Anyone using Photo Mechanic pre-Lightroom?


I’ve heard it’s the shizzle for rating/culling lots of photos in a hurry (which doing sporting events I could use), but I have also read, I think, that it stashes the rating info in a sidecar file for the import into LR, which I would rather not deal with.

Is that actually the case, and is there some magic within LR that could merge that sidecar metadata into the catalog?


Photo Mechanic does write metadata to sidecar files but only for raw images. When you import the raw files into Lightroom, LR automatically reads the sidecar file. I’ve never run into any metadata problems.

PS, Photo Mechanic is the shizzle. :smile:


Criminy it’s expensive though. I trust your endorsement, however. $150 is a small price to pay for the shizzle.


I use Photo Mechanic as my main hub for all my photo work, and the price is more than worth it for the speed and efficiency of PM. I ingest all of my photos into PM first and then do editing, rating, and metadata work. And then I’ll send the final photos to whatever retouching/editing app I want to use. It’s mostly Lightroom, but occasionally, I’ll jump into Bridge to do really fast edits (don’t need the overhead of Lightroom for many jobs) or straight into Photoshop. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I like my JPGs straight out of camera and will only do cropping and rotating in PM and then export straight from there.


Does this mean you have only 1 very small Lightroom catalog? I’m interested…


Yes and no. For personal work, I have one catalog for every calendar year. For client work, I create a new catalog for each job/project. I like to use separate catalogs for everything to keep the work self-contained and easier to backup and archive. I also only have a MacBook Pro with a 512GB SSD. I only keep current active projects and personal work on the internal SSD. Everything else gets dumped to external drives.

My personal catalog for 2017 contains 1476 photos total. I only import final selections into Lightroom. The rest just gets archived on my backup drives (just in case). By only importing the keepers into Lightroom, I don’t have to worry about long preview rendering times for files I will never use, and I can keep my entire year’s worth of personal work on my internal drive.

I do have to juggle more catalogs, but there are some jobs that I never go back to unless I’m looking for portfolio material. No sense in keeping all of my work in a master catalog of most of the files are rarely touched.