so previously i described how i import and select my photos. this time i thought i’d share with you what i do with them after that. and it’s all about collections.
real quick…i just want to share again that the process of importing data and keeping it organized is a huge part of my responsibility at work. it’s a question that i get asked all the time – ‘what do we have and where can i find it?’ so without tooting my own horn too much, i feel somewhat confident in saying i know how to do this…whether it’s geologic data or photos of snickerdoodles. but most important thing here is, this is what works for me. this is how my analytical, left-brained, linear-thinking brain works.
so before i actually show you my process, i think it’s important to understand that a collection is just that…a collection of photos. i keep my photos organized in collections for a couple of reasons – 1) i know i will be able to find them in the future if need be and 2 ) it makes my post-processing work flow so much easier (which truth be told is probably what i love most).
i’d also like to share a little bit about how i organize things in my mind and how that translates to creating and managing my collections. for me personally, having some idea of how my photos will ultimately be used has really helped me to better manage my stuff. and like i said before, this is just how my brain works and what works for me.
so basically, whenever i take photos it’s typically for one of these objectives:
- my blog. documenting the life of my family. sharing my thoughts. finding beauty and joy in my ordinary life.
- what i like to call my (capital P) Photography which includes my 365 project and any classes i might take. these are photos where i am really practicing my craft. working on assignments, etc.
- straight-up memory keeping. scrapbooking. mom with a camera stuff.
some days, i might only take one or two shots for my 365 project. but more often than not, i have lots of photos and there is almost always tons of overlap. but with a bit of trial and error, i have finally figured out a system that really works for me. it’s saved me so much time and just made this part of my life so much faster and easier.
ok. with all that out of the way, here are some recent photos i took. i’ve already ‘picked’ the ones i liked best.
out of 26 shots, these 11 were my keepers. you can see they all have that little white flag. now may or may not end up using them all. that’s fine. but i want to save these into a collection.
as you can see in the menu on the left side of the screen, i have a blog collection set called 2013. and a collection set is nothing more than a ‘set’ of collections (thank you captain obvious). and within my 2013 collection set, each blog post has its own collection.
so as an example, let’s just say that i am planning to use the photos of my nightstand for a blog post. to start with i will click on the first nightstand photo and while holding down my CNTL key, i will then click on the next three photos. and you can see where they are now highlighted.
next i will create a collection by clicking on the + button next to collection. you can see where i included the date in my collection name. that’s a relatively new thing, but i really like the idea of a chronological list. but then again…that’s me. and finally, you can see that i placed my collection inside my 2013 collection set. i also checked the box ‘include selected photos’.
so now when i click on that collection, you can see that those four photos are the only photos in that collection.
the other photos are still in my catalog. if i go up to Catalog>Previous Import you can see all the ones from my import today.
so as is typical, these photos serve more than one purpose. i really like this shot and want to include it in my 365 project.
and this is what i really love about lightroom.
all i have to do while in the thumbnail view is drag and drop it into my September collection in my 2013-365 collection set.
see how easy that is!!?? i have one photo in two collections.
but the really great thing about lightroom is that a collection does not physically move your photos – it just points to the folder where your photos reside. the folder into which they were imported. (this was one of the key concepts in lightroom that took me a minute to get my head around. ) so therefore, nothing has changed about this photo. see why i love it so much!!
here’s a quick little video i made to show you how truly easy this process is.
like i said before, having an idea of how i’m going to use a photo really helps in my organizational thought process. but the great thing about lightroom is that you can tailor your collections however you want them. so like for my bff carrie who is a realtor (not a real-a-tor), she takes lots of pictures of the homes she is currently listing. and instead of organizing things by date, she could create a collection for each property. or she could create collections for clients. or both. see what i mean? totally adaptable to however you like/need to work with your photos.
and just one more thing…i feel like i need to tell you that i learn by doing. i am the kind of person who just likes to dig and figure things out as i go. trial and error is my love language. but if you are not so inclined, there are lots of great resources on the web. i have learned alot of from killerlightroomtips.com. and although i have not personally taken this class, i know many of my photography friends have taken this Round Trip class by Kim Klassen and loved it. if it’s anything like her beyond-beyond class that i am taking, i’m sure it’s full of amazing tips and techniques. kim has such a great way of explaining things. plus she’s just a lovely human being.
anyway, so i think with that i’ll wrap this up. hope you all have a wonderful weekend!