Methods of Image Organization


Adobe Lightroom® CC for Beginners


Lesson Info

Methods of Image Organization

Now, once you've selected your images, though, now, see how I tabbed everything back in, 'cause now I wanna see all this information? So I'm going back to the grid, and so now I can start sorting by that information, and I can go up here into the attribute area. And the library filter up at the very top is brought to you by the letter or the key back slash. See that? So library filter brought to you by back slash. Right? There's the turn it on, turn it off. The backslash key doesn't turn it on or off, it hides it and shows it. So if I go in to the attributes and I sort for things that have a flag. If I click on that, now you see all the images that have flags and nothing else. So we're just seeing the images with the flags and then I could further say I only wanna see images with stars. Not flagged, you know. Or, I could just show only things with stars, they have to have flags and stars, they have to have colors. I can choose how much I wanna filter. I can filter by metadata. Remember...

earlier, we were filtering to find out how many smart previews we had. So you can click on the metadata and you can go through and sort by how many images were shot with the Canon 5D Mark III or you could even say, how many were shot at different focal lengths? So I can say, I wanna see all the shots that were shot at 70 millimeters. Click on that, and now I've got that sorted. So there's a whole bunch of information that you can sort for here. But what we really wanna see is the attributes. So once we've selected the attributes, we've got them all organized, at that point, then it's just a matter of organizing our images. So we're going to now go back over to our other photo shoot here. And I already have these selected. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna go through and sort, and then we're gonna clean up this file. So, remember, we gotta select our images first, and once we've selected 'em, then we want to organize our files. So we're gonna organize our files right here with a job that we've actually done all the selecting to. So I'm gonna go through, and say, I want to just look at the attributes, and I want to look at only things that have stars. Anything that's one star and above, those are the keepers, those are the ones I want to use. Yeah? Is there a reason that you would use the one up top and not the one on the bottom? Oh, that's a good question. So there's a library filter at the top which is actually much more extensive. You can sort for text, you can sort for attributes, metadata, or you can clear it. But at the bottom there's also a filter right down here, and this one allows you to sort by colors, stars, and flags. They're both the same. Use whichever one you like. However, some of you may not find this. It may be empty down here. If it's empty, that means you've never used it before. That's how new you are in Lightroom. So if you don't see filters, or stars, or color boxes down here, that means that you've never used it before. So all you have to do is come over to this custom filter box here, click on it, and then it's got a whole bunch of filters that you could use. Like, you could click on rated, and then all of a sudden, the star ratings will show up, and then they'll stay there forever. And then if you click on flagged, then the flags will show up, and they'll stay there forever. But they only show up when you use 'em the first time. So if you don't see 'em, it's just 'cause you've never used it down there. Okay? Alright, so good question, thanks, that's important. So you can do it either place. But we've sorted by all of our starred images there. So I like all these starred images, so I'm gonna highlight all of them. Then I'm gonna come over to this RAW folder, and notice that I have a RAW folder, and then inside it, I have my card. This is what I shot them on. Now I'm gonna right-click that RAW folder, and I'm gonna create a new folder inside of it, and it's going to ask me what I wanna name it. I'm just gonna name it Selects. And I'm gonna include all the selected photos in there. Hit create. And when I do that, it's going to move them. See that? So now there are 53 images in the card folder, and there's 19 images in the Selects folder. Now I have completely organized my folders inside my hard drive. So I just told the librarian, I want you to move those books. The librarian went to the stacks and moved them for me, into a new folder, or on a new stack of books, so that now it knows where they are, so it can find 'em whenever it needs 'em. Okay, so now we have all of our images here that we want to use. And now, these images here would be classified as rejects. They're images that we don't want. So we take the rejected images and we're gonna put them in a rejects folder so that we organize. So now I'm gonna go back down to this area here, and I'm gonna right-click the RAW folder again, oops, right-click the RAW folder, and create a new folder, and this time, we're going to call this folder... Instead of just calling it rejects, I'm gonna call it 20170113 underscore Platt underscore CL Test. So that I know where it came from, and then I'm gonna