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Let's talk about how to import your own photos into Elements Organizer. I suggest that you start by importing existing photos, those that you've offloaded from your camera in the past. Once you get those existing photos into Elements, you'll have a structure into which you can add new photos from your camera each time you complete a shoot, which I'll show you how to do in the very next movie. The first step that I'm going to suggest is an optional one, but I think it's one that will make things easier for you down the line. And that is to arrange all your existing photos into a coherent, consistent folder structure on one large internal or external drive before you import those photos into Elements Organizer.
Now, that is optional because Elements can keep track of photos on various drives, even if those drives are offline. But having all your photos in one place will mean that you won't have to go searching through closets or boxes for an old disk or drive when you want to edit a photo in Elements. The structure that I like to use on my drive is to have one parent folder inside of my Pictures Library, which I name something like, My Elements Photos. And then inside of that folder, I make a subfolder for each shoot, and I name the subfolders by date first, and then I'll add a word or two to identify the subject matter of the shoot.
Sometimes that's the place or sometimes it's the subject. I've already imported some of these subfolders into my Elements catalog by I haven't yet imported these subfolder. So, let's switch back to the Elements Organizer to see how to import photos from a drive or disk into an Elements catalog. In the organizer, I switched to My Catalog, a catalog of my personal photos from the Exercise Files catalog as I showed you how to do in an earlier movie by going up the File menu and choosing Manage Catalogs. You can see that I've already imported some photos into this catalog.
Now, I want to import some more existing photos. So, I'll go up to the Import menu. From this menu, I'll choose from Files and Folders whenever you're importing photos from your computer, from an external drive, or from CDs or DVDs. In the Get Photos and Videos window that opens, I'll navigate to the files that I want to bring into the organizer. I could go inside of the Crested Butte folder and select individual photos, but I know that I want to bring that entire folder into my Organizer, so I'll just click on the folder.
Down here, some of these options are available; I'm going to leave them all at their defaults. If there were a subfolder inside the Crested Butte folder that I wanted to bring into the Organizer, I would make double-sure to have a check mark next to Get Photos From Subfolders. I'll leave these other options unchecked because I can always perform Red-eye Fixes and Photo Stacking later after I've imported photos to the program. Now I'll click the Get Media button, and in just a second, all of the files inside of the Crested Butte folder appear here in my organizer.
This view is just showing the last import. If I want to see all the photos that are now in my organizer, I'll click the Back button. So here are the Crested Butte photos. And down here are the rest of the photos that I already had imported into this catalog. And over in the My Folders panel you can see the Crested Butte folder listed. The Crested Butte folder out on my hard drive still contains the full sized photos that I shot. Using the Import command didn't move those photos. What it did do was create a small preview of each of the Crested Butte photos along with a link to the actual full sized photos out on my drive.
Earlier in this movie, I suggested that you arrange your existing photos on one large drive before importing them into Elements. As I said, that step is optional because the organizer can keep track of the files even if they're physically located on multiple drives or disks, and even if those drives or disks are offline. So I just wanted to show you that I imported into this Catalog from a removable drive that is no longer attached to this computer. Even so, the Organizer still displays a preview of the photo. And if I wanted to add keyword tags to this photo or include it in albums, subjects I'll cover later in the course, I could do that even though the drive that contains the actual photo is not attached to this computer.
But if I wanted to edit this photo, I couldn't do that unless I went and found that external drive and attached it to this computer. So, that's one of the reasons that I suggested moving all your existing photos that you want to bring into Elements onto one drive. So, that's how to import into the Organizer existing photos that are already on a drive or a disk. The import process is different if you're bringing in new photos directly from a digital camera or a camera memory card as we'll see in the very next movie.
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