Today’s Question: Do you recommend creating a new catalog in Lightroom Classic CC for the new year? I saw this advice, suggesting that it was better to have a separate catalog for each calendar year. Your thoughts?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Absolutely not. My general recommendation is to use a single Lightroom catalog for all of your photos and videos, and I certainly don’t recommend creating a new catalog for each calendar year.
More Detail: I recognize there are situations where a photographer may want (or need) to maintain more than one catalog in Lightroom. However, in my mind those situations represent an exception to what I consider “best practices” in Lightroom.
In general I recommend using a workflow that is as streamlined as possible. When it comes to managing your photos in Lightroom, I feel that having multiple catalogs can be cumbersome and confusing. After all, if you use multiple catalogs and want to find a particular photo, first you need to know which catalog that photo is contained in.
Therefore, I think it makes the most sense to use a single catalog for all photos whenever possible. And if you’re concerned about performance issues, that isn’t a significant issue. My Lightroom catalog currently contains a little less than 400,000 images, and the performance is nearly identical to when I’m working with a small catalog for demonstration purposes.
If you’d like to merge multiple Lightroom catalogs, and otherwise cleanup your workflow, you can get a special “New Year’s Resolution” discount on my full bundle of video courses on Lightroom by using this link to get started: