10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2017 7:33 AM by richardplondon

    Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive

    media kat Level 1

      I take tons of photos with my 5DM3, as well as with my iPhone. I import the photos/videos into folders on my MacBook Pro for culling before eventually transferring them to an external drive connected to my iMac. I use a naming convention for all of my folders with something like 7-19-17 and I will append an event, if there was one, to make the name more meaningful; so it might be 7-19-17 Emma's Bday. I also have folders on my external drive for family, friends and events, that I try to sort the folders into. All of this takes way too much time; I just spent around 2.5 hrs importing a month worth of photos/videos from my iPhone, sorting them into folders and deleting them from the phone. I use keywords to tag everything once imported into LR.

       

      Curious to hear how others go through this process. Am I going way overboard?

       

      Thanks for any input.

        • 1. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
          dj_paige Level 9

          I also have folders on my external drive for family, friends and events, that I try to sort the folders into. All of this takes way too much time;

          In my opinion, this is a waste of time and adds no benefit if you are assigning the proper keywords to your photos. I would stop worrying about folders and place your photos in folders by capture date (which is a Lightroom default so it takes zero effort) and all of your organizing and all of your searching would then be done via keywords and other metadata in Lightroom.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
            media kat Level 1

            I just realized, you mentioned that LR "place your photos in folders by capture date (which is a Lightroom default so it takes zero effort)

             

            I copy my folders of photos from my SD cards, or from photos from my iPhone to LR and I then import them by selecting the folders and importing them. Is my way more difficult than it needs to be?

             

            1. How do you handle folders that may contain hundreds, or possibly thousands of photos/videos spanning weeks, months that can't really have a standard m/d/yr name assigned to them? I'm trying to make my life easier by not sorting them all into categories of folders based on date....

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
              dj_paige Level 9

              If you want folders by capture date, then there's no real need to place them in a specific folder before you import into LR.

               

              I don't understand have you can have folders with thousands of photos spanning weeks ... why don't you just stop doing that? Why can't you put them in m/d/y folders? What does it mean that they can't really have a standard m/d/y??

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                media kat Level 1

                Let me clarify, I have been copying photos from my SD card to folders on my drive, I name the folder with some m/d/yr name and then I import into LR. These are the photos I take with my 5DM3 or point-and-shoot camera. After taking photos with these cameras, I typically copy them to the computer, make folders, import them within a day or so.

                 

                I also shoot tons of snapshots and videos on my iPhone and don't get around to copying them to my drive and importing them into LR as frequently. That is why I often end up with tons of photos spanning weeks or even months that I have to import at once. What I'm trying to get away from is going through all of those photos and videos and separating them into new folders based on the capture date.

                 

                I just realized, what I do is name the folder based on the date the photos/videos were taken. Are you suggesting that you simply name the folder based on the date that you import into LR?

                 

                Thanks.

                • 5. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                  dj_paige Level 9
                  What I'm trying to get away from is going through all of those photos and videos and separating them into new folders based on the capture date.

                   

                  But you don't have to do this, Lightroom will separate the photos into new folders by capture date when you import the photos into Lightroom, with no effort on your part, it's the LR default.

                   

                   

                  Are you suggesting that you simply name the folder based on the date that you import into LR?

                   

                  Yes.

                   

                  I am suggesting letting Lightroom do the repetitive and tedious and boring work, it's good at it and it doesn't mind doing boring tasks. You do the work that only humans can do, which is assigning keywords and other metadata so that you can find the photos at some later time.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                    media kat Level 1

                    I have never seen/used this option., though it sounds like it exactly what I need. From the Library, I choose Import, select the folder I want to import under Source, and select the Import button. Are you doing this a different way or is there some setting I might have disabled? I'm on a Mac and CC2015.

                     

                    Thanks!

                    • 8. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                      media kat Level 1

                      It seems this technique only works if you are copying files off the media card. Is there a way to make it work with folders of photos already copied to a folder on a drive? I tried, though I didn't see a way to do this.

                      • 9. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        Yes, that's correct, this method only works when you are importing new photos.

                         

                        When the photos have been previously imported, my suggestion is to leave the photos in whatever folders they are in, do not move them or rename the folders; and organize by adding keywords and other metadata. One you have a consistent set of keywords and other metadata across all your photos, then it doesn't matter what folder name or location is used, you can still find the pohtos bysearching for specific keyword(s) or specific other metadata.

                         

                        To me, it's completely irrelevant if some folder names are in the format 2017-07-14 and other folders are in the format of Uncle Fred's Retirement Party. I don't use folder names for any material purpose, they are never something I look at or search on. If there are photos of Uncle Fred in folder "Uncle Fred's retirement party" and more photos of Uncle Fred in  folder 2017-07-14, great, that's fine, I don't care aobut the inconsistent folder names because I search for keyword or caption that contains "Uncle Fred" and I find everything, regardless of folder name or folder name format.

                         

                        In other words, stop worrying about folder names.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 10. Re: Suggestions for organizing my photos/videos/folders on my hard drive
                          richardplondon Level 4

                          If the images are already in the computer, but not yet imported to Lightroom, and you want to have LR auto-file those into dated folders within a particular LR-managed area - the same as you might for new images coming off camera card...

                           

                          then you can use exactly the same process as when bringing images in from camera card...

                           

                          except, selecting Move instead of Copy at the top of the Import screen.

                           

                          There is unfortunately no way provided, to do this with images that have already been imported to LR.

                           

                          If a batch of images that are related by subject or occasion are being imported to LR together (by whatever method, and regardless of their capture dates) then relevant 'batch' keywording can be applied to those images right in the import screen.

                           

                          It is possible to deselect images for import, that are not relevant for a particular such batch. Then those images will remain available for import, while the already imported ones will be left out, when you then return to the same source for another go.

                           

                          After a date based scheme has been used, it is possible to append descriptive text to the automatically created - dated - folder name (just by renaming this folder inside LR). This helps with text searches for images. However, putting the same identifying text into keywords instead / as well, offers additional advantages - practically and organisationally.

                          1 person found this helpful