I want to import a pile of photos from Google Photos into LR Classic. The easiest way to download all my Google Photos is to use Google's 'takeout' feature, which zips up everything into a bunch of folders. The bulk of the photos are in per-year folders (e.g. "Photos from 2006", "Photos from 2007", etc). So far, so good. But Google Photos also supports Albums which are like LR Classic Collections -- when viewing a Google Album online, the photos are just pointers to the real photos. A photo can be in multiple Google Albums, and deleting an Album does not delete the photos, etc. BUT, when you download all your Google Photos using Google Takeout, each Album is its own folder with a copy of the real photos. For example:
What I really want to end up with in LR Classic is 1 folder with the 'real' photos, together with a Collection for each Album. I've tried importing with and without "Don't import Suspected Duplicates", but neither is quite right.
Lightroom Classic doesn't work the way you want it too. Your images have to be on a hard drive, in folders. Classic learns about the location of the images during import. It does not actually put the images into the catalog. Classic Collections are like virtual folders. They only exist inside of the catalog, not on the drive. Google Photos Albums are similar to Lightroom Classic's Collections. They only work in Google Photos. I don't know of anyway you can convert Google Albums to Classic Collections unless someone has written a plugin. I don't know of any.