In the “Why use collections to organize photos?” post, we learned why you might want to use collections to group photos. Now let’s learn how…
How to create a collection
To create a collection, scroll down to the Collections panel, which you’ll find in the left panel group in all modules, click the + button at the top and select Create Collection.
Name the collection (leave the checkboxes unchecked for now) and click Create, and your new collection appears in the Collections panel. When you want to view a different collection of photos, just click on its name.
From the Grid view, select your chosen photos and drag them from the preview area onto the collection. Don’t forget to grab the photos by their thumbnails, not the border surrounding them. If you don’t like dragging, right-click on the collection and select Add Selected Photos to this Collection from the context-sensitive menu instead.
Removing photos from a collection is as simple as hitting the Delete key. When you’re viewing a collection, Delete only removes the photo from the collection, rather than from the catalog or hard drive.
There are a few more collection tips and tricks on pages 115-120 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.
How do I organize my collections into sets?
As your list of collections grows, it can become harder to find the right one. Collection sets allow you to build a hierarchy of collections, just like you would with folders.
To create a Collection Set, press the + button on the Collections panel and select New Collection Set. Name it, and then drag existing collections onto the set to group them. When you’re creating new collections, you can select which set to put them in using the pop-up in the New Collection dialog.
The one downside is collection sets don’t sync to the cloud. The collections show as a flat collections list in Lightroom mobile, which can become rather long if you’re syncing a large number of collections. You can start the names of similar collections with a word such as Vacation or Genre, which will group them together on mobile as well as in Lightroom on the desktop.
Do you need to create additional collections for your best photos of each grouping? No, that would just make the list even longer! You can use flags, star ratings and filters instead. More on that in the next post.