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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC for Beginners

Lesson 24 of 29

How to Create a Portfolio

Jared Platt

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC for Beginners

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

24. How to Create a Portfolio


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 File Location and Methods Duration:41:25
4 Importing A to Z Duration:27:26
9 Book and Slideshow Modules Duration:07:50
10 Print and Web Modules Duration:13:08
11 Developing Techniques Duration:16:51
12 Synchronizing Adjustments Duration:23:05
13 Additional Editing Tricks Duration:13:13
14 Fast Editing Presets Duration:24:18
15 Quick Develop Tool Duration:06:57
16 Using Local Adjustments Duration:31:58
19 Additional Landscaping Tools Duration:07:30
20 Retouching Tools for Portraits Duration:28:17
21 Create an HDR and Panorama Duration:16:00
22 Manipulating Image Structures Duration:11:24
24 How to Create a Portfolio Duration:26:06
26 Using Adobe Stock Duration:29:58
28 Creating a Layout for Books Duration:26:56
29 Exporting a Book and Beyond Duration:19:11

Lesson Info

How to Create a Portfolio

We want to start off this discussion. We've selected our images, we've talked about making sure that you know where your images are, that you've got your images in the correct drive. We put my images in an external drive and then we import them into Lightroom. When we import them, we keyworded 'em, and then we organize them. We got rid of the rejects, put 'em in their own folder. We use the folder area to organize all of our images to make sure that we could see those images after the fact, not even in Lightroom, we can see 'em at the system level so that there's things in a folder called selects and there's some in a folder called rejects. So they're organized on the folder level. And then we use things like collections and keywords and map tags and even picks and stars, flags, all that kind of stuff, helps us to organize the images so that we can search them from anywhere, anytime, and we can actually find the images we're looking for when we're looking for them. So we are now in the...

