14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2017 2:20 PM by Theresa J

    Archiving Lightroom Folders

    goCoreygoPhoto Level 1

      For each client, I import the raw images into a new/separate Lightroom folder. Once I've finished editing, I move the raw files to an external drive (meaning the Lightroom folder is now empty). Is there a way to archive the original Lightroom folder (at this point it's empty since I moved the raw files off the computer)? I ask because I want to be able to see/use those edits in the future if necessary by just locating the raw image files back onto my computer.


      Any thought would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
          Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

          Your best option is to export the Export the Folder as a Catalog and include the negatives. This will create a stand alone catalog with the images that you can archive. You can then remove the images from your catalog and the hard drive.

          • 2. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
            Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

            There is no need to create folders specifically for Lightrooom - just import from whatever folder the raw files are in.

            Since the files are not "in" Lightroom, but are only referenced by the catalog, they can be anywhere on your computer, external drives included.

             

            Here's what I would do in your situation:

            1. Using your computer's OS (Windows Explorer or Mac Finder), move the folder you want to archive (not just the files, but the folder) to the external drive.
            2. Lightroom will now report the folder as missing by displaying a question mark on the folder.
              Right click the folder, choose Find missing folder, and point Lightroom the new location.

             

            You can now access these files normally from your main catalog, provided that the external drive is connected.

            • 3. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
              dj_paige Level 9

              Don't develop a workflow where you put photos in one location (let's call this location A) to edit them and then move the photos to another location (let's call this location B) when you're done.

               

              Instead, either leave the photos where they are (location A), or better yet, when the photos comes straight out of the camera, put them in their final location (location B) and edit them from there. You will make your life so much simpler, and ... when you want to use the photos in the future, there's no need to locate them and then "just locating the raw image files back onto my computer."

               

              Why do all this work of moving photos when it's completely unnecessary?

               

              The solution above by Per Berntsen works well for photos you have already imported and edited in Lightroom. My discussion applies to new photos.

               

              I would not advise the solution above by Theresa J, it is simply unnecessary to do the work to create catalogs and then delete photos from Lightroom and move things from here to there, and move them back later if you still want to use those photos; you get no benefits over the method I have described, and the method I have described is a lot less work, no moving of photos, no creating catalogs, etc.

              • 4. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                goCoreygoPhoto Level 1

                Thank you! I actually want to find a way to move the folder in lightroom when I'm finished w the photos in it so that way it's no longer on my to-do list. Any thoughts?

                • 5. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  Moving large numbers of files is best done outside of LR. For example, when moving a whole folder, use your computer's file browser, then "relocate" or "find missing" on that one folder in the LR Folders panel.

                   

                  LR will sometimes drop the ball when moving many files. When this happens, often times the files are lost forever.

                  • 6. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    goCoreygoPhoto  wrote

                     

                    Thank you! I actually want to find a way to move the folder in lightroom when I'm finished w the photos in it so that way it's no longer on my to-do list. Any thoughts?

                    For new photos:

                     

                    Don't put the photos in the first location!! If you are now moving the photos from the first location to a second location after you work on them, put them in this second location straight out of the camera, when you import them into Lightroom. Save yourself some steps each time. There's no benefit to the workflow that moves photos from one location to a second location.

                    • 7. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                      Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                      I agree with DJ. The better workflow is to put the images in their final location at the front end. Lr has no problem seeing, and working with images on external drives, as long as the drive is connected. I was just providing you a simple solution for your current setup.

                      • 8. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                        goCoreygoPhoto Level 1

                        Yes, I agree, thank you! But what If I wanted to mark that I was finished editing that photo deck (the folder in lightroom) so that was I know to move onto the next client????

                        • 9. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                          Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                          I would just remove the folder from Lr. Then you don't have to think about it again.

                          • 10. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                            goCoreygoPhoto Level 1

                            Yeah but then I lose all the edits I made.....

                            • 11. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                              Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                              You don't have to. There are 2 options to save the edits. First, you can save manually save the metadata by selecting an image and doing a CMD-S, or CNTRL-S. Or you can turn on the preferences to automatically save all the metadata throughout the catalog. The second option could slow down your workflow though if you leave it turned on. Go to catalog settings>metadata to turn it on.

                              Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 11.47.29 AM.png

                              • 12. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                                Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                                Or there is a third option which goes back to by original suggestion. Export the folder as a stand alone catalog. This will save everything, including collections if you made them. You don't need to include the negative files unless you are moving the images.

                                • 13. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                  https://forums.adobe.com/people/Theresa+J  wrote

                                   

                                  I would just remove the folder from Lr. Then you don't have to think about it again.

                                  I vehemently disagree.

                                   

                                  Don't remove folders from LR. This also removes the edits from LR. There's no reason to do this, it is work that has no benefit, and requires additional work if you want the photos back in LR for later use (and by the way, don't make a mistake along the way).

                                   

                                  Leave the photos in LR. Every other solution is more effort, and has more possibility of error. The original poster has not expressed the concept or need to "don't have to think about it again".

                                   

                                  To indicate that the editing has been finished, you can use keywords, or color labels or just about any other metadata in LR. You don't need to move the photo to indicate editing has been finished.

                                  • 14. Re: Archiving Lightroom Folders
                                    Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                                    DJ, I explained how he could save his edits if he doesn't want to keep the images in his catalog in my additional comments. I understand why he might not want to keep everything in the catalog. I agree that he doesn't have to remove them but maybe he wants to. I do a ton of product photography that I don't want to keep in my main Lr catalog permanently. Sometimes I import images to work on, or do a demo with, or use for a class I'm teaching but when those projects are done I remove them. There is nothing wrong with this workflow either, if you understand where the edits are and how to save them.

                                     

                                    It might even make more sense to create individual catalogs for each client and then archive the catalog with the images when the project is done. I use this workflow at times myself.