To back up photos from a Macbook Pro onto an external hard drive, make sure the external storage device is formatted for Mac, either APFS format or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format.
It is important to back up the library either by using Time Machine or manually copying the library to an external storage device.
Additionally, any image files stored outside the Photo library should be backed up separately.
Finally, a step-by-step guide on how to move an iPhoto Library to an external hard drive is provided.
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This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to move an iPhoto Library to an external hard drive to free up precious space on a Mac. It explains how to make an up-to-date Time Machine backup of the computer, how to move the library, and recommends having at least 1TB of extra space for those looking to expand beyond their Mac's internal storage HDD or SSD. Finally, it provides a few high quality external and portable hard drive options from Seagate, HGST, and Western Digital.
How to safely move your Mac's iPhoto library onto an external drive | AppleInsider