stage where we wanna keep those images that we love and we wanna get rid of the images that we don't love, okay? And we've already developed all these images, so we've shown you how to develop. We've shown you how to synchronize those images. So you've got them all, they're beautiful, you love 'em, and now we want to do something with them. I wanna share 'em out to the world, but I also wanna share 'em to me. And so I'm gonna share 'em to me by giving 'em to myself in a portfolio that's always gonna be available to me wherever I happen to be, and so that's what I wanna teach you right now is how to create a portfolio here inside of your working catalog. Okay, so we're going to go into the test. That CreativeLive test that we dealt with earlier in the class and we're going back to it, so this is my model shoot here. And these are the images that I chose to select. They're the ones that I like. And you'll notice that I added a green tag. The green tag is the ones that I think are valuable enough that I want to keep in a portfolio. I don't necessarily need to keep 'em all in a portfolio, but the ones that are green tagged, I like 'em enough that they should always be available to me all the time. So I'm going to keep these in a portfolio and I'm gonna take the rest of 'em and archive 'em for the client. And we're gonna do that all right now. But before we do it I have to show you how to set up the portfolio. The portfolio can be in different places. It can either be in its own drive, which, in my case, that's where it is. So remember we talked about a RAID 1 system? So we talked about this RAID 1 system. If you're just joining us, a RAID 1 system is a drive that has two drives attached. This one and this one are independent of each other but they're duplicates of each other. So as information goes into this drive, it immediately is on this one and it's immediately on the second one at the same time. So I always have an extra backup the second I put it into my drive. Then if I swap out this bottom drive, I'll have three copies of it because it will take everything on this drive and copy it down to the bottom drive. That's a RAID 1 system. It's the absolute simplest backup solution that you can have that's physical. And then of course at home my RAID 1 system is attached to a cloud service so that I have another copy up in the Cloud, and it trickles up there as what my connection allows. So that's how I'm backing up stuff. Well, I have two RAID 1 systems at home. I have one for my working drive and one for the portfolio, because it's just filling up, so it's a three terabyte drive and it's just constantly filling up and it's not filled yet, but someday it might be full, and if it gets full, that means I need to delete some old stuff that's no good anymore, right? 'Cause my old portfolio is not as good as my new portfolio. But I keep a lot more stuff in my portfolio than most people do because I teach. And so I keep bad examples and good examples. And I keep, like, extra, I keep photographs of how the photo was shot so that I can teach people how I shot the photo and where the lights were and stuff like that. So I do a lot of that kind of stuff. Most people don't need to keep that many. And so your portfolio shouldn't grow all that fast. In fact, if your portfolio is growing exponentially fast, it means you think too much of yourself. Alright? So it should be a slow growing portfolio. So in my case I'm keeping stuff that will be useful for me either by selling it as stock photography or I want to post it on my website, or maybe I just wanna do it as a social sharing. Like, this would be interesting. Go spend some time with your son. And so then I choose this image and I post it out and I say, "Hey, go spend time with your kids." Whatever. If I just wanna do that as a social image, I could just do that, because I would know that it's there. But that presupposes that I've done some things. The first thing that I needed to have done is keyworded it, and you can see right here that I've keyworded stuff so that I can find this image sometime in the future. I also have made sure that I've starred it and flagged it and adjusted it and all that kinda stuff, and I have also made it into a DNG. And we talked about that, converting images to DNG. You just simply highlight all your images in your job after it's done and you go up to the library filter and you convert those images to DNG. And we already talked about that. We went through the settings, so we don't need to go through it again, but just make sure that everything is converted to DNG. If I've done any additional work between now and the time that I converted 'em, in order for me to make sure that the DNG has all the latest information in it, like inside that DNG itself, all I have to do is hit the Command + S button and it saves all of the metadata that's in Lightroom into the file. And that's true for a TIF, a JPEG, a DNG, or even an original raw photo, but the original raw photo it'll save a sidecar file. So you remember that setting we talked about earlier where we said if you click this setting it will automatically write XMP files, the sidecar files, so that you could connect Lightroom and Bridge? If you want to do that manually, you hit the Command + S and it saves that metadata to the files on your instructions rather than automatically. So Command + S. Just use it every once in a while on all of your images. In fact, if today... Here's a little tip. If today you wanted to make sure that all of your images in your entire catalog, all 60,000 of 'em, had a little backup option with all the settings that you wanna put next to the photo so that just in case you had all the settings, just highlight everything in your entire portfolio and hit Command + S and then go to bed. Not right now. Don't go to bed right now. Go to bed tonight, but let it just save, and it will save a little last resort backup of the settings of that particular photo either in the photo or right next to the photo depending on, you know, what the photo is. If it's a TIF file it can't save the Lightroom changes to the TIF file inside the TIF file so it saves an XMP next to it that says if you're looking at this TIF file in Lightroom go ahead and put these changes over the top of it. But it does save the keywords and the title and the description into the TIF file. So then from then on out, that keywording is inside the file itself, which means that you could find it from anywhere on your laptop or your desktop. So just a good idea to save everything as DNGs. Make sure everything is saved into the files. You have to do that kind of stuff before you start adding it to your portfolio so that all the information is in the portfolio versions of it, and also in the version that you're gonna send out as an archive to the archive drives where you don't need to look at it anymore. So what we're gonna do is basically right now we're gonna split this into our favorites for the portfolio and everything off to an archive so that we never have to look at it again. 