LIGHTROOM Moving pictures to individual folders.

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I am brand new to Lightroom. My pictures are automatically imported from my camera. Where are they stored (Windows)? How do I get them into individual folders?
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Bob Crouch

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Posted 4 years ago

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Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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They're copied to the location you set in the Destination panel in the Import dialog.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Initially you pick the Destination for your Import at the top-right of the Import panel.

Here are a couple Import tutorials:

After importing, if you want to reorganize your pictures, you can drag-and-drop within the Folder panel of the Library module, creating new folders with right-click as necessary, then dragging and dropping selections of photos into those folders.

In the second video, above, Julieanne talks about importing direct from the card using LR as a first option, and copying the photos from the card to the hard-disk outside of LR, using Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac), then using Add as the second option. I prefer this second option, so I can organize my photos better, but it does require some sort of thumbnail viewer in the operating system to better understand which photos are from which photoshoot, if you have more than one on your card. Usually I don't. but sometimes I do two things before I get back to my computer so have multiple locations/events.

I mention this because you're asking where you photos went, and so obviously you haven't thought about where they should go and did something about it before clicking the Import button and assuming LR would magically do things how you wanted.

Think about how you want to organize your photos. Personally, I have a folder that includes a Date and the Location/Event/Subject name as the folder name, so each photoshoot is in a separate folder.

For example, a folder from last night, is: 2014-07-06_CicadaHatching because when I took my dogs out at night, I saw a half-hatched cicada on my oak tree and took some pictures of it. Putting the date in YYYY-MM-DD order allows the operating system to sort things by date. If I used MM-DD-YYYY then all the Junes or Decembers from whatever year would be together instead of things being in chronological order. This is important, because I eventually archive off my old pictures and it's easier to tell what is old and new if they are ordered by date starting with the year. I include the Location/Event/Subject as the second part of the folder name so I can visually find a particular folder if I approximately know what timeframe I took it, or I can always use the operating system file/folder search function to find a folder if I'm not sure what timeframe it's in. If I was doing a photoshoot for money I'd have the type of shoot and the client-name in the folder name along with the date.

These separate folders are all under a common folder of my photography photos, so I don't get them mixed in with all the other random photos that might exist on my hard disk. I also don't put them under my OS's Pictures folder because I don't want the OS to add user-level security to them that might make them inaccessible if I log in as another user or have some problem with a particular user profile and need to create another.

Finally, I actually have my LR catalog and recent photos on a 2 terabyte external USB-attached hard-disk and back them up to a second 2 terabyte external hard-disk so I can move them from one computer to another. It is doubly-important to make a backup of your work in this situation because it is easy to drop or lose a portable hard-disk, and so I have a full copy of the one hard-disk on the backup hard-disk so if I did have a problem, I could just abandon the old disk and use the backup disk as my new one and keep on working. Of course I need a new backup disk and copying everything across take quite a few hours seeing as the disk has such high capacity. The best thing would probably be to have two extra backup disks so if my main disk is no longer working, I can start using one of the backup disks and have a second backup to feel more safe with. I am just a photohobbyist so I don't care as much and only keep one backup.