put rejects at the end, and instead of including the photos, if I don't include the photos, I'm going to create a blank folder. So I can create folders in my hard drive, from Lightroom that have nothing in them. So I'm gonna hit create, so now, if we go over here, I've got three folders, I've got a Selects folder, I've got the original card folder, and then I've got the rejects folder. I'm gonna grab that EOS_DIGITAL folder, and you can Shift + Click and grab 12 folders all at the same time, by the way, and this is important, so if I wanted to take a whole bunch of folders and move them, I would Shift + Click like that, and now I could move an entire set of folders somewhere. So in this case, we're just gonna move one folder, we're gonna grab it, drag it into that folder and let go, and see how it just went inside of it? And now if I right-click this, and I show it inside the Finder, see how this folder got moved into the rejects? Now all of these folders here didn't go anywhere because they had nothing in them, Lightroom never brought them in, so I can just hit Cmd + Delete, and now we have a very clean situation with Selects here, and rejects there. Then, if I want to save space... It's up to you. If you are moving through your workflow just fine and you're gettin' images done, and delivering 'em, great. But if you find that your drive is just gettin' full to the brim all the time get rid of these rejects. Go in here, highlight the rejects folder, and do one of two things. Either delete it and just get rid of it. But if you have clients, like wedding clients, that you can't possibly do that to, then just take this and drag it off to some rejects drive. I just have a drive called rejects, it's a two terabyte drive, it's an old one. And I just pop it in and I drag all the rejects to it and then as soon as they're done copying, then I delete it. And that's why I name the file. That way if I ever need to go back to it and someone says, "Hey do you have extra images from this job?" "'Cause if you don't show 'em to me, I'm gonna sue you." I can go, "Sure." I'll go back to the rejects drive, pop it in, open it up, and look back, and find 2000 1701 whatever and then open it up and look through the rejects. So back to Lightroom then. So now we have our files organized into our rejects and our selects from within Lightroom. Then it's a question of starting to organize them by other methods. So, really at the file level, your organizational structure is very simple. Did I keep it or did I reject it? Those are your two organizational methods and we want to clean it up so it's nice and clean so that later on if you ever had to come to your files without Lightroom's assistance you could go into that job and see, these are the ones I didn't provide, these are the ones I did provide, that's the basic level. Second level of organization is going to be inside of the file itself. So for instance some organizational methods are renaming your files. So by renaming your files, if I take a bunch of images like this, and these are the only ones I'm gonna provide to the client then I should highlight all of those images and I should go up to the library menu and come down to Rename Photos, it's about halfway down, click on Rename. And then I'm going to create a sequence of numbers and go one through, looks like we have 19 images, so one through 19. However, before I do that, just keep in mind that if I want, like, say, this dog in his bed to be the very first file, because they're all in one folder I can grab it and drag it up to the top and now that's gonna be the first file. So I could organize these images, so, like, okay well there I am by the stairs, I'll do this one as the second file, then I'll do them playing, and then I've got her doing homework, and then I've got them at the couch, and then, okay, let's do... Yeah, that works, okay, so I like that organization. So it's more likely you would do this when you're telling a story. You're reorganizing stuff. But here's a question that always is gonna come up. This is less of a sore point for me, but I still... This is a question you probably will have. Some people will have... They'll highlight this raw folder here. So, I want you to see that, they're highlighting the parent, this is called a parent folder, this is a child folder. So the parent folder, they'll highlight the parent folder and then they'll grab the dog, and they'll drag it, and it will go, "Huh?" And then they'll hit OK without reading it. And then they'll go, "Huh?" And then they'll hit OK without reading it. And then they'll go, "Huh?" Why this isn't working? And if you read it, it says, custom order is not supported on folders that contain subfolders. (laughs) Then your question is answered. Happens a lot. There's a lot of little things, that if you just read, you would actually know the answer to your question. But there's just not a lot of people that read anymore. They oughta have a video that pops up, "Hey." With, like, people hitting each other and stuff like that because that seems to get people's attention on Facebook. Anyway so if you click on a folder that is the child most folder then you can move stuff around all day long. But you can't do it in multiple folders all at the