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How to organise Lightroom by collections instead of dated folders.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2020

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I have used Lightroom for some years and always organised photos by month and year they were taken.  Now I have 50,000 and spend a long time finding images.  Scott Kelby recommends using collections and collection sets, and it makes a lot of sense. And right now I have quite a lot of time on my hands.....! 

My question is about getting there - what's the best way to put 50,000 images into a new structure of collections and sets of collections  without going mad?  Any advice please?  Thanks. Paul

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How to organise Lightroom by collections instead of dated folders.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2020

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I have used Lightroom for some years and always organised photos by month and year they were taken.  Now I have 50,000 and spend a long time finding images.  Scott Kelby recommends using collections and collection sets, and it makes a lot of sense. And right now I have quite a lot of time on my hands.....! 

My question is about getting there - what's the best way to put 50,000 images into a new structure of collections and sets of collections  without going mad?  Any advice please?  Thanks. Paul

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2020

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The hard part for most people is figuring out how they want to organize the photos.

 

Usually the files are organized on disk into folders based on the shooting date with maybe an event name.

 

Often times the collection sets are then used to further break down the organization. What that looks like might be dependent on what kind of subject you are shooting or what kind of event.

 

Beyond that, there are keywords which can help find random images.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Many thanks for your reply and my apologies for slow reply.  I was hoping to be able to report what I had done but I still havent managed to really get in to testing mode.  I find the whole thing daunting and maybe I am just finding excuses for not getting on with it! But I will, and thanks for the advice. Paul

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LEGEND ,
Apr 11, 2020

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I disagree with Kelby. Keywords are a better tool than collection sets + collections. Why? Because keywords can exist outside of Lightroom, if you want to share your photos, while collections sets + collections do not exist outside of Lightroom. Plus, there are more tools that work with keywords than there are with collections sets + collections.

 

With pencil and paper, or word processor, create your hierarchy of keywords. Move things around on paper or in the word processor until you feel you have a decent starting point. Don't worry if it is not perfect, these are easily changed at a later time.

 

leave the photos in whatever folders they are in. Assign keywords to your photos. Assign other metadata (titles, captions, etc.) as needed. Then at later times, when you need to find the photo, search by keywords and by titles, captions, etc.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Many thanks for your reply and my apologies for slow reply.  It is very interesting to hear a different point of view and I will give some thought to creating the hierarchy you suggest.  I can see the advantages in what you are advising.  Paul

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