Photo Archive for Family


Today’s Question: Do you recommend folks with a lot of effort invested in editing their photos in Lightroom Classic export all their raw images as JPEG images to have for family members some day?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, I do think it is a good idea to create an archive of your photos for posterity in a way that is more accessible to family members who may not know the first thing about Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: Managing your photo library with Lightroom Classic involves a bit of a learning curve for photographers, so it is perhaps easy to appreciate that a family member who has never used Lightroom Classic would not be able to access your photos without assistance.

Therefore, it can be a good idea to maintain a more accessible archive of photos in a format that is easier to review.

For many photographers their library of photos includes a large number of proprietary raw captures, which to some extent requires special software to make use of. It can therefore be helpful to maintain an archive in a more widely supported image format, such as JPEG images.

To create this type of archive from Lightroom Classic you can export the source photos as JPEG images. I recommend exporting at full resolution to maintain the option to produce reasonably large prints from the photos.

It is also worth considering that you may not want to export copies of every single photo within your Lightroom Classic catalog. You may want to export only photos above a particular star rating, for example, and even export selectively from only the photos that contain photos of the greatest interest.

Lightroom Classic doesn’t provide an easy way to export JPEG copies of photos while maintaining your existing folder structure, so you may want to work with individual folders at a time, selecting which photos in a particular folder should be exported, and then exporting copies of those images. As part of that process you can customize a folder structure for the exported copies that will be most helpful for others, such as by using date-based folders. You could also add text to the filename of photos upon export, though I recommend retaining the existing filename as part of the new filenames so that, if necessary, the original source photos could be referenced later.