How do you organize your photos in Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Jazzer, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    I switched over to Lightroom several months ago from Aperture and iPhoto. I have watched some videos on photo organization, but it seems that most of them assume people are pro photographers or shooting large events with thousands of pictures that have to be culled, processed and given to clients.

    I am a more casual photographer, and while there are times I take tons of pictures (like if I go away on vacation), other times its a few shots here one day and a few there.

    I was wondering how those of you that are more casual/amateur photographers organize your photos in folders and collections. I was wondering why collections are even necessary if I set up a general folder structure using something other than dates.

    I am at a point where I want to move my old photos from iPhoto and Aperture into Lightroom and I would like to set up something that works going forward because things can become a mess quickly if I don't follow a consistent structure.

    I know what works for one person may not for another, but I would appreciate hearing about your systems for organization in the hopes that it might give me some good ideas.

  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    Personal choice is I don't use Lightroom to store my photos for a couple reasons:
    1) I already had a significant, fine tuned photo file structure evolved using Microsoft Windows which I already had on my PC...I just import a photo into LR, then export it back to where it came from. Lightroom could go away tomorrow and it wouldn't affect my structure whatsoever.

    2) I don't want to paint myself into a corner with any single proprietary software package, then find something else better in the future and either not be able to move my photos or have a nightmare / huge workload trying to move them to a different product.
    By contrast, Microsoft Windows will be around longer than I will.

    Per your request, here are screenshots of my structure as an example:

    View attachment 58628

    View attachment 58629

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    View attachment 58632
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  3. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I just stick with the normal year/month organization, personally. Then I tag things where relevant, create stacks for images that go together. I rarely use collections and even then usually just quick collections.
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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I do exactly the same.
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  5. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York

    That is some elaborate filing system you have. Are you doing everything in jpeg? If you are using Lightroom for modifications but then exporting back to Windows for organization, in what format are you exporting? And then I guess you are giving up the nondestructive benefits of Lightroom edits?
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    I strictly use LR as a quick tool.....shoot JPEG, import photo(s) into LR, check for possible benefits to Highlights / Shadows / Clarity adjustments, export it back in JPEG, Remove from LR.
  7. MizOre

    MizOre TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 18, 2014
    I have collections now by year. They were by camera and sort of by year. The photos go into a month file and then I have keywords for the sort, with keywords inside other keywords: Birds, then bird families. Fish, then guppies, convict cichlids. The advantage of keywords is you tag one photo with several keywords, and so have it show up as one of the manual focus lens shot and as one of the mountain shots and as whatever else.
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