12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2016 12:33 PM by dj_paige

    How do others file their Raw's

    Why_ATL Level 1

      Hello everyone. I'm wanting get feed back on how other photographers are handling your images/files. After a shoot, I store all images on my G-Drive, then I open them up in light rightroom and starting tweaking them. Once you guys tweak your images in lightroom, do you save it as a jpeg or keep it as Raw? Also are you putting those images in another folder or same folder. I always like to see how other photographers store their images from lightroom once they're done. Just wanting feedback on how others do theirs.






      [Moved from the general forum Lounge (which includes people of all disciplines, not just photography - including Acrobat PDF creating, video editing, marketing cloud, etc.) and into a more photography-specific forum - Mod]

        • 1. Re: How do others file their Raw's
          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional
          do you save it as a jpeg or keep it as Raw?

          Just for the record, you cannot save images in Lightroom, only export them.

          There is no need to export unless you need an image for a particular purpose - the edits you do to the raw files are automatically saved to the catalog. If you just want to look at your photos, you can do that in Lightroom.

          Personally, I always delete exported images when they have served their purpose.

          It's easy to export them again if the need should arise.

          • 2. Re: How do others file their Raw's
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I shoot exclusively raw images. Lightroom is my primary software for working on those raw images. I only keep the raw images. I don't export a "final" JPEG because there isn't need for it. If I decide that an image needs to be shared or sent to a lab and then I will create a JPEG for that purpose. Once that purpose has been fulfilled, the JPEG is deleted. There really isn't any need to keep JPEG images, in my opinion. If you try to create a "final" JPEG then if you decide to make subsequent changes is necessary to export the JPEG again. I manage my images in Lightroom and use Lightroom to look at my images. So the raw files or TIF files if I go to Photoshop are the only files that I feel I need to keep.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How do others file their Raw's
              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

              The only time I "Export" a Raw file to any other image format, JPG, TIFF or PS PSD, is if I either edit it in Photoshop or need to send it to the print service, I use the TIFF format for both of those, or Export it as a JPG to email it to someone or post it to a website.

              If I print it myself I print directly from the RAW image data with the Lightroom adjustment.


              I never delete RAW files unless they are dogs and I see no reason to keep them.

              I also don't delete any images for at least 3-6 months. Unless of course if they are completely out of focus or just plain bad shots. I've found that on first review some images don't look like the way I envisioned them. Some time in the future, 3-6 months, I do a second review and some that didn't look OK at first review then look good.


              Rule of thumb. Never delete RAW image files no matter what other format you have them saved in.

              • 4. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                Why_ATL Level 1

                Thanks for the reply. I am ware that you can't save images in lightroom. After tweaking images I was curious to see if anyone "Export them as jpeg" maybe to another folder because they may need them for a blog, Instagram or social media. or just keep them in raw the whole time until they need them. Again, I always like to see how others do it.

                • 5. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                  Why_ATL Level 1

                  Thanks. I was exporting them as jpeg, but after reading what others are doing i might just stop. Thanks for your reply.

                  • 6. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                    Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                    I keep all images in the same folder they were originally placed in at time of import to LR. Even if I export some or use PS to do further edits. Those are also stored in the same original folder. Otherwise if they were placed in some other folder I would lose track of what I had edited or exported.

                    • 7. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                      Why_ATL Level 1

                      May I ask what do you shoot and how do you label your folders? Mine are a mess, so I would like to set a goal today and tonight and get my "photoshoot" folder under control. I do shoot raw and I'm doing photoshoots for an online store with models, some on green screen and some out in the field. And recently I've started shooting water falls and landscape for personal use. So I'm hoping to get some idea on how I can better organize my folders, because when I open lightroom it says it can't find an image. I have all shoots on an external hard drive.

                      • 8. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                        What do you mean by "What do your shoot"? Do you mean what camera system? If so right now I use Fuji and Panasonic cameras.

                        I have been a Leica shooter for most of my life but switched to Fuji about 2 years ago.


                        I save my images in dated folder. I start with a Year folder, 2006, 2007, 2008 and so on. Then under those main folders images are placed in Subfolders by the shot date, 0123 (01, January, 23). I also store images in Named folders as Subfolders under the Year main folder if it is for a special occasion or a trip.


                        For clients (which are few as I am an amateur) I still store them in Year main folder then with the client name and if more than one shoot for that client then in dated sub-subfolders.


                        In LR you can filter images by many different ways and create Collections and or assign Keywords. So If by chance I have images from one client that I took over many different shoots and in different years I can place all of them into a collection or assign the client name as a Keyword to all of them no matter what folder they are in on my hard drive. So If I want to see all images for client X I just click on that collection or keyword and all of them, and only those, are display. I can also use the filter bar to do that.

                        • 9. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                          Why_ATL Level 1

                          Thank you. That helps me a lot on how I can go about setting mines up.

                          • 10. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                            My projects are organized roughly like this:


                            type = sports or events or personal

                            date_eventname = yyyymmdd_text


                            for example:





                            Under each root folder for the project, I have an "originals" folder that contains the raw or jpg files from the camera. Things may be sorted further into a directory tree.

                            Beside the "originals" folder is an "exports" folder. This contains all the exported JPG files that get uploaded to various websites.


                            I have scripts/batch-files that copy the new and changed files to external drives for backup purposes.


                            For my sports and events projects, after the project is completed, the folder tree is archived to DVD and external drive, then deleted from the main drive. My personal files remain forever.


                            One of the things that helps me in LR is that I do a first round of triage before importing the files into LR:

                            grade_A = images that are worthy of public viewing

                            grade_B = images with "artistic" problems that cannot be fixed.

                            grade_C = "delete me now" files. These have technical problems that cannot be fixed, usually out of focus.

                            Only the grade_A photos are imported into LR. A second round of triage will be done to rate these images, only 3-star or higher get edited and exported. grade_C files are deleted immediately. grade_B files are deleted soon after the grade_A are imported.


                            My sports and events projects are actually in separate catalogs, one catalog per year for sports and one per year for events. This helps with archiving on a yearly basis.

                            • 11. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                              Why_ATL Level 1

                              ManiacJoe Thanks for sharing. I do appreciate this. I love to see how other do theirs. I never thought about doing the grading thing, but after seeing yours it makes sense.


                              Thanks a lot.

                              • 12. Re: How do others file their Raw's
                                dj_paige Level 9

                                My scheme:


                                Folders named for capture date, no other folder names are used. Folders are used exclusively as storage devices, and are not used for finding/searching.


                                All identification (other than capture date) is in the user-provided metadata (keywords, captions, titles, GPS location, etc.) Any time I want to search for a photo, I start with keyword, and also search captions and titles and GPS locations as needed. I never search by folder.


                                When a photo comes out of the camera, either I decide to keep it or delete it immediately. If I keep it, then it is imported into Lightroom. There are no photos that I keep that are not imported into Lightroom. That's 100% of my photos are in Lightroom, every single one, no exceptions. Why? Because if I want to find a photo, I know I can always go into Lightroom and find it by searching for the proper metadata — I don't have to think, let's see did I put this photo in Lightroom or not? Because I won't remember as the years go by which photos are in Lightroom and which are not (that would actually make finding the photos harder, and my goal is to make finding the photos easier).