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Hello! I need help, bad.
I'm just starting a photo editing business, and a client sent me an exported LR catalog through WeTransfer. The files i received were a .LRcat file, smartpreviews.lrdata, and previews.l data. The entire package I downloaded was 1gb (217 images).
I opened her catalog, edited her images, and then sent them back to her through WeTransfer.
She opened the catalog, and then tried to export the images, and she got an error saying the originals couldn't be found, only smart previews so her files are tiny. I went through all of my settings again, and it seems as if i did everything correctly, but I just edited the virtual copies.
Where are we going wrong here? Is there anyway for me to salvage it without having to re-edit the entire wedding again? This was my first paying client and I messed up and I want to cry.
When your client received the edited catalog back, she should have linked it with the master images. Then all of the adjustments that you made would have affected those master files. It sounds as if she didn't do that, so the prints were made from the Smart previews.
I'd agree with JimHess here and I am wondering if she noticed the "missing image" exclamation mark in the top right-hand corner of the Grid View thumbnail befoe exporting?
That is perfectly normal and no problem at all. Your client did not include the originals when she exported as catalog, but included smart previews. That's fine's, but that requires a different method to get your edits back into her catalog. Instead of trying to export the images from the catalog you sent, she should open her main catalog, choose 'File - Import From Another Catalog' and import the catalog you sent.
If you got both the Original images and Smart Previews and Sent back both then she should have everything she needs.
You say you Edited the Virtual Copies? Virtual Copies are NOT Smart previews.
Please explain what Exactly you got from here and what Exactly you sent back.
Also she should of imported the catalog you sent back into her Main Working catalog where those original images had already been imported.
The OP said: "The files i received were a .LRcat file, smartpreviews.lrdata, and previews.l data."
I think everything is clear. Virtual copies can also be edited if you have smart previews but not originals.
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This answer from JohanElzenga is the concise correct answer!-
she should open her main catalog, choose 'File - Import From Another Catalog' and import the catalog you sent.
I saw a workflow like this-
WORKFLOW FOR OUT-SOURCING
CLIENT is the Photographer
EDITOR is the Contract person to develop images. (That's you.)
The CLIENT in the Master Lightroom catalog- (the original photos having been Imported to this catalog!)
1. Select the folder of images for editing
2. Right-click to [Export this folder as a Catalog]
3. Save the exported catalog folder in a suitable location and name (eg. “Job for Edits”)
4. Set the Export options-
Export Negative Files (No) (Not needed for the Editor to work from the Smart Previews, UNLESS Photoshop is to be used- then Yes!)
Build/Include Smart Previews (Yes)
Include available Previews (Yes)
5. The Export result is a folder containing-
Catalog “Job for Edits”
(Original 'Negatives' if needed for Photoshop)
6. Send this Folder to the EDITOR. (Dropbox is one method)
1. Opens the Catalog “Job for Edits” (No Importing from another Catalog needed)
2. Does all the Develop work. (Can create Virtual Copies for different versions)
(Note: Derivatives from the Smart Previews are not possible! eg. Edit in Photoshop- The original files would be needed.)
3. Sends the Catalog “Job for Edits” back to the CLIENT.
(All the editing is recorded in the Catalog!)
1. Opens their Master Catalog
2. Selects Menu > File > Import from another Catalog.
3. Selects the “Job for Edits” catalog returned from the EDITOR.
Replace: Metadata & Develop Settings only.
Preserve Old Settings as Virtual Copy (If wanted to keep previous CLIENT editing.)
4. [Import] the “Job for Edits” Catalog.
5. Master Catalog Previews update with Development by EDITOR.