Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Establishing a folder structure

From: Getting Started with Lightroom 4

Video: Establishing a folder structure

In many respects, Lightroom is a reflection of your existing folder structure for your digital photos. As a result, before you really get started in Lightroom, it makes sense to review the folder structure that you're using for storing your images. First, you need to consider where your images are stored. I recommend using a single location to store all of your photographic images. That could be an external hard drive, it could be a particular folder on your internal hard drive. The key is that all images are going to go to the same place.

Establishing a folder structure

In many respects, Lightroom is a reflection of your existing folder structure for your digital photos. As a result, before you really get started in Lightroom, it makes sense to review the folder structure that you're using for storing your images. First, you need to consider where your images are stored. I recommend using a single location to store all of your photographic images. That could be an external hard drive, it could be a particular folder on your internal hard drive. The key is that all images are going to go to the same place.

That way, at a basic level, you always know where to go looking of your photos. In this video training, I am going to store my images in the Pictures folder. However, because there are some other files, for example, Vibrant Catalogs in the Pictures folder, I am also going to create my own folder. In this case, I have called it Tim Gray's photos and that will be a master folder, the primary source location for all of the photos that I am going to manage with Lightroom. If I open this folder, you'll see that I already have a couple of folders with images.

And chances are, you already have a large number of photos containing digital photos that you've accumulated before starting to use Lightroom. For those individual folders, I tend to use one folder for what I think of as a photo shoot. Of course, photo shoot can be a little bit of a loose concept. It might be an outing to photograph flowers in your yard for just an hour. Or it could be an extended trip over several weeks. The key in my mind is to consider how you think about your photos. If I asked you for a particular photo, you're going to think of that photo as being part of a group of photos.

Whatever that group is should be the name of the folder. So, for example, here I have a Europe Road Trip folder and the structure that I use is whatever I think of as the identifying name for those images, I use that as the primary name of the folder. But then I'll add the month and the year as part of the name for the folder as well. So, in this case, Europe Road Trip September 2011. I also have a folder that contains some images captured during a tour of Grand Central Terminal in New York. I don't feel the need to include New York in the title, because from my perspective, Grand Central Terminal is most certainly in New York. There's no ambiguity there.

And so, I'll just identify the folder as Grand Central Terminal, with the month and year that I photographed that subject. Sometimes, the folders that I use might not seem like they make a lot of sense. For example, here, I have a folder that's called Europe. I didn't identify a single country because I visited several countries during that trip. On another trip to Europe however, I was in Austria primarily, but I also visited some other countries. But in my mind, it was an Austria trip, and so that folder would be called Austria even though Austria is not the only country I visited and photographed during the trip. Once again, the key is to have these folders reflect the way you think about your photos.

So that when you're navigating among the available folders in Lightroom, you'll be able to navigate to the one you're looking for relatively easily. By taking a little bit of time to plan out a folder structure and to actually clean up your existing folder structure before you start working with your images in Lightroom, you'll make that work in Lightroom go much more smoothly. .

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Getting Started with Lightroom 4
Getting Started with Lightroom 4

37 video lessons · 4555 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Getting Started with Lightroom 4.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.