same time. So you just have to click one folder, child most folder, no subfolders and then you can move stuff. Or you can do it all day long in a collection. You move stuff anywhere you want inside of a collection because it's virtual, doesn't really exist, so you could have 30 images from 30 different folders if they're in a collection you can move them around because it's virtual. But in a physical location if you're selecting two folders at once you cannot move them around inside of the two folders at the same time because it doesn't make any sense. Okay. So I have dragged these around until I like the order and most commonly this gets done at a wedding. You know like you have one guy shooting the bride and the other guy shooting the groom and then it's going back and forth, bride, groom, bride, groom, bride, groom, getting ready, and so they wanna collect all the images from the groom's getting ready and put them right after the bride or something like that. So that's how we would do that. So I highlight all the images, go back up, library, and then I'm gonna rename the photos and I'm going to name them a sequence of numbers and start that sequence at one. Now if you wanna change the way your images are named, if you click on this drop down menu you can edit that. And in the editor you can name it however you want. You can do a sequence of numbers. To do this, you just start with an empty slate and then look at all of the options that you have right here. So you could say, okay, I want a sequence of numbers, so I'm gonna insert, you know, say, let's do a three digit sequence and then I'm gonna type in a dash and then I'm gonna type in the original file name and then I'm gonna type in a dash and then I'm gonna add the key words that are in the file and then I'm gonna type in a dash and a winky face and then that's how I'm gonna name my file. You can do whatever you want. But I choose to have a sequence of numbers 'cause it's nice and simple. And keep in mind that all of the other information about these files is in the metadata of the files. You see all these key words down here, so there's a whole bunch of key words already in it. So I don't need to have a lot of information in the file name itself. I just want the file name to force them to be in a certain sort order. 'Cause then, from then on out, no matter... Here's the thing. Lightroom, you can organize stuff anyway you want but you can only see that order inside of Lightroom. But if you name them the way you want them to be seen every system on the planet respects the file name as a sort order. Even if it's out of date, whatever, size, they could have a whole bunch of different sort orders, but if they have the name, one through 19, every system in the world will organize 'em by that sort order. So that's why I choose to do that, hit OK, and it's going to rename all these based on that sequence of numbers. Now what's gonna happen though in this particular instance, actually, this is a sequence of five numbers, so it won't, but if I were to be renaming photos that are, like, let's say, this one right here, you can see that this one is number 0016. And so if I were to rename it 001002003. And it tried to rename to 16 before it got to it would say, oh, I've already got a 16, so then it would name at 16-2. Then I'd have a really weird filename. So if you ever run into that situation where you wanna rename something again... And it happens all the time 'cause someone will rename their files and then once they've rename their files they'll say, oh, but I wanna delete this one but then I need to rename them again to get rid of that gap. If they do that they have to know how to rename over the top of it. The best way to do it is just to create another sequence that is a sequence with a custom name. And then you can just type in like, B. And then hit Rename. And it renames the whole set to 001B, 002B, 3B, 4B, because there's no way it overwrote that name 'cause it was a custom name. Then you go right back up again and rename the photos one more time and just go back to a regular sequence of numbers. Woops. Sequence of numbers. And then one through 19 again, and now it just removes the B. So there's... Most of the time you're just gonna go in and rename 'em with a sequence of numbers but if you ever get to the point where you're like, I already renamed these but I had to get rid of 20 images and now I wanna rename 'em again the cross-naming situation will happen and it'll start doing weird names. So instead of worrying about that just rename it with a sequence plus some, like a B, or a something, and then do it again just one through 19. Okay? Alright so now that we've renamed 'em we have a second layer of organization. Now our third layer of organization is gonna be in the metadata itself. You have built in metadata like the lens you use, the camera you use, the time it was shot, all of that is baked into the file and you can't change it. It's just gonna be there. But then you also have metadata over here like this. You have key words. So if I click on an image here I've got billiards, children, father, games, home, kids, learning, play, son, right? Those are the things that are important about that image. I can add those by either