Welcome Dialog

Welcome to the Community!

We have a brand new look! Take a tour with us and explore the latest updates on Adobe Support Community.


Absolute Beginner: How to work with Lightroom classic / Folder structure

Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Dear community

I'm an absolute beginner in photo workflow, so far I used different apps and manual sorting and structures. Therefore, my folders are a bit distributed, my logic so far was:

- a separate external drive for all my picture files

- 1 subfolder for all my RAW files

- 1 subfolder per event with the developed files

Now, I think about using Adobe Lightroom classic as my main app for managing and developing, but I'm struggling a bit on how to deal with my current file structure as well as how to deal with the new to be added pictures in my workflow. Should I keep the RAW files still separated from the developed files? Should I maintain a developing folder to start with and move the files around after developing them? What are your settings/steps/experiences, coming from another set of applications?

Thanks in advance

Martin

 

TOPICS
Windows

Views

69

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 3 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021
Do not do ANYTHING until you have read from cover to cover- The Lightroom-Classic Quick Start eBook- https://www.lightroomqueen.com/ You can keep your current file/folder structure.  In the beginning -just 'ADD' the photos to the Catalog in their current location. You can re-arrange later when more experienced. "how to deal with the new to be added pictures in my workflow." With newly added photos- read the eBook for Folder structure suggestions. "Should I keep the RAW files still separated fr...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional , Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021
I highly suggest reviewing Julieanne Kost's Blog on using Lightroom. She is one of the Adobe Evangelists. https://jkost.com/blog/lightroom-training-videos warmly/j

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional , Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021
In addition to what has already been mentioned it's important first and foremost to understand that Lightroom is a non-destructive editor. When you apply edits to an image file all of that information is stored in the Lightroom catalog file with no need to "save" the edits to a new file. In addition Lightroom has numerous tools for organizing your photos instead of doing this with an annotated folder structure. There's also no need to "move" image files to different folders or subfolders for org...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Do not do ANYTHING until you have read from cover to cover- The Lightroom-Classic Quick Start eBook-

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/

 

You can keep your current file/folder structure.  In the beginning -just 'ADD' the photos to the Catalog in their current location. You can re-arrange later when more experienced.

"how to deal with the new to be added pictures in my workflow."

With newly added photos- read the eBook for Folder structure suggestions.

"Should I keep the RAW files still separated from the developed files?"

IMO-No. There is no need to keep all "Developed files" as physical files, you only need to Export derivative files when needed for another purpose. For the Derivatives I might keep (eg. raw images edited in Photoshop)- they exist right beside the Original file in the same Folder (makes it easier to find variations of the one Master file).

Don't move files around! Decide on your folder structure - Import photos to their Destination Folder- Leave them there!

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.0.1, Photoshop 23.0.2, Lightroom 5.0, Bridge 12.0, Windows-10.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi @Rob_Cullen 

Thanks for the detailed answer and the tip for the e-book, I will definitively read this first, before I start anything else. Also the idea to not even keep the developed files is intriguing, I keep that in mind (would save quite some disk space... :))

Kind regards

Martin

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I highly suggest reviewing Julieanne Kost's Blog on using Lightroom. She is one of the Adobe Evangelists.

https://jkost.com/blog/lightroom-training-videos

 

warmly/j

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks Joseph, I will certainly look into this Blog, this looks very interesting!

KR
Martin

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

In addition to what has already been mentioned it's important first and foremost to understand that Lightroom is a non-destructive editor. When you apply edits to an image file all of that information is stored in the Lightroom catalog file with no need to "save" the edits to a new file. In addition Lightroom has numerous tools for organizing your photos instead of doing this with an annotated folder structure. There's also no need to "move" image files to different folders or subfolders for organization purposes. Instead when new image files are imported you add identifying Keywords, Color Labels, Pick/Reject Flag, Star Rating, other EXIF metadata, and you can place photos into Collections. Again, all of this information is stored in the Lightroom catalog file. If for some reason you need to move, rename, or delete any files or folders you must do this from inside Lightroom. If you perform these operations from outside Lightroom using Finder or File Explorer it will lose track of those files and folders and create a HUGE MESS (caps warranted)!

 

Having said that it is important to use backup software two create and save a second copy of your image files and the Lightroom catalog file to a separate drive only used for backup purposes. You should update this backup anytime you add new image files or have done significant editing to any image files. I can't stress this enough.

 

Read those books and watch the videos. Enjoy!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Hi Todd,

Thanks for the hints, this makes sense to me after reading some information already, but good to get it said again, since this seems quite an important behavior.

KR

Martin

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines