Hi Mike, you seem confused?
Why limit yourself to spotlight and OSX tags or colors?
Use the full power of Lightroom if image search, metadata, and EXIF are important.
I have just tagged thousands of photos on my hard drive on all my CR2 files via my Finder.
OS X Finder tags are only used by Apple. I don't know if any photo software on Mac or PC reads them. I added a Finder tag to one of my photos, and even Apple Photos won't recognize it as a tag.
If you had tagged the photos using Apple iPhoto or Apple Photos instead of with the Finder, this would be easy. iPhotos and Photos both use industry-standard IPTC tags, which are recognized, preserved, and written by a long list of photo applications including Lightroom, Photoshop, and Bridge and many other non-Adobe applications on most desktop and mobile platforms.
At this point, you might try looking for a program, script, or Automator workflow that could convert Finder tags to IPTC standard tags. I did a quick Google search and one option might be good old GraphicConverter. The release notes for Version 9.7.2 say:
- display of Finder tags in the browser (requires 10.9 or later, option under preferences browser/thumbnails)
- option in the browser file info dialog to automatically set the IPTC keywords as Finder Tags in addition
I'm not clear on whether that means it will set the keywords to Finder tags found in the image (which is what you want), or the other way around. You'll probably have to test it. This script also turned up in the search.
Once IPTC-standard tags are applied to your photos, Lightroom should be able to read those tags on import, or in Lightroom you can choose Metadata > Read Metadata from File.