clicking in this paragraph and hitting a comma, and then saying family. So now that image has the name family in it but if I wanted to do that to all of them since all of them are about family I can go in and click again and either click inside of here or I can click on this little entry point right here, then I can say family. And now family has been added to all of them. So family is a... Like, anything that you select in the grid you can say family, and it does to everything all at the same time. You can also add them by keyword suggestions which are right below the keyword entry point right here. So it shows you different things that it suggests and then also keyword sets that you can throw in there. And then of course there's a keyword list of all the keywords you've used throughout all time which is a really annoying list so I just keep it closed. And then the metadata also is areas of interest so you could type in a title and a caption. Here's where your copyright status is. So if you hit copyrighted, and then you can come in and say... This is where you could add it to every image if you didn't do it on import you can say Copyright 2013 comma Jared Platt. So that tells you what day it was shot, I shot it in 2013. Okay so then I can type in my title to all the images, or one of the images and then I can also add some other really interesting stuff throughout the metadata like for instance in the IPTC Extensions I can also add stuff about the models. Model's name, whether I have a model release, all that kind of stuff. Alright? So all of that kind of stuff is available inside the metadata and it makes it even easier to then sort. So then if I was looking through all of my images like every single image that I have in my entire catalog. So if I click on all photographs and I'm looking at every photograph in my entire 60,000 collection and I'm looking for something that has billiards table in it. It's loading, it's looking, there we go. So there is the only shot that I have with billiards. So that's the shot I'll use I guess. You know what I mean? But I can sort for things and I have this extreme amount of... Like, dog. There, see I've got a whole bunch of dogs all over the place, right? So this... Someone walking a random dog is in there, so... And by searching for keywords I have the ability to find stuff that's not even organized in folders or even in collections. And then of course once I've organized myself with keywords which you wanna do at the job level as you're working on your images you wanna do it when you're doing your selecting and adjusting because it's the most natural time to keyword. So highlight a bunch of images, add keywords, or highlight one image at a time and add keywords. But it's really important to do that. Then, oh, and by the way, in addition, you can also add keywords with this little spray tool right here. See that little can? You can also spray keywords and then type in a keyword like blonde. So now anywhere I see a blonde person I can just click on it and it adds that keyword. Click on it, add that keyword. Or you can also, if you want to, you can... If it's like four of 'em, you can click on it, and drag, and it just sprays the keyword on all of those. So then you can just kind of go through a collection of images and add keywords in areas really quickly. So key wording is very easy to do and you might as well do it because then the pay off is huge later. So when I'm looking for an image I just simply type in a word and I get a return of all these different images. And then if you add that all those key words, to the power of, remember, we told you to add them to a collection and then what? Add them to Lightroom Mobile because once I go to Lightroom Mobile on the web right here now if I'm sorting for billiards or whatever I also have not only key words but I have visual search too because Adobe has a visual searching capability here so that... Like right now when I'm searching for sheep some of these aren't key-worded sheep but it's still finding 'em because visually it says, oh, these images are sheep images so what else looks like that? Oh, well, and that's where it came up with this image. Because it's like I see an animal and it's got a fuzzy top that's white so it must be a sheep. And it pulls it up. So it can help you find images just simply by visually searching as well. So you have a lot of power if you'd just keyword. It looks like you have a question, yeah. When you have just a ton of un-keyworded images, import 'em into there, then spray, and then you could put 'em in individual folders according to that? Sure if you wanna divide 'em up but here's the thing. If I were trying to... If I'm taking a bunch of un-keyworded unorganized images I would either keyword them. But like, well, I wouldn't either or, I would just keyword them and I... Like, my portfolio's organized by year. So everything from 2016 is in one folder. Called 2016. Everything... And then on the stuff that I'm currently working on its just job by job. Because I don't... If you have the key words in there you don't need to then have a folder called dogs because the dog might also have a folder of blondes and the blondes might also have a folder of billiards so it's like