'Cause we're not gonna look at this unless the client comes to us and says, "Hey, I need you to find this file." Then I can go to the client's folder in my archive and get it. Ready? Let's create the portfolio first. So in our case, because I'm not at my desktop at my studio, I don't have access to my portfolio drive, and so I'm going to pretend I'm you. And most of you can actually use your same working drive, your photo drive, for both your portfolio and your working photos. Because most people don't shoot so many images that they can't put it all on one drive. You would just have two folders on your working drive. So let's go to the working drive. Let's quit Photoshop. Alright, let's go to the working drive. Here. So here's the working drive. Here's our catalog. In the working drive I have a jobs folder. So that's where all jobs reside. But in the working drive I can also make a portfolio folder. So I have two folders in that drive. One of them is a jobs and one of them is a portfolio folder. And we're just going to use those two folders in order to differentiate between this is jobs I'm working on, this is things that are final portfolio-worthy images. Okay, so, if you are a big photographer and you do a whole bunch of work and you're constantly shooting and you just, then you're gonna wanna separate those two drives, but just treat these as two drives now. In your mind think, "Okay, I'm making two different drives. "One is a jobs drive, and one is a portfolio drive." Okay, so now the portfolio folder is made. We're gonna go back to Lightroom. Now the first thing that we have to do is we have to finalize this job. So I'm gonna click on the job, the entire job that has its, all of its rejects are here, all of its selects are here, and I'm gonna click on the job folder itself. So this is the Platt CreativeLive test and it is ready to be, I'm done. I've saved all the information to the files, and so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna right-click that job folder and I'm gonna export it as a catalog. So what I'm doing is I'm taking the little subsection of images and all the catalog-worthy stuff, including any collections it's in, any kind of adjustments that have been made to it, keywords that have been put on it, all of that stuff is being put into its own catalog so that now there's a little itty bitty catalog of this job over somewhere else. Got it? Clear on that? So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna export that catalog and I'm gonna find the place for it. And the place for it is actually in the same drive where it exists, so I'm gonna go to the working drive, go to the jobs, go to that actual job, and I'm gonna type in "catalog." You can name it whatever catalog you want, but I just always put "catalog," 'cause it's in the folder of the job that is, it's the catalog for that job, and I'm gonna hit export. Oh, by the way, these are important. These settings allow you to do several things. If I export the negative files, it's gonna make a copy of all the files that are in the catalog, so now you're gonna have two. But if I'm putting it in the folder with the raw photos already, I don't need to export the negative files 'cause they're already there, so I'm gonna uncheck that one. If I build or include the smart previews, it's gonna take any smart previews that are in it and any smart previews that aren't in it, it's gonna build 'em, and it's gonna put 'em with it, which is gonna increase the size of that catalog, but it also makes it instantly available if I wanted to steal it and take it on the road with me. I would have all the information in it. That's really up to you. If you want this tapping really fast and just be with it, you can uncheck all three of 'em because when you open up the catalog it's gonna immediately start building those previews from the photos that are right next to it. So no matter where it is, it knows where they are, 'cause they're right there. But if I want to include those previews then when I open it, it would be instantly like I had never left it, no building necessary. It's just, like, pop into it. But when I'm archiving something nowadays, I'm just, like, whatever. I just, I'll rebuild it when I get there, 'cause I just never go back to it. But if you want to, make sure, like if you, for instance, let's say you shot a wedding and you're archiving it but you know the client's coming back for prints three weeks from now. Great. Click on both of those so that, when you open it, it's instantly available to you. You don't have to build anything, alright? But in our case, for speed, we're gonna uncheck those and we're going to hit export. And watch how quickly. There, we're done. That's how fast that export went. So now if I hide this and I go to the jobs folder and go here, see, there's a catalog there, and there's only one file. Remember we talked about what a catalog is and it's got three files with it. But this one only has one because we only have the catalog information. We don't have any of the previews. But look how small the file is. It's tiny. It's less than a photo. It's not even as big as a photograph. It's actually smaller than a photograph from your iPhone. It's tiny, but that's all the information that you need, and it is referring to these images on the shelf here. So here's your card catalog, but this is just a tiny card catalog box. It's like you took the card catalog and took one of the drawers out and then took it over and made a duplicate of everything. And then put this one back, and then you gave someone that and they took it, and they said, "Okay, we're gonna put this next to the shelf "where all the books are, "and it's the card catalog for that one shelf of books." That's what we're doing. Alright, so now we're all ready. This is now a completed job. And what I'm gonna do, and I need everybody to put on their pretend hat right now. Pretend that this drive down here, which I call my lecture working drive. It's just for lectures, so I just put stuff in it that I need on a lecture, but pretend that's my archive. So I'm just gonna grab this job and I'm gonna grab it and drag it to a folder in a drive called archive. I'm gonna let go, and it is copying the catalog and the raw files to my archive. And what I do is I have an archive drive every single year, so in 2017 I simply go... I have drives that I buy, so when I find a deal, I buy like three or four drives and I put 'em on a shelf, and then as soon as I need a drive, like January 2017, I grab one of those drives off the shelf, I unpackage it, I put it in my computer, I erase it, make it a 2017 archive drive, and then I just put it into my computer. I have what's called a JBOD system, which is just a, it stands for Just a Bunch of Disks. JBOD. And it's just a housing that you can put a disk into. So remember, we talked about drives. Don't go buying drives with housings. That's dumb. It's a dumb idea. Buy a housing that allows you to swap drives out, and then just go buy the bare drives, 'cause you buy them for about a third of the price as you would buy if you buy a bunch of, you know, LaCie drives or Western Digital drives or whatever that you put on your desk and they've got a casing with them and a power source and all that stuff. Don't do it. Just get one housing that you can swap out the drive. You can get 'em for as cheap as $35 bucks on Amazon. They're called drive bay dock. A drive bay dock. It looks like a little toaster. And you just take a drive and stick it in, and it looks like it's just a, it literally has an eject button just like a toaster and you stick your drive in and it