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You probably have lots of digital photos from past shoots already. Elements can organize and keep track of those existing photos whether they are located on your computers internal drive or on an external drive. In this movie, I'll show you how to bring into an Elements catalog, information about existing photos. The steps I'll show you here are similar to those that we used in the last movie to import the exercise files for this course. But I want to make sure you know how to do this with your own photos too. Here, I've got my personal catalog open, and as you can see I've already imported some photos.
I'd like to import some more, but before I do import existing photos into an Elements catalog, I take the time to organize them outside of Elements in my file system, and that will make them easier to handle here in the organizer, where they'll appear over here in My Folders area. So, I'm going to go out to my hard drive and here you can see that in my Pictures library, I have a folder called my photos, and inside that folder, I have subfolders for each shoot. I usually name my subfolders with the year, and the month, sometimes, the day, and a word or two about the subject matter like this. Mostly, I try to be consistent, and I try to make sure that all my photos are on the same drive.
Now, all of that is optional. I could still import photos into Elements, if I didn't do any of that. But I found that it is worth the extra effort, because folders are more useful inside Elements if they're organized out in your file system. So, now I'm going to go back to Elements, and I'm going to import this folder, the one of photos taken in Italy. Back in the organizer, I'll go to the Import button at the top left, I'll click and I'm going to choose From Files and Folders. In the Window that opens, I'll navigate to the photos that I want to bring into Elements. I could burrow down and select individual photos from inside one of these folders, but I want to bring in this whole Italy folder.
So, I'll just click on it, to select it. I'm going to leave all of these options at the defaults. And then, I'm going to come over here and I'll make sure that the File Type includes photos. I just leave that at the default of Media Files. And then, I'll click Get Media. Elements, tells me how many items it's imported, and it displays a thumbnail of each of the imported photos here in my Organizer. Here you can see that I'm looking only at the Last photos that I imported. If I want to see all the photos in this catalog, I'll go over here to the left and click the Back button.
And now, if I scroll down, I'll see the existing photos, and the additional photos that I just imported from my drive. Now to remind you, again, that what I just did, didn't really import any photos to Elements in the traditional sense of that word. Elements isn't ingesting or moving the actual photos; the actual photos are out there in My Pictures folder where I normally keep them, in this catalog, created a thumbnail sized preview of each photo to display here, and created a link to each photo in its actual location. With all your existing files organized in your files system and imported into Elements, you are set up to import new photos from your camera.
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