Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

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Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

Postby HikingMike » Sun May 26, 2013 10:32 am

I wasen't sure if this was going to be a Software or Storage forum question but this is more of how I'm going to use Lightroom and not the devices that I'm storing on...

Only recently have I really been watching my storage and orginzation on my computer so a lot of past stuff (older than a year) is not managed well. So, I'm going to take my day off for my birthday, thrown on my headphones are reorginize all my photos and delete my junk pictures. Here is question 1...Should I do multipule Catalogs or just one? I have 4 different "Groupings" of photos I'm considering; Personal, Nature, Photo Business/Portraits (future hopfully :lol: ) and biggest of all - Army Public Affairs. I have read plenty that a Catalog can handle plenty of photos (I know the Catalog is the database portion) I'm thinking only 1, I just wanted to see others thought's. So what I am thinking is the following:

1 Catalog - stored in:

4 primary directories on my Windows PC:

Then use Lightroom Collections to really make the orginization happen. Question 2, Should I put all the pictures, when I import to the computer, just under it's respective Directory on the computer or should I also try to add sub-directories to add orginization there as well? Right now, my Afganistan Directory has nearly 4000 images and the only Sub-directory is Developed :shock:
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Re: Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

Postby cujo » Mon May 27, 2013 10:40 pm

Find whatever is most comfortable for you to work with and what comes natural to you. Personally I would use 1 catalog (I'm scared I'd forget to swap catalogs) and add subdirectories. Or make extensive use of the collections feature. You can add photos to multiple collections so you can find the photos you need.

You could have a collection called Afghanistan with all 4,000 photos in there. Then one with vehicles, landscapes, a collection for each person, ... That way you can find the photos you are looking for.
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Re: Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

Postby Maestro » Tue May 28, 2013 3:09 am

I would recommend using separate catalogs for your personal and professional pics. e.g. Personal and Nature, Portraits, and Army Public Affairs. Reason being, it could be inappropriate for your Personal/Nature and/or Portrait pics to show up with your PAO pics. e.g. one of your fellow soldiers (or their spouse) hires you to take some boudoir pics. Conversely, for OPSEC reasons, you may not want Army pics showing up with your personal pics.

And personally, I find it easier to use sub-directories instead of Collections, especially since I do a good amount of work outside of Lightroom. Obviously, if you do all your work in Lightroom, YMMV. But like to have a sub-directory for each client, and then a further sub-directory for each shoot with that client, so I can easily find pics outside of Lightroom. (And in Lightroom, I can drill down [instead of/without first having to] set up a collection.)

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Re: Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

Postby usernametaken » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:27 am

I can't see any point in creating additional catalogs as you are creating more work for zero benefit. If you want to separate images you can create Collections or Smart Collections for each of these groups so that you view only those images. In addition to that you can also filter by Keyword. Given that LR can't open multiple catalogs at the same time creating separate catalogs means you have delays when you want to switch. You have to select the catalog and LR will restart with the new catalog. Then to go back or pick a different one you have to repeat.... again all for zero actual benefit.

I would suggest you instead have separate folders on your drive for each group, EG:

and then create a set of import presets for each type of photo. Then, when you import a set of images the preset can automatically save them into the correct folder (or sub-folders), add default Keywords, rename the files (Personal_1023.cr2, Nature_1174.cr2 etc etc), apply a default development preset (if you like) and even colour code them. Using import presets to add keywords in this way also means that, if you created smart collections as mentioned above, all those images will automatically be added to the correct smart collection. All of which will save you time, instead of wasting it.
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Re: Lightroom - Time to reorginize my photo storage

Postby lagnificent » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:15 am

Sure beats my organization, or lack thereof...

I just dump my photos into yearly folders, and have subfolders within each year.
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