lights up on your computer, so that's how easy it is to get one. You can get some from CRU, the same people that make the ToughTech here. You can get some from them. Just go to the link that I have on my website. It's If you go there I've got some links that will take you to drives, and if you're on B&H, just search for "CRU." That's it. Just CRU once you get there. And you will find a whole bunch of their products, and one of them is a JBOD disk. You just shove your drive in and you're up and running. So they make them as well. A little bit more expensive. But at the least, you can get a drive bay dock, and you can get those on B&H as well, or anywhere, and you can get them for as little as $35 bucks. Okay, so we stick in our archive drive, and I just dragged this file or this job to the archive drive, so it's safe. It's now backed up in the archive. So now once I've archived that job, then all I have to do is go back to Lightroom, and now, remember, I have my archive copy somewhere else. So I can do whatever I want with these, right? Because my archive is over here. A copy. So now this is free range. I can do whatever I want. Like, for instance, I can go in here and I can click on this image here and I can just delete it and delete it from disk, and I'm okay with that, because why? The copy is over there, right? I'm safe. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna sort by all these green images that I wanted to back up. And by the way, I kinda like this one too, so I'm gonna make that one green as well. So green that. Okay, so now I'm gonna go to attribute. And I'm gonna sort not by stars but by green. There we go. Those are all the ones that I want to archive. That I want to put in my portfolio. So I'm gonna highlight all of them and I'm gonna go to the export dialogue box. Okay, you only have to do this once, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna just, I'm gonna actually put one in my portfolio right now so you can see what you have to do the first time, and then I'll show you how to add them after you've done this the first time. So the first time you're gonna go to the export dialogue box and you're gonna create a preset. So this is a great opportunity for us to teach you how to make a preset. So you're gonna go into your export dialogue box where you would make JPEGS and TIFs and whatever, and I'm gonna show you how to use the export dialogue box in this process so I never have to tell you how to do it again, so everybody listen up. And then buy the class and rewind it and listen up again. So if you're watching this after you just rewound it, listen up again Alright, here we go. So what we're gonna is at the very top of this dialogue box we choose where things go, and in our case, because we're going to send it to the portfolio, we gotta find that portfolio folder. But if you were making a JPEG that you wanted to send out to print, you would put it maybe on your desktop because then it would be a reminder to send this thing to print. So I'm gonna go and say a specific folder, and then I'm gonna choose, and then I'm gonna get this little dialogue box which I'm gonna go down and find my working drive. And in it there's a portfolio. I'm gonna hit that. And then I'm gonna go over and hit choose for the portfolio. So now I know where it's going and I'm gonna put it in a sub-folder called "To Organize." So it's gonna go into a folder called "To Organize." So every time I finish a job I will send stuff to this folder and then it will be a to-do list. You need to organize this stuff. So then I'm going to tell it to add it back to this catalog. So I'm gonna be sending it to someplace, and then it's going to go there, and then it's gonna come back into the catalog as an import. That way I see it back in my catalog again in the new place that I sent it. Okay, then below that I'm going to call it, I need to rename it, but I'm gonna rename it in a very strange way, 'cause remember, remember when we talked about renaming it and I told you you could make these crazy long names but I just choose to have a set of numbers? Well, what if I have a job and number one is awesome, and then the next day I have another job and number one is awesome and I add both to the portfolio. What happens? I have a cross-name problem. So we're gonna fix it here with the name. So the name, I'm gonna click on here, and I'm gonna go to naming, and I'm gonna edit the name, but let me show you, so, here's my portfolio name right there. And look what it does. It's 001 dash, then a reverse date, then dash, and then a bunch of numbers. And those numbers come from this. Let me show you how that works. Edit this. It's file name dash date in year, month, day, then dash arrow hour, minute, second. If you have all those numbers there, there's no way you will ever have a cross-name, ever, ever, ever. It can't happen. Okay, so that's how I name this. And that makes sure that you never have a cross-name problem. Okay, the next thing is, do you include video? So if you do video, make sure you include the videos, but it will only show up if you have a video included in your selection that you're trying to export. Then what does is the file setting? I wanna do the original file. If you choose to do DNGs, it will take the DNG and make a new DNG out of it which doesn't make any sense. And if you do DNG, if it's a TIF that you happen to select, it will take the TIF and it will flatten the TIF. So if you have layers in the TIF, it will become a DNG, which is no good for you. So if you choose original, no matter what you have, TIF, JPEG, DNG, whatever, it's gonna send the original file, it's gonna copy it and put it over here, so you'll still have your TIF layers, you'll still have your DNG exactly the way it was. If it's a JPEG it'll send the JPEG, and if it's a raw, it'll say the raw plus a sidecar XMP file so that it knows what it did to it. So this is the perfect way to send something as a copy and still keep all the changes. Okay, so we're keeping that original file type, and then image size doesn't matter because the original file type will just be a copy. And then outsource sharpening, we don't wanna do. Neither do we want to do any metadata because it's just gonna, whatever's in it is gonna be in it. Watermarking, we don't wanna do, and we don't wanna do any post-processing, so we're gonna do nothing when we finish, okay? And remember, the most important thing is that it's saving it to the portfolio as a original whatever file type it is, and it's adding it back to the catalog. Okay, so once we've done that, I'm going to save this setting over here. I'm gonna click add, and when I click add, I'm gonna call this "Portfolio Originals." There we go, and I'm gonna put it in my portfolio export area here and hit save. So "Portfolio Originals 2" because I already have one. Hit create. There we go. Oh, I call it "Portfolio ORIGINAL Images," but Portfolio Originals. So when I click on that from here on out, that's what it's gonna do. It'll automatically send it to that location with those settings. And then I'm gonna hit export. Once I do that, it exports it, and then once it's done exporting, it's gonna send it back in. So let's go find it. So if we go back to our working, and there it is. And it's right there. Did you see how fast that it just went there and then back.

