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After unsuccessfully trying out several self-hosted asset management solutions, I'm tempted to outsource all my photo storage to Adobe Lightroom / Creative Cloud, which I have as part of an ongoing CC subscription, and finally start categorizing and tagging a huge pile of material.

What I'm worried about long term, though, is what will happen if I ever want to end that subscription and go elsewhere. Is there a simple way to export all photos stored in Creative Cloud, leaving both their membership in albums as well as Metadata - and ideally any editing one has done on the photos inside Lightroom?

The latter seems to be possible, but I can't find anything on mass exporting an entire library.

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You can create new smart collection with all the photos in library and then select all photos, right click, Metadata->Save metadata to files.

The way I create such collection is this:

  1. Goto Collections
  2. Filter Collections
  3. Right click on Smart Collection
  4. Create Smart Collection
  5. Match Any, Other metadata, keywords "are empty, +, keywords "aren't empty"
  6. Click on this smart collection
  7. Click on one photo
  8. Crtl+A (to select all the photos)
  9. Right click on photo
  10. Metadata-> Save metadata to files
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As Romeo Ninov points out in his answer, its not a question of exporting images, but of saving the metadata. Metadata in this case are any library settings (stars, flags, tags, IPTC settings, etc.) as well as your development settings (Adobe CameraRaw compliant).

However, you do not need a smart collection:

In your Library module on the Catalog panel on the left side, simply click on All photographs and then select all photos with Ctrl+A and save all metadata to disk with Ctrl+S

This will store the metadata in your image files if the file format will support this (such as DNG) or in sidecar XMP files if the format won't.

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