywords
  • Better living through metadata
  • Rating and flagging images
  • To delete, or not to delete

Related links …


  • RPG keys – Lightroom editing
  • Working in the develop module
  • Processing 101
  • Multiple catalogs
  • Exploring white balance

Related links …


  • Revisiting slideshow pro
  • Lightroom as your datasource
  • From Lightroom to the iPhone
  • Slideshow workflow
  • Lightning quick galleries

Related links …


  • Plugins to piglets
  • Exporting catalogs
  • Altered states
  • FTP for you and me
  • The sRGB conundrum

Related links …


  • Storage solutions for photographers
  • The fundamental storage strategy
  • The simplest storage solution
  • In search of the perfect portable storage device
  • The economics of online backup

Related links …

Happy Learning!

Brandon Oelling

Hi there! I'm Brandon Oelling, the founder of XEQUALS. My team and I believe deep in our hearts that inside every one of us is an amazing photographer.

  1. Great compilation. The only problem is that now I have to find time to read all this 😉

    Thank you so much (and thanks to the guys of Inside Lightroom too)

  2. I really love your blog: you always save me!!!!

    Thanks for this GREAT compilation!!

  3. Currently am setting up a studio, and I want to have all workflows properly tought through. So I am very happy with this site, with loads of information!!! Mega Mega Thanks!!

    One thing I can’t find advise about – what is best:
    One catalog, two catalogs or for each client their own catalog?

    What I would like is to filter to all photos for a keyword like ‘texture’ ‘blue’ ‘smile’ so also including studio/wedding sessions of clients the work is totally wrapped up for. So, for that reason, I tend to go for a set up of just one amara catalog, and my work is in folders based on year/month/date/clientname.

    However, that’s how I worked the last months and the catalog became huge (?)and I am so scared when it gets corrupt or something….
    F.e. My private photos I have a catalog for each year. For the 2010 if I look at the properties it indicates: 2.3 gb in size, 10,2 gb on disk, 39.270 files ( I know, I went overboard and should be tidying up + take less photos e.g. think better before I shoot, but that’s besides the point for now).

    To me that GB numbers are scary, and yes – I do back up, but still I wonder:
    1. – what are the limits one catalog can handle?
    2. – if i chop the images up to different catalogs, how can I realise a search for ‘smile’ through all my photos at once?
    3. How do other photographers work? Experiences?

    Is there any post about this catalog issue I can win information from?

    Thanks Amara

  4. I’ll weigh in and say, yeah, I had some problems with my Lightroom catalogue, but then decided I needed it to be the absolute best and most efficient part of my workflow. So the last computer I bought (or built… PC *gasp*!) included an 80GB SSD drive where I would store my OS, program files and LR .CAT file (bigger would be better if you can afford it). From my understanding, the .CAT file is everything, it stores metadata, edit data, preview data – you want that as clean and fast as possible. So it’s on an expensive drive, and it’s flawless.

    In case I need to edit older photos faster I gave myself a bit of safety by dropping my main photo catalogue on a Sata3 disc (faster, but I can’t say if it’s making a huge difference).

    So the specs that matter are the SSD and my i7 core which helps render the files faster, but then writes them to a disc with virtually no lag. We need to stop looking at SSD’s as a price per TB and consider how unreal the startup time and processing times will affect all of our lives, seriously, it’s not a dollar for dollar comparison. It’s worth it.

  5. For the most part I keep everything in one big catalog. It’s about 130K and moves along fine. I will do specifics jobs in their own catalog though, importing finals into the main catalog. I had a week long job this week, and as it’s the only TV show I work on, I keep the stuff in a small catalog like this.
    Here’s the thing. I delete stuff. And as I go on I delete more stuff. I see no need to keep multiple variations of almost identical things, or plain duds. So I will go back and make passes over older stuff to tighten it up. Part of this is because my selection ability and speed has increased with practice.

  6. Amara,

    #1 – This question of “how many images per catalog” is an ongoing argument, so I’ll give you my thoughts on it. Others may disagree, but this is how I work. In my opinion, after 25,000+ images or so Lightroom gets weird, plain and simple.

    Sure you can add 50,000 or 100,000 and if that works then so be it, but I like to keep things lean.

    #2 – Lightroom keyword search doesn’t work across multiple catalogs. I use bridge when I need to search across a large volume of images which are not located in one Lightroom Catalog.

    We also discuss (in detail) how we work with images and catalogs in this post –

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