3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2016 3:07 PM by dj_paige

    Managing pre-existing files on laptop

    russtakesphotos

      Hello all, newbie here.  Just installed LR, have not used it yet, but have seen a few tutorials on Facebook.  I get how typical workflow is IMPORT from camera or some drive device, then DEVELOP or edit the image, then EXPORT a new edited version to a new location or folder.  My question has to do with all the old current photos and images already in the file folders on my laptop.  How do I simply have LR "learn" where they are, but not actually do anything with them (for now)?  Do I just open my pre-existing folders as an Import, set details for the LR catalog, then just close out of LR without doing anything else?  Or do I still have to Export and make duplicate folders or something?  Thanks for your understanding and help.

        • 1. Re: Managing pre-existing files on laptop
          dj_paige Level 9

          russtakesphotos wrote:

           

          Hello all, newbie here. Just installed LR, have not used it yet, but have seen a few tutorials on Facebook. I get how typical workflow is IMPORT from camera or some drive device, then DEVELOP or edit the image, then EXPORT a new edited version to a new location or folder.

          The workflow I (and many others recommend): Import, DEVELOP, stop right there. You export photos only when you have a specific need to use the photos outside of Lightroom, and not as a regular step that you perform on every photo.

          My question has to do with all the old current photos and images already in the file folders on my laptop.  How do I simply have LR "learn" where they are, but not actually do anything with them (for now)?

          When you Import the photos into Lightroom, you use the ADD option, this leaves the photos exactly where they are, Lightroom knows to use them from their existing folders.

           

          Or do I still have to Export and make duplicate folders or something?

          Don't do either of these things. They are unnecessary as a general step in your workflow, and add no value. See my above explanations. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be.

          • 2. Re: Managing pre-existing files on laptop
            russtakesphotos Level 1

            Thanks for the quick reply!  That's cool, sounds more simple than I thought.  As a follow up question:  Can I "ADD" or import big root folders all at once (which may contain multiple subfolders going 1-4 layers deep with potentially several hundred photos)?  Or should I add each folder separately?  For example, one of my folders is just labeled "Pictures" and contains probably more than 90% of what I have stored within it.

            • 3. Re: Managing pre-existing files on laptop
              dj_paige Level 9

              Can I "ADD" or import big root folders all at once (which may contain multiple subfolders going 1-4 layers deep with potentially several hundred photos)?  Or should I add each folder separately?

              You can do either.