Note: If you’re a reader of TCL for food or fashion (wait a minute…you’re just reading for Bailey photos, aren’t you?), you may want to skip this one. This post is an introduction to a series I’m writing on Photography and Lightroom Organization.
So, I somewhat recently ran into a major issue related to photography and blogging. I managed to fill up my entire laptop with photos, making it very difficult for me to import new photos or new blog posts. I shoot in RAW, so this didn’t actually take very long. My problem was that I was being lazy about not only organizing my photos, but also about learning best practices for doing so. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was too busy to research, so I just didn’t try. I procrastinated. This was a big mistake. I was also afraid of moving all my photos to an external drive because I was worried I’d do it the wrong way and/or the drive would crash and I’d lose all my photos. I didn’t clean my photos up as well as I could, sure. But, the more serious issues was that I didn’t come up with a good system to follow. So, with a laptop full to the brim with photos, I knew something had to change, and I needed to get it together. I did the best thing I knew – I consulted the experts.
I contacted 4 fellow food bloggers and professional photographers to ask for their tips and feedback. They are:
- Marc of No Recipes
- Taylor of Taylor Takes a Taste
- Laura of The Cooking Photographer
- Sean of Sean Busher Imagery
(Check out their blogs and web sites – they’re amazing!)
They were all wonderful and sent me their tips and strategies. I happily read through them, and when I had the time, I started implementing some of their suggestions. First, I worked on fixing what was broken – I created a system for how I wanted to organize my photos, and I stuck to it. Afterwards, once I had some free time, I re-organized all of my old photos and moved most of them to external storage. Now, my photos are organized (and stay that way with every import), and my laptop has plenty of space for new photos.
I’m not an expert in photography, Lightroom, or organization. But, I did think it would be helpful to others if I shared the information I collected from my photo gurus, as well as, my experience with organizing photos. The important thing to note is that there isn’t one right way to do things. There are many ways, and you’ll want to tailor your solution so it best fits you. Hopefully, some of the information from these posts or resources I share get you on the right path.
In this series, I’m going to go over:
- My photography workflow
- Folder and file naming conventions
- How to move folders without creating Lightroom errors
- How to work with your photos / deciding what to delete and keep
- Utilizing external storage (making space on your computer for more photos!)
- Advanced organization considerations
Stay tuned for more follow-up posts to come!
Oh, and if you’re a professional photographer and/or advanced Lightroom user, please feel free to weigh in at any time with your thoughts. I’m sure you have great feedback, and I invite you to share your know-how if you want.
Do you use Lightroom? Do you have any questions for now one general Photography or Lightroom Organization?
6 thoughts on “Photography & Lightroom Organizing Series Intro”
I started using Lightroom a year or two ago, and I’m a huge fan of it… I’m currently managing a libary containing around 82,000 files (varying types, but probably at least half is RAW) over nearly a TB of disk space — across two drives. And LR really works with it all almost flawlessly.
For the most part, most photographers really need nothing more than this one program. For some, heavier editing capabilities may make a program like Photoshop necessary, but using LR completely revolutionized my workflow — once PS was the heavy-lifter in my workflow, and I did almost all editing in it. With LR, PS took a back seat as more of a secret weapon for the really difficult tasks.
It’s not perfect by any means, but I highly recommend it.
Looking forward to this series! Hopefully I can drop a few tips and learn some new stuff as well!
Hey Aaron – You’re definitely going to have some great feedback. Please come back and add your comments. I’d love to hear more about your workflow – here’s the post about workflows: https://thechiclife.com/2012/05/photography-lightroom-organization-series-my-photography-workflow.html
I love lightroom. What really helps for me is to not hoard photos. If it isn’t up to par or I don’t see myself ever using it, I delete it. If I take 15 of one subject I tend to only keep 2-5 (if that, rarely). Some people like to keep their outtakes, but I just don’t have the room.
Totally agree. I keep some that don’t go on the blog, but for the most part, the extras get deleted! We’re going to be chatting more about this on one of the other posts of the series. 😉
LOVE this series. SO, SO, SO helpful
LOVE this series. SO, SO, SO helpful …..good