Getting your Photostream images into Lightroom

I don’t use Photos or iPhotos, I use Lightroom, but I still want all my pretty cellphone photos to magically appear without me having to do any work. Hazel can make that happen.

1. Find and open your Photos Library

In Pictures, choose the Photos Library, and right-click. Choose Show Package Contents from the context menu.

Inside the Photos Library package, open the Masters folder and note there are subfolders named by year. Each of these subfolders need to be added to Hazel as watched folders.

Hazel won’t let you browse into a package so to be able to add these year folders, first make an alias of each folder (right-click each folder and choose Make Alias).

2. Move aliases

Move the aliases you made in the previous step into a new folder outside the Photos Library package. I made a “processing” folder called Hazel – Photos to Lightroom for this purpose. Inside that folder I place the alias folders, but also create a !Lightroom Import folder which I will tell Lightroom to import from at a later stage.

3. Add aliases to Hazel as watched folders

Add each aliased folder to Hazel. Add the following two rules to each aliased folder you told Hazel to watch

4. First Hazel rule

Add the Go into subfolders rule to each aliased folder

5. Second Hazel rule

Add the Move images to Lightroom Import Folder rule to each aliased folder. The folder you choose to move to should be one you have already created in the “processing” folder in Step 2.

I choose to move the image files, I don’t recommend it, I don’t know what might happen and I’m pretty sure it probably breaks Photos somehow. As I don’t use Photos at all, and it seems to work for me so far, I don’t really care. However I strongly recommend COPYING the image files in this stage rather than moving them. Remember COPY DON’T MOVE.

6. Import the new photos into Lightroom

I choose to import the photos manually, that way Lightroom moves them to the appropriate subfolders in accordance with my preferences.

If you don’t care how the photos are sorted, you can make Lightroom do an auto-import by setting it to watch and auto-import from the folder Hazel moves (copies) the image files into. If you do that, the entire workflow should be completely automated.

2 thoughts on “Getting your Photostream images into Lightroom

  1. this is awesome. thank you. i would prefer not to have two copies of the photo on my hard drive to save space, so i plan to move the files completely. i plan to solely use lightroom. but members of my family may choose to use Photos at some point. have you tried to use Photos since implementing this workflow? just curious if you were able to confirm that Photos would break somehow if you remove the files completely from the Masters folder?

    1. Sorry for the late response. I must admit I’ve never used Photos, and dont know anything about it. I can’t confirm whether or not this workflow will break anything. I suspect it would. I have a murky idea that maybe one can force Photos to re-scan for photos, in order to find the missing files?

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