New to Photography and Lightroom - Need help Sorting Photos.

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  • Updated 3 weeks ago
Hi, I am very new to photography and Lightroom (only been working with it for a month now). I am using Lightroom CC Classic and am loving the simplicity of the program. Where I am having issues is the organization of the photos. I wind up with several versions of the photos on my computer this is causing a couple of problems.

1. I am quickly filling up my hard drive 
2. When I Export my photos with the watermark it takes me forever to find the photos I need to put online.

If I move the photos in lightroom to make the folders make more sense I loose the photos. and if I organize the photos on my computer I cant find them again in lightroom.... 

I have an external hard drive I would like to use to keep all the photos on to lighten the load on my labtop. In addition when exporting the photos from lightroom to post online I need the photos to be watermarked but when the clients select the photos they want they can not be watermarked..... does this mean I have to have 2 files of each photo exported?  

Please help!! I need to find simple way to keep the photos easily organized. I shoot in Raw which also adds an additional piece because my computer shows 2 files for every photo.  
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Bobbi Boyd

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Jim Robertson

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There is no one right to keep your images in folders. Personally I have a folder structure by date, others have folders by subject, others by "job" (wedding, model shoots etc and so on) So you need to work that one out for yourself. 

If you properly keyword your images (yes it takes time) you should be able to find particular images regardless of the folder arrangement.

It sounds as though you are shooting RAW and jpg and that is why you have two of every photo. Do you really want/use the jpg from the camera? If not just shoot RAW.

You should only have one copy of your finished image in the catalog (other than perhaps virtual copies). If you want a watermarked one for the web, then export it with the watermark to your desktop, DO NOT include it in the catalog, and upload the watermarked jpg from the desktop to the web. (There is maybe a way to upload directly from LR ???)

When your client selects a photo, then export/print/send them the processed catalog version.
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Jerry Syder

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"If I move the photos in lightroom to make the folders make more sense I loose the photos. and if I organize the photos on my computer I cant find them again in lightroom.... " - You really should try and move them within LR but I have heard of instances when they haven't moved successfully. What I usually do is move them externally, then point Lightroom in the direction of these photos. To do this:
1. Find the folder that was moved externally(you'd see a question mark on it)
2. Right Click and select 'Find Missing Folder' (see screenshot below)
3. Locate and select the folder in Explorer/ Finder and click on it

Lightroom then identifies all photos in that folder


Regarding finding your watermarked files, how do you export? Do you create a folder for each export or just add the photos to one folder? If you create a folder for each export, then they should be easy to find. You may have to provide more information on how you're exporting for us to get a clearer picture. Maybe post a few screenshots, specifically the watermarking section. Do you see a sample of the watermark as per below? 



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David Converse

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You might want to invest in a Lightroom training course or book. At least check out the free Lightroom training videos Adobe has and spend some time on YouTube looking through training videos.

There are numerous ways to organize photos and once you know how to use the program, you can decide which is right for you.
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Paul Plak

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M’y organisation is based on capture date, but I often add a hint at the back of the date in the directory name, so I know the main location or the main subject.

Raw files are in the top directory. Exported pictures come in directories below. One directory is for internet resized and processed jpg others for HR TIFF files, some for panorama assemblies outside LR, etc. I do not reimport the m in LR I use another external digital image management software for that.
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Jim Robertson

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Do you really need to keep copies of internet resizes, HR TIFF etc etc. Just keep the finished RAW file and you can export it again as appropriate,  if needed - sounds like you're using up hard drive space you don't need to. I keep assembled pano, but usually don't keep the individual frames of the pano.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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If you haven't already done so, grab the free Quick Start eBook from my website so you quickly get an overview of how Lightroom interacts with the files stored on your hard drive. https://www.lightroomqueen.com/quickstart