Simple answer is yes. Migrate from the default managed iPhoto/Aperture library to a referenced one. In the managed library, the database package contains the database, the original/master files you imported from the camera, jpg previews, and the edits you have made to the photos. That can make for a relatively large database package file.
In the referenced library the master/original image files out not inside the database package. They are in folders you select in the file system. This is the approach that Lightroom and some other digital asset managers (DAM) use.