I get questions all the time about my workflow and backup process. Essentially, I have 4 copies of everything by the time it’s all imported into lightroom and this flowchart maps out exactly how it’s setup. Click here for the high res file if you’re having trouble reading the text.


It’s a bit confusing to take in all at once, but nearly everything is completely backed up automatically for me other than my yearly archiving – which is really easy. The purchase of my macbook 12″ retina laptop is really what revolution my entire process. Because I travel a lot it was always pretty stressful to have just one laptop as my workhorse and portable machine. Now, I can leave that at home and have some added redundancy, while easily being able to take my Macbook 12″ retina on the road for editing and other work without the need to copy anything back and forth thanks to Target Disk Mode via USB-C. It’s absolutely fantastic. Apart from that the only tricky and awesome part of this workflow is using Dropbox to backup my actual Lightroom Cat files in the cloud. I selectively un-checkmark the large Smart Preview and Standard preview sidecar files so they don’t upload across the internet, and I only keep the Cat file itself on dropbox.

I’m not going to go into anymore detail of the process of actually working with the files (organizing the RAW, Smart Previews, JPEGS, etc) as it’s something I outline in detail at my workshops, but if you’re interested in having the ultimate workflow – I hope this is an insightful glimpse into my setup.

Here’s a video of my setup, which might make it a little easier to understand to

and here’s a clip showing just how fast lightroom can run on the macbook 12″ retina. on paper the computer seems like it would not handle lightroom well at all. i actually bought it thinking it’d just be an e-mailing and presentation computer, but it turns out it can run lightroom really really fast with some tweaks.

– workflow for dc wedding photographers

Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd


Starting as a political news and celebrity portrait photographer in DC, Sam was instantly drawn to wedding photography as a space to promote more inventive ideas. Sam’s focus is on photographic techniques that are deceptively simple but have the potential to transform difficult or uninspiring shooting environments into one-of-a-kind opportunities for every photo made.

Most reviews, technical write-ups, and other photo nerd content is posted first, and exclusively, over on his patreon.