10 Things I Would Tell New Lightroom Users: #2

Hi folks – I’m back with #2, but before we head into this, I just wanted to thank everybody yesterday for heeding the disclaimer warning before they posted comments. We had some good discussions and everybody was civil, so even though I’m not reprinting the entire disclaimer here again today, I hope you’ll still honor it as you did yesterday.

Without further ado (yes, that was some “ado”), here’s the 2nd thing I would tell NEW Lightroom users: 


#2) Just Use One Catalog

Can you create multiple catalogs in Lightroom? Yes. As a new user should you? I wouldn’t recommend it. Your goal is simplicity and order, and by keeping just one single catalog (at least for a while) your Lightroom life will stay simple. Just one catalog — one place to work with all your images. Just one thing to mess with. Less is more.

So, how many images can you import into one catalog and still have everything running smoothly? I’d say somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 images fairly easily. This was NOT always the case with Lightroom, but over the years as it has matured, you can safely work with large catalogs like this no problem.

Q. Scott, will there come a day when I’ll want to create more catalogs?
A. It’s entirely possible, but hopefully not for a while. For now just keep things simple and stick with one catalog. 

For more on keeping to just one catalog, check out this post Matt did here back in May of 2013 called “Should You Create Multiple Catalogs.” He makes some great points, and includes the quote, “Adobe doesn’t even recommend creating multiple catalogs anymore” (which I’ve heard directly from Adobe as well).

So, that’s it for #2 — stick to just one catalog and your Lightroom life will be sweeter (it fact, I’d stick with just one as long as you possibly can, but hey, that’s just me).

OK, I’m heading out from snowy Columbus (thanks to the 300+ photographers who braved the snow and 18° weather to come yesterday — what an awesome group!), for Richmond, Virginia today. I’ve got a shoot at one of the most beautiful classic old theaters in the US today (provided my flight doesn’t get delayed), and then Wednesday I’ll be teaching my seminar. Hope I’ll get to meet you there in person.



P.S. Tomorrow Pete Collins will be here with a cool tip, and then RC is on deck for Thursday with his awesomeness, so I’ll be back with #3 in my new series on Friday. See you then!