I have a lot of photos organized and stored in Lightroom. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing and organize photos in collection. In that way my family can easily find and se photos. This presupposes that I still have a subscription to creative cloud.
How can I continue this after my death without requiring continued subscription to creative cloud?
How do I pass on my edited photos and albums to my heirs after my death?
Does anyone have a recommendation or good advice.
Ole Thyg plannthin (still alive)
There's a utility, called the Adobe Lightroom Downloader, which is designed for this purpose, i.e. it will download all your cloud assets to a local hard drive, and it can be run by your heirs up to a year after your death (obviously they would need your Adobe ID details in order to run the Downloader, but that will still be accessible for that year even after your subscription has ended). It's also available to you to use for that same one year period should you decide to terminate your subscription for any other reason.
However, I have to say that it's currently a bit of a leaky lifeboat at best, as there are several issues that you or your heirs would have to address. Firstly, your album organisation would be lost, the Downloader can only store the downloaded images in a capture date-based folder structure. Secondly, assuming you shoot raw, the Downloader will download those raw files as the "original + XMP sidecar", which means that your heirs would only be able to see the edited versions of those images if they are able to import the originals with the XMP sidecar into a program, such as Lightroom or Lightroom Classic, which is capable of accurately interpreting and applying the XMP edits. There are now a couple of other apps which claim that they can (or will soon be able to) do that (ON1 and the new Luminar AI, though there may be others). Thirdly, I'm currently seeing some bugs (or poor design choices) in my testing which I've flagged to Adobe but so far they have not been addressed.
An alternative approach would be to export all your assets, which could be done on a per album basis to maintain the album organisation. You could have your heirs do that, it may need to keep the subscription going for a short period after your death, but it would give then some options....such as exporting firstly as jpeg (or Tiff, but that'll need a lot more local disk space) to give themselves and the rest of the family instant access to the edited images. Then if there's any interest in keeping hold of the raw images, they could additionally do the export using the "Original + Settings" to preserve the raw files with settings in an XMP sidecar file.
To Jim Wild!
There are some options that I (my heirs) must consider.
I have a lot of photographs, especially from holidays in Africa. Actually about 85.000. Many of them are not included in collections, but I have not deleted them. Maybe I should clean up and delete photos, that are not used in collections.
I have been using raw format on my camera for many years. Converted to dng format when imported into Lightroom. Older photos and scanned photos are saved in jpg format.
@Ole Plannthin Start again and tell us exactly which Version of the Lightroom (family of programs) you are using.
The answer from @Jim Wilde first assumes you are using Lightroom (Cloud based) as you posted in the Lightroom Forum.
If you are using a 'Standalone' version of Lightroom (v1-6.14) or Lightroom-Classic, then a more specific answer may be helpful to you.
Lightroom MENU: Help > System Info Copy & post ther info.
I have subscription to "Fotografiplan". I use Ligthroom Classic 10.1.1 release installed. I also use Lightroom version 4.1 and PhotoShop version 21.2.5 installed.
My (simple) suggestion would be to-
1) Buy an external SSD drive,
2) Export a derivative JPG image (full-size) from all your photos in the Lr-Classic catalog to the SSD drive.
Anyone that has some computer knowledge can view JPG files.
Use the SSD drive only for 'heritage' photos. Label it as "Family Photos"!
You could limit your exports to selected 4/5-star photos, or create Collections of favourite photos that you then Export.
If you want to pass on the original raw files, then Export Original + XMP sidecars, for others to possibly edit in LrC or Ps (as suggested by @Jim Wilde )
Thanks WobertsC !
You write: "If you want to pass on the original raw files, then Export Original + XMP sidecars, for others to possibly edit in LrC or Ps". The original photos is stored in Lightroom in DNG-format. I convert to DNG, when I import the Canon raw files and edit most photos in Lightroom Classic. DNG-files do not have XMP sidecars. What does that mean in relation to your answer?
Regards Ole Plannthin
@WobertC slightly mis-spoke....the recommended export option is actually called "Original + Settings", not "Original + XMP sidecars". What that means is that a copy of the original image file is created and the various settings are embedded within that original copy....for proprietary raw files only, those settings will be embedded in an companion XMP sidecar file, but for all other file-types the settings are embedded directly into the XMP section of the file's header. As long as you use that option with your DNG files, you will end up with a copy of that DNG which will have all metadata and edit settings embedded in the header.
There's little difference between saving XMP to the original files in LrC, or exporting them with Original + settings.
You need to think about what you want to pass on to your heirs. Your original concern was that you did not want them to have to maintain an Adobe subscription to use your photo legacy. In that case, exporting with Original + Settings (or saving XMP to the originals in LrC) will leave your heirs needing to find an effective way to access the images. Most free photo viewers will be able to show you an embedded preview of the DNG file, but will not be able to interpret the embedded develop settings, so they might end up viewing the images without the edits (or having to buy another subscription). There is an option in LrC to update the embedded Jpeg previews in DNG files, which you might want to explore, or you might consider leaving your heirs with both the original DNGs with embedded XMP (either the originals or exported originals + settings) AND an exported Jpeg (or Tiff) with the baked in edits.