​How to organise your photos in Lightroom – yet another post – but this time a breakthrough getting rid of one part of my own chaos

I received an enquiry asking what pictures I possess taken in Wiltshire. The short answer was I didn’t know. I have taken lots of images in the last couple of years and never organised them properly in my Lightroom Catalogue. My workflow went something like this.

Import into Lightroom into a folder called “Import”. The idea being that I knew that the images that needed sorting were all in one place. And the next folder in my workflow was Sort.

Ok now this makes logical sense. So I have sub-folders in my import folder, and sub-folders in my sort folder.

And that is where things stopped.

Now there are two things I have to say.

Firstly, this was my old workflow. My new workflow is much slicker.

And secondly, the way I work with all my commercial photography work was always fine – when I come back from a commercial shoot the images are imported directly into a separate folder and worked on immediately.

Basically I needed to apply the same discipline I used with my paid work for all that other stuff. But I didn’t.

So when I was asked the question about my pictures of Wiltshire my heart sank. Most of my pictures of Wiltshire will be in there somewhere – I knew roughly where they were but they were far from organised.

So this morning I set to work and sorted all the images into logical sub-folders in the Sort folder. They are now split by date and location.

Sure they still need sorting, and by that I mean

  • Rating
  • Keywording
  • Culling
  • File naming
  • Filing (and adding the images I want to edit to a Collection)

But at least now I know where my pictures of Wiltshire are. Either filed away or all in one folder ready to be filed away.

It almost sounds ridiculous to end up in this situation but this happens as I take lots of photographs when driving around the country, and these images just get imported and not sorted as there is always other more pressing work to do.

I will endeavour to keep on top of this now that I have finally sorted everything, and I mean everything.

And now I can sort and organise my images in a different way, starting with everything ever taken in Wiltshire..

And as ever simplifying what I do, and thinking about it, has sorted out a problem that was only getting worse.

And how long did it take me to sort out all these images? 2 hours and they had all been moved to where they should have been. And there were some images I was not sure about so I deleted them.

And more importantly I did not stop once to edit something I liked that I had forgotten I had taken!

Another thing sorted, and I am now excited to be able to go through images in a simple, logical structured way. This will help with my new web page content, my stock submissions, and reduce the number of images now I have something organised to attack and start culling.

Yes I know I am getting far too excited about this!

One unfortunate outcome of this exercise is that I now have 14648 images in my Sort folder. Ouch.

But its better than it was!

Rick McEvoy Photography

Lightroom Tips

Wednesday 11th January 2017