I started photography about 10 years ago and always took it seriously. I started taking landscape images and then also developed an interest in macro and wildlife photography. Taking pictures was always about fun and the process. The results were always important but it was surely about the experience (at least this is how I see it today). I had an Instagram account where I shared my photography but it was not a fulfilling experience so I closed the account. Some of my favorite pictures are hanging as prints on my walls at home which are nice to look at but they summarize only a fraction of all journeys I was on. After ten years now I'm looking forward to find a method to have a better summary of all my work.

My typical workflow is to go out and shoot and then come home to select the best images. Those images are stored in collections in Lightroom. Even those collections hold hundreds of images at this point. I don't always want to scroll through them. I think the problem is that I produce too much images and I cant possibly have a summary of all of the best ones over all the years. Most of the images gather dust on my hard drives. Even my favorite ones. What could I do to have a better overlook over all my favorite images from all the years?


4 Answers 4


After years of photography you can look back on your work thematically and discover periods or area’s in your development as photographer. I think this is interesting to document.

Once you find “closure” of an area or development, or you take it to a next level, consider documenting that period of time in a photobook.

This creates a series of thematic books, in which you can see or show your development as a photographer.

I tend to organize my Lightroom catalogs in such a fashion in collection sets. My “current” collection set is open for addition, until I look back and see a natural period. Once I see that, I put all the underlying collections in that new set, making room in my “current” collection set.

Picking one or two “seminal” photo’s from each collection in a set is relatively easy done. And putting them all in a photobook creates a nice overview of that period.

Hope this helps.


Your favourite ones, you named at the time (& probably saved various-sized jpgs of too). The rest just have numbers.
If all you have are numbers, then you need to start the review process over from scratch.

This time you will cull much harder.

(One day, I will follow my own advice. For now, I just cull the new work much harder than I used to)


I have a similar situation concerning the years of experience, workflow, prints and LR collections.

Recently I "revived" my photographs when I put them all in the cloud, using an organised folder structure (YYYY/events). Now the photos no longer gather dust on a hard drive, but I can access my own photos and memories when on my phone from anywhere, enjoying them whenever I want (on the bus, waiting in line, etc...).

Perhaps this approach would work for you as well? I'm hosting my own Nextcloud instance and am considering to setup PhotoPrism alongside of it.
You can also choose to use commercial cloud providers (e.g. Dropbox and Lightroom's cloud features).


At the start of each new year our photo club has a meeting in which each of us shows our favorite 10 images from the year just passed. Preparing for this each year is an excellent exercise for me in reviewing my own work. I start a Lightroom collection set for that year (eg. "2020 selects"), nested inside my "Annual Selects" collection set. I then make a "first batch" collection inside this and designate it the target collection. Then I go back through that year's images (all of which are on Lightroom - I upload all my images to it rather than just my favorites). I put all the ones I really like in that target collection. Usually there are about 100 to 150 or so at that point and then I select the best ones of those to go into a "2nd batch"collection, then winnow that one down, and so on until I'm down to my "final 10". Those are the ones I show to the club, but the 100+ that I started with end up being a good overview of that year. All my "annual selects" are in one overall collection set and it's easy to look back on past years that way.

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