7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2015 5:29 AM by Just Shoot Me

    iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?


      Hi all,


      I am new completely new to Lightroom and have just purchased Lightroom 6 and hence have joined the community looking for a bit of help and advice.  Before I even begin to try and learn LR6's functionality I want to make sure I get my cataloging and file structure right before doing anything else.


      I have been searching for a solution to my problem for days without success as no answer seems to fit my scenario exactly.  I have been using iphoto for years now, this has always been just a dumping ground for numerous camera and mobile phone photographs, more recently my DSLR shots.  I had been in the process of tidying up my filing system when a recent upgrade changed iPhoto to the 'Photos' app. 


      What I would like to do is transfer all my photographs from the iPhoto Library to Lightroom 6 and ultimately rid myself of the iPhoto Library - I'm assuming that if I use the 'File > Plug-in Extras > Import from iphoto library' option my photographs will continue to be saved within the iphoto library even though accessed via Lightroom?  From what I've gathered it's also not wise to upload the mess I have in iphoto directly into Lightroom as it would be better to set up a catalogs and file structures within Lightroom before any upload?


      I would be extremely grateful if someone could walk me through the best approach to do the following in whatever order is best, with the ultimate aim of having the contents of my entire iphoto library nice and tidy within LR6;


      • Tidy up and properly file my current photographs that exist in iPhoto Library
      • Extract them from iPhoto library to 'Pictures' folder potentially allowing tidy up via 'Finder' before subsequent upload to Lightroom'
      • Deletion of iphoto (Photos) app and now defunct iphoto library


      Hope this all makes sense!



        • 1. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?
          Daniel Sterchi Level 3

          Hi there


          You can tidy up your images in iPhoto or in Lighroom. You don't have to export all the images and then import them later on.

          When you import your images from (Files - Plug-ins extras - import from iPhoto Library), Lightroom imports also all your keywords. Isn't that something good?


          When importing from iPhoto Library all the images are copied to a place where you want your Lightroom images to reside. Normally this will be ordered by Date. You can adjust that as you want. Import an image and adjust the import settings.


          You will find all your images in a collection «from iPhoto» there in sub collections. When you want to delete a image you can right click «goto folder in Library» an remove the photo from there. You can also remove the image directly from the directory structure but I wouldn't do that. If you choose to do so you must synchronise the  with the Lightroom catalog.


          In short what I would do.


          - Import iPhoto library (all the keywords are kept)

          - Clean images as time goes by


          kind regards


          Daniel (from Switzerland)

          • 2. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?

            Daniel, do you know if all the edits to photos will be kept in addition to the key words?  Also, what happens to the Events?  One would think that they would become folders, but I'm not sure. 

            • 3. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?

              Daniel, do you know if Lightroom 6 fixes the bug in LR 5's iPhoto/Aperture import plugin that made it hang or crash on non-ASCII characters in the metadata? Since you're from Switzerland, there's a chance you have some foreign characters in your metadata and know about this.


              Oh, and just one comment to your reply to John: In the LR 5 importer there is an option to import "full size previews", meaning that the full sized edited copies would be imported from iPhoto and linked to the originals. I hope they have kept that as that's what I plan to do because it'll give me the option to keep the iPhoto edit if it's good enough or redo the edit in Lightroom later, with the iPhoto edit as a guide. With more than 30K pictures my guess is that I'll leave most as-is, though ;-)

              • 4. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?

                I am a new LR user (purchased desktop version several days ago) and just tried importing my 30,000+ image iPhoto library.  It did NOT go as expected.  Based on reading and watching Youtube videos, I expected the EVENTS to be converted to collections, and they were but with meaningless numbers that appeared to increase with each collection.  After the first 12 events the numbers are all identical, but the event contents are there.  You just can't correlate it to any event because the name is meaningless.

                Here is what you get:


                FROM IPHOTO

                • ALBUMS
                • EVENTS












                     Event Photos 7



                     Event Photos 43



                I called Adobe for help and they just said that they would pass it on to their engineers. 


                I am thinking of transferring my 1013 events to Lightroom manually.  Has anyone documented the best way of doing this, a workflow that would minimize the effort involved?

                I believe I would have to export each event manually to a folder within a folder structure I built for Lightroom masters and then later import the entire thing into Lightroom all at once.  Is this the way to do it?


                Bob K

                • 5. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?
                  Bobbito15 Level 1

                  BTW, I am using LR and iPhoto on an iMac running Yosemite (10.10.5)

                  • 6. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?

                    Hi John,

                    How did you go with your transfer? I am in exactly the same situation as you were but have 11 iPhoto libraries and a total of 1TB of photos. Many duplicates too! A mess!

                    Did you tidy up first then move to lightroom.

                    Did you put all your photos in pictures/finder or straight into lightroom with import tool? i.e. are they referenced or managed?

                    Were you able to delete all the old iPhoto / aperture libraries.?

                    Do you have any tips or advice?



                    • 7. Re: iPhoto (Photos) library to Lightroom 6 walkthrough?
                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                      I have a tip and advice.


                      In the iPhoto Library package file/folder (It is an Apple OS X Package folder, Hidden from the user unless right clicked on and select Show Package Contents) Copy out the Masters folder to some other place on your drive, internal or external, and then import that into LR.


                      Yes all edits you have done will be gone. Yes if you created Events they won't be included. But you can start fresh with a program, LR, that won't take control of your images like the Apple Mac iPhoto app does.