Reader Randall in Pennsylvania asked the following question this last week:
I'm just getting started using Lightroom and I was wondering how other real estate photographers are managing their files. For example are they creating one catalogue file per year or per project? Where are they storing the catalogue files, locally or on the external drive with the photos? In the past I have been putting all of my photos taken for my real estate photography business onto one dedicated external drive. I create folders for each year and then subfolders for each project by State, City, Street address, then subfolders entitled > As shot > Selected > Processed > Published > Hi Res > Low Res. I was wondering what file structure others use for maintaining their photos.
I can tell you what I do. Although, I don't claim that it's optimal. How you organize depends some on what volume of shoots you do. Also, too many, organization is very personal. Here's how I use Lightroom:
- I have a folder for each year and within that folder I have a subfolder for each shoot named so that the folder name has both the date and the address. If I do an RE shoot it might be called 2014-10-23-5889Montevallo.
- I keep everything I shoot in a given year in that Lightroom year folder.
- I keep one or more years on an external drive. For the current year, that I work with most I use an external SSD so Lightroom runs fast.
- Each drive has its own Lightroom catalogue.
- For real estate shoots, all the finished photos that are delivered to the client are in a collection that has is named with the address of the property and the date of the shoot.
- Also, each client has their own collection that has each shoots I've done for that client as a sub-collection in the client collection.
- I keep two backups of every Lightroom external disk, one off site. The current disk I backup every night.
I've used this same basic organization ever since I started to use Lightroom and I'm pretty happy with it. I've included a Lightroom Import tutorial above by Simon Maxwell
that has a lot of good information about importing images into Lightroom. How do organize you shoots in Lightroom?