MacBook Pro and Storage Recommendations for Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by trinigen, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. trinigen macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2008
    Hi there,

    I have a question regarding the best portable set up for digital photography. My wife has been starting up a wildlife photography business and has been using our current 2009 13” MacBook Pro (Mid level, Maxed out RAM, upgraded 750G hard drive). Lately it has started to seem a little bit long in the tooth. Lots of hang ups while editing (Photoshop Elements 12) or even in iPhoto. She has been shooting with a Nikon D3100 (14MP – I believe) so the files are pretty good size. As her business and photo library grows, what would be the best bet for a new MacBook Pro Retina? What configuration should we look at (RAM, Processor Speed, Graphics, Storage, etc.)?

    My other question is around what everyone else does for storage. Right now we have the upgraded 750G HD. Our iTunes library resides on a NAS, but all of her photos are on the MacBook. The MacBook is currently backed up to a time capsule multiple times a day. I have read where people have multiple external hard drives to store their photo libraries on. Is there an easy way to set this up where the library resides on an external drive and PS Elements recognizes it? And is it easy to make a second and third back up through PS elements just in case something happens to the original? I would like to have her set up for success. She is obviously the creative part of the team and I am pretty much playing the role of the GIS Help Desk.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    I never keep RAW or TIFF files on my computer. After a shoot, I will delete unusable images and copy the remaining to two external hard drives. Once the Client makes their selections I will keep the TIFF and JPEG files on the externals. Why use up unnecessary space and slow everything else down?
  3. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I've recommended to my friends that have stepped up the Photography game to a MBP with 16GB of RAM or whatever the max out amount of RAM is. Any MBP will do. I prefer editing on 15in MBP. If she is comfortable with the 13in then its fine too.

    Adobe Lightroom is a great photo editing tool. Its very easy for someone coming from iPhoto. There are several tutorials online. Also check out Adam Lerner on youtube. Adam has a nice start up how to's on his youtube channel especially for organizing. Lightroom Killer tips site is helpful too Photoshop is more destructive than LR.

    Backing up files is simply personal preference. I shoot RAW and work in Lightroom. After editing I will backup my RAW files and the ones that were edited to an external drive and DVDr. I have 2TB external drive. Once I finish with the photos I delete from my Mac, only keeping the ones I may use later for a website or whatever.

    I would definitely back up to a disc and external drive before moving to a newer Mac.
  4. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Lightroom has this brilliant feature called Smart Previews. It works like this:

    1) Have your LR configured to use external or network storage
    2) Import your photos when connected to that storage
    3) Disconnect from the external or network storage

    You're left with high resolution previews, that you can use to work on. These can be much smaller in size than the originals, especially if shooting raw. You can keep your entire collection 'on' your laptop without running out of space. The smart previews are good enough to export to the web and to print smaller sizes. That way you can have full access to your catalogue without being tied to the storage. You only need to connect to the storage to import photos, to synchronise deletions, or to export photos at high quality.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    The wife and I are both photographers. We use MBPs with 1TB SSDs. When we are in the field we import the raw images to the internal SSD and do the initial culls and edits. We backup the internal SSD to an external 1TB SSD via Time Machine.

    When we are back home we complete the edits and move the completed images from the internal SSD to an external RAID 0 set. That RAID set is also backed up by Time Machine to another set of drives. As we are retired, we will not likely go to the extra set of offsite backups. For someone who depends on their images for the income, off site backups should be a basic part of their business routines.

    Once the images are moved to the external RAID set and backed up, we simply delete the files off the internal SSDs and our MBPs are ready for the next shoot.

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4 January 21, 2015