Class Description

Get your photos out of your camera and into the world by using Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC. Organize, enhance and publish your photos all in one place by creating a workflow that fits your lifestyle. Veteran instructor Jared Platt will get you started in this amazing program. 
 You’ll learn how to: 
  • Import and organize your images
  • Develop and retouch your images 
  • Create a workflow that works for you 
  • Publish your images and create prints or books
Adobe Lightroom was designed to make your post-production process efficient and help you achieve consistently professional results. This class will be your quick start in to this program.

Never opened this program before and want to make sure you have the basics covered first?  Check out Adobe Lightroom® Classic CC Crash Course for a quick primer and learn Lightroom Classic CC in 60 minutes.

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2015


Melissa Maxwell

Worth every penny. I am completely new to Lightroom and it really is like learning a new language. Jared Platt did a great job explaining the most efficient ways to utilize Lightroom. There's a lot of technical jargon that can often make creatives lose interest, but it's important and useful information. I've watched several segments again and again. He's added years to my life and I am grateful. He's not my favorite instructor on this site, though, and I made good use of the 2x button on the screen.

Kat Jones

Well, I've been a Photoshop girl since the beginning and have dabbled with LR and thought I knew quite a bit about it!! It turns out I've just been playing with bits of it! This is an amazing course. I will need to buy it for all the tricky bits that I just haven't quite grasped. Jared is amazing. Clear, concise, methodical, smashing. Thank you, Creative Live. What a service! Cat Jones Wormit Fife Scotland PS - Delightful to see Jared's Scottish piccies - very familiar, although not with the model!!!


What an excellent class. I'm a semi-beginner, already know the basics, but wow ... this class adds an extra layer of super AHA moments that shave years off your life! What a great teacher, thank you so much Jared!