I'm a new Lightroom user. Please excuse me if this is a dumb question, but I've been Googling the problem with no clear answer. I had a group of photos that I exported in jpeg format to my desktop. Once I was done with them I deleted the exported jpegs. Now I've gone back into my Lightroom folder that has the dng files and they all say Photo is Missing. Doesn't exporting mean you are creating a copy independent of the originals? How do I fix this now that I don't have the exported jpegs anymore?
Your exports are different files than your original photos.
The message you are seeing that the photo is missing happens because you have moved or renamed or deleted the ORIGINALS outside of Lightroom. You need to either move the photos back, or follow these instructions to re-connect the photos in Lightroom: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders