Lightroom Tip of the Week – Collections – a very powerful tool to help you manage your digital images effectively

I could write about collections for days. Well maybe not days but I could write quite a lot. Yes that’s more sensible. 

Days about Collections in Lightroom. How ridiculous and dull would that be? 

Sorry. Collections. Where was I?

When you import images into Lightroom, they are assigned to folders. By default these are folders by date. Well they are the way my Lightroom is set up, but to be fair to me this was set up some time ago. Quite a few years ago….

When I import my images I organise them into folders, to help me with my workflow and future digital image file management.

That is fine, and I still do that, but I also add images into collections in Lightroom. Think of a Collection like a playlist for your music. You don’t listen to every song you have, just your favourites. So a collection is just that.

I have collections in Lightroom with varying content, such as

  • Portfolio Image Sets
  • Location specific image sets
  • Imported image sets of a shoot
  • Smart Collections – this is a separate post on its own. 
  • Collections with dominant colours
  • Collections of skies
  • Collections of pictures of boats
  • Collections of images uploaded to stock librarires
  • Collections of images to upload to stock libraries

And lots more things.

Collections can contain anything you want. And an image can be in one, two, three (I will stop there as you have I’m sure got the idea) or any number of collections – as many or as few as you want.

Collections do not contain the actual images – they are pointing to where the actual image is. So they do not add (much) to your data storage.

You can edit an image in a collection, and that edit applies to that image in all other collections and in the original folder, as the editing is done to the actual image. 

OK so there’s a few good reasons to use collections in Adobe alightroom. 

But here is the main reason. Yes I have saved the best till last. 

Lightroom Mobile, and Lightroom on the web.

You can view images in collections on your phone, iPad, tablet, and via any web browser on any computer anywhere. If the images aren’t in Collections you can’t.

You can view, sort, rate, and even edit photos on all these platforms.

I use Lightroom Mobile a lot. Specifically to sort a new set of images, and also for outputting images for my daily blog and any other sharing uses.

I still edit commercial images on my PC in my controlled environment, but all the time I am editing images they are being synced to my IPad and phone via Lightroom Mobile, as I need to see how my work appears on other devices ther than the very controlled screen in my office. And I always have access to work wherever I am.

So are you convinced to try Collections in Lightroom Mobile?

I hope so.

If not, check out the Adobe website for more information about Adobe Lightroom CC, Collections and the other great features of this software at

And if you have any questions ablout Lightroom just ask using my contact page or by phone or email which you can find on my home page.

Rick McEvoy Photography Lightroom Tip of the Week

Wednesday 12th October 2016




Rick McEvoy

I am Rick McEvoy, an architectural and construction photographer living and working in the South of England. I create high quality architectural photography and construction photography imagery of the built environment for architects and commercial clients. I do not photograph weddings, families, small people or pets - anything that is alive, moves or might not do as I ask!! I am also the creator of the Photography Explained Podcast, available on all major podcast providers. I have a blog on my website where I write about my work and photography stuff. Rick McEvoy ABIPP, MCIOB

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