you'd be putting all sorts of folders everywhere of here's all the, you know, sports photos. But then those sports photos also have images of kids and these are kids photos, well, which one do you put it in? If you keyword 'em it crosses all boundaries and then it's just a matter of, I want someone that's a kid playing sports who's a blonde. Those three key words give me a very very specific group of shots, right? So key wording crosses all boundaries it is the ultimate way to organize your photographs so get your images organized that way and then once you do that then you could come in here and sort by billiards. And highlight all of your images that are billiards then you could come down to your collection area. And you could click the plus button and create a collection and you could put it inside whatever collection you felt like was appropriate. Collection set. And then you would include those selected photos and you don't necessarily have to sync it with Lightroom Mobile. And then you would call it billiards collection. And then hit create. And now you've created a subset of images, billiards. Or even better you could go to your collections and click plus and create a smart collection and in the smart collection you would say billiards auto set. And then you would go I want everything that is greater than one star and has the key word billiards. And then hit create. And see what it did? It made a smaller subset of that but now anything, and it doesn't have to come from... Anywhere in my entire collection in my entire catalog, everywhere across everywhere, if I add a star and the key word billiards it will come into here automatically, I don't even have to resort. So you see all those key words, they drive everything. So put the key words in. Now remember when we imported, and this is... We're bringin' it back full circle now guys. When we imported what did we do? We added key words to the entire set. If you will just add keywords to the entire set of images as the way you import you will have half the battle won. And that's super easy to do 'cause then it's just, I went to Italy, type in Italy, and a couple keywords that go with it and then import them. And then go and highlight the top half and say Rome. And then bottom half. The Cinque Terre and then the next little... And then do a little section here and it's like, you know, the Colosseum. You can do it by section and then grab that little spray tool and spray a couple of specifics, you know? And then you're done. That alone will help you find images so amazingly easily and then if you really get stuck and you're like, man I know I have an image of a guy next to a lake somewhere in Italy. But you know you didn't keyword lake. All you have to do is make sure it's synchronized to Lightroom Mobile, go up to your mobile cloud version of it type in lake and everything with a lake will show up. See how that works? 'Cause Lightroom Mobile in the cloud can actually find things visually. 'Cause a computer's doing the work for you. And then once you do that highlight all those lake images over here inside of here. So I could highlight all of these sheep images and just move them or create another collection here and call it sheep. Create the collection and now just drag all of my sheep into there. So I let the computer do the work of finding the sheep and then I'm throwing sheep into that collection then when I get back into Lightroom I can simply find the sheep collection highlight everything, tag it sheep. So using the two together is quite helpful too. But that key wording is that huge layer of organization that has to be done in order for Lightroom to really be effective at organizing for you. But that's what it's all about is organizing. So importing into Lightroom and using Lightroom, the reason you're here is to be organized. And it also has amazing power in adjusting and whatever but you can do all the same adjusting stuff that you do in Lightroom, you can do that Photoshop, one image at a time. Which is really a lame way to do it but you can do it there. The purpose of Lightroom is to be able to do it in an organized and efficient manner. So you can either be efficient Lightroom or you might as well just kill Lightroom and go back to Photoshop and waste all of your time.

Class Description

“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!” – Elaine
Get your photos out of your camera and into the world by using Adobe Lightroom® 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 into this program.

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

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.4 - 2015.8


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!

Jo Wilkens

Really amazing class. Incredibly informative. Mr. Platt is incredibly accessible and easy to understand. The course is thorough and I can't begin to tell you how helpful this class has been!!!! I fumbled around in LR but couldn't get half of it to do what I wanted, thought it should be able to do, and thought it probably did do (to live up to all the accolades I hear from other photographers).... I'm so happy I'm just about in tears to see what I'm going to be able to do going forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you!