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2.2 Move and Organize With Adobe Lightroom

In the last lesson, you learned about an easy and straightforward folder structure. In this lesson, you’ll learn to automate that folder structure when you’re importing images.

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2.2 Move and Organize With Adobe Lightroom

Does your image collection look anything like this, disorganized, inconsistently named and strewn about multiple folders? In this course, we'll get it all cleaned up. Let's go ahead and implement the tidy way of storing our images. As you're getting organized, I'd recommend starting with a clean slate. Sometimes it's best to declare what I call image bankruptcy, and start from scratch on getting organized. It's the safest way to work with your images. I'm working with a new Lightroom catalog here, which I'm keeping stored in my Dropbox to keep it nice and synced. One of the main reasons for starting with a new catalog is that Lightroom's organization features are really only available at the import stage. Let's get our images loaded into the Adobe Lightroom catalog. To import images into Lightroom, go File > Import Photos and Video. Let's go ahead and find my images which are currently in a folder on my desktop. We're gonna implement our solution by moving images to an external hard drive to keep them nice and safe just like we talked about in the intro. I'm gonna go ahead and point Light oom to the folder where all my images are here on the left side. The left side of the import window lets us choose where we want to grab images from. For me, that's all in the Tuts + Library folder. Now I will also make sure that the Include Subfolders option is checked so that it grabs every image that's inside of every folder underneath Tuts + library. All these folders that are here on the left side will also be included as well. Now in the center panel is where we select the images that we want to import. Because I'm basically starting from scratch, I'm gonna go ahead and make sure that Check All is selected and that every image has the box checked next to it. At the top of the Import window, we need to either be in Copy or Move mode so that Lightroom can sort our images for us. I'm going to choose Copy because I'm going to move them to my external hard drive as I go. Now on the right side, let's go ahead and select where we want to move them to. I'm going to click this drop-down, and then choose Other Destination and I'm going ahead and pick my external hard drive. Now on the external hard drive, I'll go ahead and make a new folder and call it Photo Library, and I always make one folder where all images are going to live. After I press Create, it will be available on the external hard drive and I'll go ahead and click Choose to set that as where I want to move the images to. Now on the far right of the import panel is where we'll implement our naming section. Let's go ahead and find this destination section. This box is where we make Lightroom do all the renaming and the organization for us. The Organize drop-down should be set to By Date, and then from the date format, let's pick out the one that matches our naming scheme that we want to achieve. Remember that our naming structure looks like this so let's pick the naming structure that matches. I'm going to go ahead and choose this 2016/2016-02-29 because that's exactly the format that we want to achieve. Now what's really cool is that Lightroom will go ahead and show us how it's gonna organize our images for us. These folders in light gray here are actually the new folders Lightroom is gonna create in the process. It's gonna put it on the external hard drive in that Photo Library folder we just set up and now you'll see all of the folders that it will create underneath it. Once we press Import, it will automatically create all of the folders based on the capture date of the image and sort them all nice and neat. Let's go ahead and press Import and give Lightroom just a couple of seconds to go ahead and organize everything for us. Now just a few minutes later, Lightroom has gone ahead and organized and sorted all our images for us. Here on the left side of Lightroom's library module is the Folders panel which shows us where all of our images are stored. You can see that it's on my HFS external hard drive, and the images are sorted nice and neat into these year folders and then the underlying date folders. Now you may remember that the one other thing that I want you to add to each folder name is a short description of what the images are about. If I click on them, for example, I can look at the images that are just inside of this folder. Now let's go ahead and rename it to match. I'm gonna go ahead and hit Rename and then at the end of the folder name just add the title of the shoot. Now this takes a little bit of time to add to each of these images but it definitely helps us get organized really quickly. If I'm ever just browsing my hard drive, for example, I can very easily find that shoot just by looking at the name without ever having to open Adobe Lightroom. This is definitely my recommended way to get organized. I think a lot of photographers have anxiety about how to sort these images out but with a tried and true naming system like this, you can never go wrong. Go ahead and spend some time getting your images sorted into this folder structure. Plus adding the description at the end of the folder name to really start down the path of getting organized.

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