How long do you keep your pictures in your main library?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2013

I am looking for advice.
I imported all my digital pictures dating from 2004 to day in Aperture. I feel like I don't really need these pictures there. Do you keep them in your library since you can just not expand the folder? Do you keep only the last 5 years? What do you do with the rest? A second library or keep them in a simple folder in Finder?



macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
I cull a lot of pics before they go to Develop. Every few years I cull old stuff. Did it this year and 10,000 images went to trash. I find what's a keeper today often ends up losing its allure a few years down the road. Did it when I migrated from Aperture to Lightroom for DAM.

To answer your question: I keep all my pre-publication shots in Lightroom. Keepers are downsized and exported to iPhoto for syncing and whatever. Anything that did not go to iPhoto I ask myself why I'm keeping it. I've been up to 50,000 images in one Aperture library. Now down to 35,000 in one Lightroom catalog. Goes back into the 90's without counting some scanned film images. I guess I'd have to ask the question if you're not looking at them, why keep them? But I suppose we should all ask ourselves the same question.


macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
My main library of all types of files (pictures, music, photos, videos...etc.) is not on my Macbook internal SSD. There is not enough room and I have no need to carry everything I own with me. So I have a 6TB library RAID set for the external library. I have a separate 6TB drive for backups.

Export the keepers to folders in the file system than can be used as a reference folders by whatever you use to replace Aperture. May sure the Aperture replacement can import/read them. Do a backup. Then you can delete Aperture and images you did not decide to keep.
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