If Lightroom is hard for you, there may be a very simple, yet profound reason.
These days, most folks don’t seem to struggle with things like making their photos brighter or darker in Lightroom, or how to add more contrast or Clarity — those things are pretty straightforward now thanks to all the photo editing apps we use on our phones (including Lightroom). And yes, we can always get better at editing our images, but in my experience the area where people seem to struggle the most is organization. Hands down, this is where some people hit a wall and seem to be really stuck.
Here’s why Lightroom might be hard for you
Take a look at your computer. Not in Lightroom — just on your computer itself. Are all your image files neatly organized? Is everything under one single folder; easy to find, easy to get to? Or, are your image files kind of all over the place. Some folders are out on your desktop, some are in your Pictures (or My Pictures) folder but some are in your documents folder, or other places on your hard drive, or some on are external hard drives that maybe aren’t’ currently connected to your computer? If that’s the case — your images aren’t reasonably well organized on your computer, chances are you’re struggling with getting organized within Lightroom, too.
While it is possible to have a messy hard drive structure, and have Lightroom bring order to it all, it’s fairly unlikely that’s the case. On the flip side; if you’re images themselves are organized in a decent manner on your computer, then the Lightroom part should be a breeze.
Here’s what I would do:
It’s you’re struggling with your Lightroom organization; start by getting your images organized on your computer first. Get your images all in folders, within one main folder (I would recommend your Pictures folder on Mac, or My Pictures on Windows — put ALL your folders of photos inside that one folder). When you move folders of images around on your computer like this — outside of Lightroom — Lightroom will immediately lose track of where the images in that folder are now located. So, click on the Question Mark icon that now appears on those folders inside Lightroom Classic’s Folder panel and just point Lightroom to where you moved them to, so now it will know where they are. This should be easy, because they should all be in the same place (in your Pictures or My Pictures folder).
Organizing your images like this is the first step to a happy Lightroom life.
Here’s what else I would do: I did a whole online class on a system of getting organized in Lightroom like this; starting with getting your images organized outside of Lightroom first. The method is used by thousands and thousands of photographers, and this system I created is even taught in colleges and universities around the world as well. It’s called my “Simplified Lightroom Image Management” System (or SLIM System for short) and it takes you though how I organize my own images. It’s really simple (henceforth the name), and I think it could really help you make sense of it all. Once all your images are organized, and backed up; your whole Lightroom life will be greatly improved, and you’ll sleep much better at night for it.
Here’s the link to my course (you can join for $10 bucks and watch it right now). Check out the official trailer for it (below):
You could be totally organized this weekend. Imagine what it would be like if could know exactly where all your images are located — inside and outside of Lightroom and you can find the images you want fast. Imagine being totally backed up, organized and efficient. It’s easier than you’d think will just a little help and guidance. If Lightroom is hard for you, I really believe this is the course that can change it all for you. I hope you give it a look this weekend.
Here’s wishing you an organized, fun, happy Lightroom weekend.
P.S. Do you live near Seattle? Come out and spend the day with me next Wednesday. It’s 100% money-back guaranteed if it’s not the best photography seminar you’ve ever attended at any price, ever! Tickets here.