Getting Started: Folder Strategy & Workflow in Lightroom
right now, you're on the beginner track. I'm Jim Kotecki, and I'm gonna be your host for beginner work flows in light room with Mr Tim Grey. Please help me and welcome Tim to the creative live stage. Thank you. Thank you so very much. So we're gonna talk about beginner work flows in light room today. Light room is, I think, a tremendously powerful tool in a little bit biased here. But I have a lot of experience to back that up because I use light room to manage my catalog of It's right now about 330,000 images. All of them five star rated, select all five stars. Very easy. Wonderful self esteem. Best. But one of things I like about light room is that it gives me a cohesive workflow. So I'm able to use a single application most of the time. Yes. Sometimes I'm sending my photos over to photo shop to take advantage of some more advanced tools there. But by and large, I'm using light room for my core workflow. That includes organizing my photos, optimizing my photos and even sharing photos...
with others, all in a single application and with a workflow. That sort of makes sense that follows along the various steps in my workflow. And so today we're gonna get essentially kind of an introduction toe light room. So we're gonna help you understand that overall workflow will talk about the individual stages of the workflow, and I'll give you some tips on ways that I recommend approaching some of those different stages. And so the idea is that you'll have more confidence in using light. I find a lot of photographers get a little bit confused about how light room works. Part of that is just that they have experience with different software. In light room, we have a catalog. So I'm looking at light room right here, and I have absolutely nothing. And in fact, I have, like, egging me on a little bit, encouraging me to click the import button. And the problem with that is that I don't understand light room yet. I've just installed light room. I've launched it for the first time, and it's telling me to go ahead and import switch over here so we can actually see the message. Click the import button to begin, and so light room is trying to get me the import photos as fast as possible. First, I want to understand light room. I want to try and understand how light rooms working so that I don't make any silly mistakes right up front. So we're gonna help you avoid those today in terms of defining that workflow. But first, let's understand. Why is it that we're not seeing anything inside of light room? Why is it that there are no pictures? You've probably used other software such as Adobe Bridge, where you could just point to a folder and see all of your images light rooms a little bit different because it's using a catalogue. Light room is sort of like using this notebook. We all remember the days of slides, you know, slide film. Everyone was that film is not the only one good. So with slide film, you would take all your slides and you put it into filing cabinets and these little slide sheets that held 20 slides and he's organized by subject. Or, you know, whatever the particular purpose was for you as a photographer, like Room is sort of like having this virtual notebook or this amazing virtual assistant so that you can say Go get me a really good picture of an elephant and boom, you have it right there. And so that catalog is giving you this ability to quickly locate your images, to keep your images organized and even to optimize your photos. So the first thing we need to do is import. But of course we want to understand a little bit. We're going to do things a little bit out of order because I want to get some photos here so that we can talk about some of these various details. So we're gonna talk about the first import. This is the easiest import ever in light room because all we're doing is saying, Hey, light room, go keep track of my images for me. So let's go ahead and do that. I'm gonna click the import button down at the bottom of the left panel were in the library module right now. We'll spend most of our time there today, but you can notice up at the top, right. We have the library module, the develop module for optimizing. We have the map module, then some sharing modules. So most of our work today will be focused on the library module or getting organized. We'll go ahead and click that import button again at the bottom left of that interface in the library module, and I'm going to point to a particular source now. In this case, I'm actually using a folder on my desktop that is pretending to be my primary storage location for photos. We'll talk about that more in just a moment. When a point to that primary storage location, I'm gonna make sure that the ad option is established up at the top center. This is probably the only time you're ever going to be adding photos to the light room catalog, because from here on out, you're probably going to be copying photos. We'll talk about that shortly, but we're just adding the photos are already where they belong. I'm just bringing them into my catalog. I'm just letting light room get an index of those images or write down in its magic notebook, where all those images are and what they're called on, what the folder location is etcetera. So I'm just adding the images. It's really all I have to do. I also like to build the standard previews. I'll mention that again