Fresh Start? Need advice please...

What folder hierarchy and naming do you use?

  • By date

  • By Subject

  • By Event

  • Use different methods depending on the Catalog

  • Other


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mkilci

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Hello all.

I am a long time LR user with over 100K images. Seperate catalogs for paid work.

My main LR library is a mess although I tried to keep things under control, I decided to restart a new catalog. Here is my question, and I know many would have a different approach, but want to hear the reasoning and how it is working for all?

What is your folder structure?
Who is using the date format? Who is using Subjects or another method?
How do you name the folders?
How do you name the images? (I am leaning towards MK_161010_0001.XXX)

I know date is already embedded in the image and can be filtered, but my challenge is this. For my personal shots, I usually shoot for a few weeks, family, candid shots, animals in the house etc. When I import, I have so many different things that needs to be downloaded and categorized into folders. I end up leaving all in a temporary folder to be categorized later, which created the mess. My thinking is, if I import by date, I can import all at once and keyword tag and use collections later.

Thanks for the advice...
 
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Folders are a poor method for organizing your images. Sure, you need to use folders because your images need to be stored somewhere, but as an organization method they are simply inadequate. Use collections and smart collections, then your folder structure becomes pretty much irrelevant.
 
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I use one of the date named folder structures that LR offers a a default. I don't waste time thinking up folder names and I don't rename images because the name generated by the camera is sufficient. The image file name or the folder that the image resides in on the file system is not important. I don't look at any cataloged images using the filesystem, only in LR. So file names and folder names do not advance my workflow. In fact, I keep my folder panel closed working entirely in the Collections panel.

On inserting the camera card in the card reader, the most that I do before pressing the {Import} button is choose an import preset and add a common keyword when a common keyword can be applied to all or almost all of the images in this import. My import preset assigns a label "To be Worked". This label is in my color label set to associate that phrase with the red color label. So,at a glance, I can see that all red labeled images have not had any post processing. The Import preset also assigns the images to a static Collection named "00.00 - Current Work Target". Images will stay in that collection until they are complete. All of my Collections are smart collections populated using keywords and other information found in the metadata. For example I have a Smart Collection labeled "00.00.01: Last Few Imports" finds images with recent capture dates an are in the static Collection named "00.00 - Current Work Target". All of my workflow is driven by a modified version of Workflow smart collections – Lightroom Solutions – John Beardsworth. Images once the post process workflow is complete are assigned (based upon keywords) to one or more publish Service collections. So my workflow begins with pressing the {Import} button and ends with pressing the {Publish} button. Everything in between is driven by keywords, metadata and collections.
 
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Think of folders purely in terms of storage, backup, restoring - not categorising.

Date-based folders are ideal because they are quick and objective. The date you took a photo is set in stone, while categories change over time - eg tomorrow you may decide that a picture of the family pet belongs in the dogs folder rather than under family.

"My thinking is, if I import by date, I can import all at once and keyword tag and use collections later." Exactly. Folders for physical safekeeping, keywords and other metadata for categorising, collections for grouping and gathering.

John
 
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I am in mid switch to a change in my process flow and how images are organized.
My legacy flow did not use keywords, only ratings, color labels and folder structures (Year -> Event -> Sub-Event).
So when I imported images, I put them in a pending folder by date. Then I proceeded to move the images to the correct folders, using a text file to keep track of my own project status for other processes (such as geo tagging, and facial tagging).

Since I recently finished the facial tagging of all the images and was at a good stopping point, I made the switch to a new flow based somewhat loosely on John B. Smart Workflow and comments from Cletus and others; which makes extensive use of Titles, Keywords and other features. Under the new system, new images are no longer in a complex folder structure, instead they are imported based on dates using some default from Lr. (I only have a single import under this process, so this will be fun!)
 

mkilci

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Great feedback guys...

Thank you for the link to the Workflow. It is a good starting point...
 
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Under the new system, new images are no longer in a complex folder structure, instead they are imported based on dates using some default from Lr.
And the beauty of LR is that you don't have to go back and move older images around into date based folders (unless you are anal retentive like I was). A collection based organization using keywords and other metadata works with any filesystem folder scheme.
 
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And the beauty of LR is that you don't have to go back and move older images around into date based folders (unless you are anal retentive like I was). A collection based organization using keywords and other metadata works with any filesystem folder scheme.

yup. I actually have the folder panel closed for a week now. Feels really odd! However, I will get used to it.
But now as I go through the images, I have found I need another field :D Not sure what to use.
I have Title which really goes to the event. Such as Christmas Season 2016. I use captions on individual images, such as "End of runway 5", or "Leo attacking the cake". But in a lot of my folders I had an intermediate level, I logically thought of as sub-event. Such as Parents House or In Laws Visit; both under Christmas 2015.
Any suggestions?
 
