The Introduction

Dated lightroom Folders with titles

This is an example of my Lightroom Library folder structure

If you are an experienced Lightroom user and comfortable managing your images and importing into Lightroom, you probably don’t need to read any further. You can go watch Julieanne Kost’s excellent importing video tutorial on the Adobe site. However, if you’re still struggling to organize your Lightroom Library this is the place to start: the Import.

Most of my initial house calls for private sessions start with finding, repairing, restoring and reorganizing a student’s Lightroom library. Through these experiences I’ve developed an approach to importing that works for both low-tech and high-tech users. Once it’s set up, it’s really pretty simple and close to automatic, as Lightroom always remembers your last Import settings. And then, once you’ve imported, it’s just a matter of folder naming and keywording, but never, ever make changes from outside of the Lightroom program. That’s where the trouble frequently begins.

I’m going to point out all the quirks and issues and make my recommendations but won’t review all the Import features, only what has been working best for my students. In the end, you should be better able to maintain an orderly catalog of files and folders.

As always, I will try to keep the tech talk down or at least define it. I hope you know the names of, at least, some the panels and tools in Lightroom. Adobe sometimes uses multiple names for the same thing, when they do, I’ll try to make sure the different names are noted. And don’t forget to RTFM – Read The Freakin’ Manual, or at least glance at it once and a while when you’re having trouble sleeping.

Because Lightroom Importing is so crucial to maintaining a functional Library I will be writing three separate posts: Source, Preview Area and Destination.

Coming up: Source