Lightroom Workflow Tips

Posted by: In: Lightroom, Post Processing, Techniques 24 Nov 2014 Comments: 2 Tags:


So… *cough* It’s been a while… *cough*. I’ve been putting off doing any updates mainly because of the amount of time that’s passed since I last wrote anything. However as usual –  my photography bug has gone full circle, and I’m getting back into things again. I’ve also been doing some teaching at the local college which has taken a fair bit of time but the course is done now until January, so I have a little time on my hands.

To start with, I’ve been looking at my workflow. Lightroom is my tool of choice for photo management and my whole folder system is a mess.

I have about ten catalogues – mostly all messed up and used for different ideas and projects. I have literally thousands of images shot since 2006 (when I went digital) not to mention the scanned negs…

It’s a daunting task to sort it all out, but after sitting down with a pen and paper and trying to come up with a plan, I think I’m there.

So over the next few weeks I’m going to document it here with some Lightroom workflow tips. Catalogue strategies, keywording strategies, and the basic concepts of thinning out a huge photo database. Hopefully this may help the budding photographer who has struggled with “too many” photos.

Here’s the basic process:

  • Save existing metadata
  • Back everything up!
  • Organise photos into proper folder structure
  • Build catalogue template
  • Create catalogue #1
    • Import everything
    • Add copyright metadata to all photos on import
    • 1st pass critique – delete the absolute rubbish
    • 2nd pass critique – remove the duplicate/similar images keeping only the best
    • 3rd pass – give 1 * to all the really outstanding photos
    • 4th pass – stamp “portfolio” / 5* images for passing to a Portfolio catalogue
    • Export portfolio images
    • Save metadata
    • Optimise catalogue
  • Create catalogue #2, etc etc.
  • Portfolio catalogue
    • Keywording
    • Markup for processing

It’s not a quick process. I’ve created a catalogue for each year. It’s far more manageable to do in chunks. I also have a catalogue for Screenshots, Old family photos (scanned negs) and a Portfolio catalogue.

We’ll get cracking with the pre-work later in the week.

Have fun!

Comments: 2

  1. Posted by Colin 25 Nov 2014 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Nice to see you back blogging. Been a while since I updated my own photograpy fb page. Easy to let time slip by. Great article once again.

    • Posted by Ian 25 Nov 2014 at 6:24 pm Reply

      Thanks Colin.

      Life does have a tendency to get in the way at times. I’ve got a nice series planned though. Plus trying to get out a bit with the camera.


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