iCloud Photostream images into Lightroom – UPDATED for OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

I use Lightroom, not the Photos app or the old iPhotos but I still wanted to get all my iPhone photos to show up in Lightroom.

I used to use an Automator workflow to accomplish this task, but since changes have been made in the new photos app (The way iCloud Photostream images are stored and limitations of Automator) I had to make some changes in my process. I had to use Hazel to make this all work.

1. Find and open your Photos Library
In Pictures or wherever you store your Photos Library, choose the Photos Library file, and right-click. Choose Show Package Contents from the menu.

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Inside the Photos Library package (SHOW PACKAGE CONTENTS), 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).

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2. Move Aliases
Move the aliases you made in the previous step into a new folder outside the Photos Library package. I made a folder called “Photostream to Lightroom” for this purpose. Inside that folder I place the alias folders (You can start with just the latest year and add the other aliases later), but also create a PhotoStreamImport folder which I will tell Lightroom to import from at a later stage.


3. Add aliases to Hazel as watched folders
Add each aliased year folder to Hazel (Im only doing my 2016 folder in this example). Add the following two rules to each aliased year folder you told Hazel to watch.

4. First Hazel Rule (Get Subfolders

Add the Get subfolders rule to each aliased year folder.

5. Second Hazel Rule
Add the Copy images to Lightroom Import Folder rule to each aliased folder. The folder you choose to copy to should be one you have already created in Step 2. Remember I called it “PhotoStreamImport”.

I choose to copy the image files, since I don’t know if moving them would break the Photos app Photostream.

Be sure both rules are checked, then you can Click the “Run Rules now”. These rules will continue to run auto-Magically anytime a new image is added to the Photostream (Taken by your iPhone).


LIGHTROOM to IMPORT images automatically.

1. Now its time to tell Lightroom to automatically import images from this folder (“/Pictures/PhotoStreamImport”). In the Lightroom menu go to: File -> Auto Import -> Auto Import Settings… This will move the files out of the folder you just created “/Pictures/PhotoStreamImport” and into Lightroom.

2. Next time you launch Lightroom, your images will continue to be imported automagically while Lightroom is open. When Lightroom is closed, images will be waiting in the PhotoStreamImport folder, you can preview them there, remove any photos you do not want to import, or open Lightroom and all photos will be imported. I like placing a “short-cut” to this folder in my Dock (Right side of dock separator). I can then just snap a photo, and share it from that import folder quickly.

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