Earlier I wrote a short article on how I use Lightroom to organize my photos. This is a short update to use as a 'crib sheet'. Always
- Keep your original photos in one place. May as well be a sub-folder of your "Pictures" folder.
- Keep any photos that you export, in a separate place.
- Keep a full back-up of your photos, on another drive. Include a backup of your Lightroom catalog(s).
- Change the name of any photos that you export from Lightroom. I use "X" as a suffix. That tells me that this photo was exported, and is not an 'original'.
Change the name of an original photo. If you do, Lightroom will not be able to find it.
Suggestions for Managing photos for various uses
- Inside your "Pictures" folder, create two sub-folders. "Original" and "Edited". Set your default import settings in LightRoom to import to that "Original" folder. I use dates for sub-folders.
- Never change the names of any of your "Original" pictures. When you export any edited versions, export them to the "Edited" folder. You can set this as a default when you create export pre-sets in LR.
- Create different sub-folders inside "Edited", based upon your needs. It's best to match these to the your Export Presets in Lightroom. Here are a few that I can think of:
- Web Email/Blog (Example, Resize to longest edge 640, 72 dpi, Quality 65)
- Web Full Screen (Resize to longest edge 2400, 72 dpi, Quality 75)
- Print Quality (No Resize, 300 dpi, Quality 90)
If you do commercial photography you now have a storage place for different photo sizes that you can use to easily send out press kits for web, print and emailing.
Create online assets
If you do a lot of marketing with your photos, it's a good idea to put them up on a sharing site. I reccomend Photo Bucket which allows you to host unlimited photos, and to create different galleries, some public and some private. This allows your entire team to have access to photos for sharing, and also you can point to specific galleries in your press releases to they can to to your 'online press kit'.