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I logically thought of as sub-event. Such as Parents House or In Laws Visit; both under Christmas 2015.
These are keyword phrases. "Parents House" is a location. "In Laws Visit" and "Christmas 2015" are event keywords. Title is a short phrase that describes the image such as "Leo attacking the cake". I use caption as a paragraph length description of anything important to know about the image, often pulled out of the metadata but made available for images published to social media websites. e.g. "Location: Bellaire.TX
Photo Settings: ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec at f/10 ISO:500 Lens: 105 mm f/2.8"

There is no reason not to include both events and sub events in the caption.
 
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These are keyword phrases. "Parents House" is a location. "In Laws Visit" and "Christmas 2015" are event keywords. Title is a short phrase that describes the image such as "Leo attacking the cake". I use caption as a paragraph length description of anything important to know about the image, often pulled out of the metadata but made available for images published to social media websites. e.g. "Location: Bellaire.TX
Photo Settings: ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec at f/10 ISO:500 Lens: 105 mm f/2.8"

There is no reason not to include both events and sub events in the caption.

hmm... Interesting to think of it that way. If I do that, I end up with lots of keywords which are transient in nature. This gives me a much larger keyword list, not sure if that is good or bad.
I have Christmas Season actually as a keyword, so I can use the same keyword, year to year. I assume I can always get the year from capture date. About half of my "sub-events" are not really repeating between the years, so I probably should have used a better example. Consider this example:
"Nigel and Rea-Ann's Wedding 2010" as the title.
@Event -> Family Vacation -> Domestic
@Event -> Celebrations -> Wedding
In the folders, I have the following additional sub-event data: Beach Party - 2 days later, Ceremony, Hangover, Museum tour, Reception

I was using title more like the album name in FaceBook or Picasa... with the caption generally a snarky comment :D
Since I am looking at joining a photo club, I may need to rethink the caption idea you are using.
 

PhilBurton

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As others have written a date-based folder structure is convenient but should not be relied up for anything more than just keeping folder counts manageable. It can be moderately useful for events that took place on one day or in a small range of days. Here is my folder structure:

YYYY/MM/DD. I don't use folders for days and months in which I did not take any pictures.

Phil
 
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As others have written a date-based folder structure is convenient but should not be relied up for anything more than just keeping folder counts manageable....Here is my folder structure:

YYYY/MM/DD. I don't use folders for days and months in which I did not take any pictures.
I found that I ended up with about 1000 images or less per month. (Sometimes far less) Quite manageable in a single monthly folder. I changed my import folder structure to YYYY/MM some time back, Part of the reason is that after post processing is complete, I move folders to a EHD (in LR) this usually occurs 3 months after the images were shot. Having one month per folder facilitates this, although LR is perfectly happy to simultaneously move all daily folders from a given month.
 

PhilBurton

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I found that I ended up with about 1000 images or less per month. (Sometimes far less) Quite manageable in a single monthly folder. I changed my import folder structure to YYYY/MM some time back, Part of the reason is that after post processing is complete, I move folders to a EHD (in LR) this usually occurs 3 months after the images were shot. Having one month per folder facilitates this, although LR is perfectly happy to simultaneously move all daily folders from a given month.
Sometimes I don't do any photos for an entire month, other months I've very active. For me, consistency is important, so I know that image files are always in the DD folders. For others, my folder structure may be "too much information" or simply too much complexity.

the point of a date-based folder structure is keeping the OS "happy."

Phil
 
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Since I am looking at joining a photo club, I may need to rethink the caption idea you are using.
I have Jeffrey Freidl's "jf Collection Publisher" It has the sophistication to use Tokens to create Titles and Captions Such as the example that I posted. There is also some "if,then,else" logic for renaming exported images based upon the present or absence of keywords and other metadata. Here is my File naming template for creating club photos by category:
Code:
{[email protected];U}
{[email protected]:Nature;N }
{[email protected]:Travel;T }
{[email protected]:Pictorial;P }
{[email protected]:PhotoJournalism;J
}{[email protected];C}
{[email protected];A}
{[email protected];M}
{[email protected];F}
{Title}{Copy name}{Filename number suffix}_CLee
 

bob chadwick

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One folder per year with collections and keywords to search and organize.
 
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Cletus,

I have a long way to go....
 
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