One of the things I like best about Lightroom is the awesome organization system that you are able to set up and easily maintain. A lot of people who are new to Lightroom don’t take advantage of this system and are missing out on the best part of this amazing photo editing and organizational program.
I have more than 50,000 images in my Lightroom catalog and I am able to find almost any image in a matter of moments. And the program is so intuitive, that if you have “misplaced” an image, it is easy to connect it again with the Lightroom catalog.
Here are some basic considerations when you are first setting up your Lightroom catalog.
It’s important to know where you want to store your images and what kind of back up you are using. Because I use a laptop for the majority of my work, I have 3 external drives that I have set up to automatically back up my files. I have one external drive (that holds mainly my photos) that backs up to a second drive. The third external drive is for my full computer back up. This system works for me because it is pretty simple, and I have two copies of all of my files. It’s not if your hard drive crashes, it’s when. You can also use a more advanced system such as a Raid which will automatically give you mirror backups of your external drives and it comes in a variety of drive sizes.
Folder structure and organization
Consistent folder structure is important when first working in Lightroom. You need to consider an organization system that works for you and stick to it. For example, I prefer to organize my folders by destination, then by date. Lightroom will automatically set up your folders organized by date. For me, organizing by date just doesn’t work. Do you remember where you were October of 2016? I don’t. I do remember that I was in Yosemite in the fall of 2016, so I prefer to label my folder Yosemite_2016_10. That way I can easily find my fall Yosemite pictures and not have to remember exactly what date I was there. It is also important to be sure that all of your folders are named in a similar fashion. It wouldn’t make sense to call one folder Yosemite_2016_10 and the next folder Winter 2017. Since I was in Iceland in February of 2017, that file would be labeled Iceland_2017_02. All my folders are similarly named.
Create Only One Lightroom catalog
Lightroom is set up so that you can create as many catalogs as you like. I prefer to only have one catalog so that I can search my whole batch of 50,000 images by file name, keyword, or star rating. If you have multiple catalogs, it defeats the purpose of Lightroom’s amazing organizational system. It will only be able to search one catalog at a time, so if you had different catalogs by year (for example), you would have to search every catalog in order to find a specific image. There is a consideration that Lightroom may slow down a bit with a large number of images stored in a catalog, but with recent updates to Lightroom, the program buzzes along with no problem.
In my Lightroom Quick Start class, I cover these topics and a lot more to get you on your way to using Lightroom as your go-to editing and organizational tool. This 4-week class covers the basics that will get you up and running quickly in an efficient way. Try our next Lightroom class and learn to use the essential program for editing and organization.
If you are interested in learning more about iPhone photography and Adobe Lightroom take one of my classes on these subjects right here at BPSOP!
BPSOP Instructor – Holly Higbee-Jansen
Holly Higbee-Jansen is photographer, trainer, blogger, and workshop leader who enjoys teaching and the creative process. Her passions include teaching photography workshops in beautiful locations in California, Iceland, Costa Rica and the American West with her husband Mark. Holly also teaches online classes on Lightroom, Photoshop and photographic technique. Get Holly’s Free E-Book on “Landscape Photography and the Light“ and find out about her newest workshops at Jansen Photo Expeditions.com.
Do you want to learn to create images that show the beauty of the scene you saw when you took the photograph? Do you want to learn the other essential side of digital photography, photo editing and get up to speed quickly?
This course is designed to get you up and running FAST in this incredibly powerful program. In this two week information packed class, you will learn how to import, organize and perform simple and effective editing processes that will let you produce beautiful adjustments to your pictures.
In this class, we will introduce you to the magic of iPhone photography using several shooting and editing apps that will give you the ability to make your pictures sing in a fun and easy way. You will learn how to crop, change saturation, brightness and affect the overall look of your pictures with HDR, drama and grunge filters and other techniques. You will be amazed at the simple and effective methods.