in a moment when we take a look at copying images and that's all I'm gonna do at this point, I'm gonna click the import button that was so easy. And I have just imported every single picture I have ever taken into My light room catalogue Sounds a little scary. It's super simple. Well, what about my folder structure? I've already been organizing my images into folders. So what am I going to do about that folder structure? How do I make sure? Like note. We don't have to worry about that at all. Like room is respecting all of our existing folder structure. Everything is where it already waas. Because, remember, we're just adding images of the catalogue. And the catalog is just the notebook. The catalog is just how light room is keeping track of our images for us. You notice I got a dialogue here? Enable address. Look up. I love when dialogues have a full paragraph providing details about what this decision entails. I'm just going to click enable This relates to GPS coordinates and I want to see information automatically about it. We don't have to worry about that right now. Just know that the reason that dialogue came up is that some of my images actually know where they were taken because I used a camera that has a GPS receiver built into it for some of those photos. Pretty cool stuff. But let's go and take a look at the folder structure and let's talk a little bit about that folder structure, and I give you some concepts related to defining your own folder structure. You probably already have a folder structure on your hard drive. You probably have already put your images into specific folders based on I don't know, depending on what kind of photography you do. If you're a wedding photographer, this is easy. You just organized based on the client's name. If you're a travel photographer, it might be just based on location. If you're a journalist, maybe it's based on date. For me, that would never work because I don't even know what the date is today. How would I possibly remember what date I captured a particular image. And remember, all of my images have built in metadata that relate to the date and time of capture, so a database folder structure might not be all that helpful in any event. But I'm not here to tell you what your folder structure should be, but rather to help you think about what that folder structure ought to be. And the way I think about this in the way I suggest that you think about the folder structure and the overall folder strategy is that first of all, simplicity can be a wonderful thing here. And so I want all of my images stored in one general location. Right now, I'm using this photos folder, which happens to be on my desktop, sort of simulating an external hard drive. Because while I said that I have imported all of my images, really, I have only imported What do you have? Your grand total of 491 images for this little test cattle that we're using today. But theoretically, this represents everything. And they're all in that photos. Boulder, which for me personally, would typically be an external hard drive, because I find that to be a convenient solution, especially since I travel so much that my laptop is my primary computer and I don't have a big enough internal hard drive to include all those photos, so I have to use an external hard drive for the pictures. But the key to me is just have a single location for all of those images. But I don't want all of my photos just dumped into one location. I need a folder structure to help me kind of clean things up and keep things organized. So how do you think about the folder structure? Easy. How do you think about your pictures when I say, Do you have any pictures of Wales? Do anyone in our live studio audience perfect What folded with those being Hawaii? Perfect for me? It's Alaska, my best pictures of whales I happen to have taken in Alaska. She took her best pictures of whales in Hawaii, but now we already know how to find these pictures. When she wants to go find a whale picture, she's gonna go to her Hawaii folder. See how easy that IHS Onley. If your folder structure reflects the way you think about your pictures again, this is easiest for wedding photographers because it's just the name of the couple for travel photographers. You know, like myself not too terribly difficult for nature photographers not usually too difficult. If you're a street photographer and you live in New York City, and every day you just wander around the street taking pictures, I don't have a good solution for you because there's just not an obvious way to divide up those photos other than date. And so for some photographers, a date based folder structure certainly makes sense. But the bottom line is to think about when I asked you for a particular photo for a photo of a given subject. How do you think about those pictures? What comes to mind for me, it's primarily location. So when you say Let's see, we've got here Any pictures of a lion? Yes, South Africa. So we could go to the South African folder and I can scroll through. Before too long. I confined a picture of a lion in here somewhere. There they are, so that gives me that kind of first stop for locating images. And so I think the folder structure is really critical because light room is not magically organizing your photos in some magical way. It's reflecting your existing storage. Getting that storage in order is a really important for step