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Import What is the best/most practical way to organize photos?

Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
19
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
LR Classic v 10.2
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
Hi All,

I have a two-fold question.

1) I have a folder of photos from a California trip in 2002. They have been imported into LR but I must have subsequently created subfolders outside LR because it has the previews but can't find the photos. (The dreaded "!"). Right now I have folders called Bixby Bridge, road from San Francisco, etc. So do I create corresponding folders in LR and import the appropriate photos into them or do I lump the photos into a single folder and rely on captions to tell me where they are from? And when I'm importing from a folder that contains subfolders, do I need to deal with each subfolder one at a time?

2) Perhaps this should be the first part of the question: When I try to re-import the photos, LR remembers that it has imported them in the past and won't let me re-import them even when I uncheck the "don't import suspected duplicates" box. How to solve this?

Thank you for any light anyone can shed on this
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,028
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Answer you subject first then part one and touch on part two.
Consider the folders containing your image files sacrosanct managed ONLY by Lightroom. If you do this, you won’t access the images files by any other app but Lightroom and NEVER see the missing file/folder message.
The second part of organization is to use one of the date named folder schemes to import your images. Folders are not for organization. Should you some how inspire of your best efforts manage to lose an image, you only need to use Explorer/Finder to locate the date named folder where it was imported.
Group your images by Collections. That way a single image can be assigned to your California Trip and Road from San Francisco and many other collections
.
If you are using captions, you should also be using keywords All of the images taken in California can have a “California” keyword assigned no matter how many California trips Multiple keywords assigned to a single image make that image immensely more findable able. Smart Collections using keywords, collections and image metadata make you image finding even more precise. It is hard to remember caption exact caption phrases and the same holds true for long titles. Titles and Captions are important mostly for web exports to social media and web photo albums.

And Part two. Only reimport as a last resort if Lightroom thinks the images have already been imported. If Lightroom thinks an image has been imported, look in the Lightroom stored path for some clues and use Explorer/Finder to search every mounted volume to find where the file might be. Consider that it might be stored in many different folders.


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murali

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
34
Location
Redmond, WA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Organization depends on what is important to you. There is no holy grail here. I am a landscape & cityscape photographer and so I organize my folders into Countries -> Regions/Cities. As I live in Washington State, I have a granular folders of the Pacific Northwest. I import my images from the SD card into a fixed folder (Desktop\LR Import) on my C: drive which happens to be an SSD drive. After culling and processing, I move the content of the folder into an appropriate subfolder in my Picture folder. I tag every image and add lat-long info as well. I dont organize by date as dates are irrelevant to me. I have zero need to search for an image taken in a particular year, month or day. I am pretty sloppy in renaming the files as well as I have changed my naming convention a zillion times. Still, with my file structure and tags, I can access an image I want in seconds. YMMV.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
19
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
... I am a landscape & cityscape photographer and so I organize my folders into Countries -> Regions/Cities. ... I dont organize by date as dates are irrelevant to me. .... Still, with my file structure and tags, I can access an image I want in seconds. YMMV.
Thank you for another view on organizing your catalog. Obviously, there are no "one size fits all" options here.

Magda
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
411
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
It is hard to remember caption exact caption phrases and the same holds true for long titles. Titles and Captions are important mostly for web exports to social media and web photo albums.

One doesn't need to remember "exact" captions or titles. You can use the text search filter to search for individual words or strings. For example, if a caption is "Table flowers in the cafe that Sven introduced to us in Oslo", you could find this image by searching for "Sven", even though Sven is not in the photo (and therefore probably not tagged or keyworded). This facility has helped me on many occasions. I find captions and titles very useful for providing a bit of extra informational context that is not captured otherwise.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,834
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Organisation:
1. Folders for storage, backup, ease of restoration
2. Keywords and other metadata for categorising & describing photos
3. Collections for gathering and grouping photos for using them

While there is not "one size fits all", that doesn't mean all ways are equal.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
19
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Organisation:
1. Folders for storage, backup, ease of restoration
2. Keywords and other metadata for categorising & describing photos
3. Collections for gathering and grouping photos for using them

While there is not "one size fits all", that doesn't mean all ways are equal.
Thank you for your input.
 
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