Organizing Photos in Lightroom Using Stars, Colors and Smart Collections
Editing

Lightroom is an amazing program that not only allows you to edit but has a wonderful organizing system as well.

Today I’m talking about using the color coding, the star system, and the Smart Collections to save you time. Who doesn’t want to save time?

By using the color coding, I’m able to label all my 365 pictures and the Smart Collections automatically puts them in a folder for me. This means at the end of the year when it’s time to print all my 365 photos they are in one folder and I didn’t have to drop and drag them there. Love it!

16 Comments
  • August 30, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    wow, thanks for posting this! so helpful, literally have gotten LR in the last few days!
    I was really wondering about the color coding and the smart collection!
    perfect timing:)

  • August 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Love this tutorial video. The features are so simple and powerful! I love to be organized too and know this feature will save me a lot of time. I am loving Lightroom more and more :). Thank you for sharing!

  • August 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Sweet, love that I now know how to use the colors, I’m great with the star system. Have you ever used the spray can, I have heard of it but have no idea about it. Thanks for taking the time to do another great tutorial Courtney!!

    • August 30, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      Yes, I do use the spray can every now and then. I’ll do another post about that one and keywords :O)

  • August 30, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    LOL Spray Can? OH My how much I have to learn about lightroom…. I just deleted my catalog and I’m starting over on my external finally. I haven’t been home much to try this out, I’m really glad you posted this though I have GOT to organize the pics, uploading EVERYTHING to print is so not working.

  • Anita
    August 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Thanks, that was so helpful. I will try it for my 365s. It has gotten out of control. Can you do a video on making a new print templates?

    • September 5, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      Hey Anita! I’ll try and do a video like that. Let me do some more research to figure out the most I can on them :O)

  • August 31, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    I love, love, love this tip! thank you!! I’m curious, do you keep all your collections saved on your hard drive? I’m just worried about having all those large RAW files taking up disk space. I professional photog friend told me I should have nothing on my computer hard drive but rather store them on an external hard drive, which I try to do. Is there a way to store collections on an external hard drive??

    • September 5, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      I actually save all my images on an external hard drive. I don’t keep any photos on my computers hard drive. Just like you said, I knew that the RAW files would take up too much space. I’m not actually sure where the collections are stored. Since it isn’t moving where your actual image is and is just putting them in a folder in LR. If you need to export them you would need to export them from the collection. Does that make sense?

  • August 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Thanks so much…. I appreciate all the posts on LR! I would love any others you could do. Have you ever done a post on a “work flow” of sorts? I would really like to see the whole process… from snapping the photo all the way through. That would be great!

    I’m always learning something here!

    • September 5, 2011 at 7:16 PM

      Hey Christi! I actually did a post last year on my work flow. It’s slightly different now but for the most part this will give you a great idea of what I do. Also, if you would like to see more videos and tips on Lightroom you can read more here.

  • September 7, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Thank you so much! You are always so helpful! I look forward to going to the links you provided.

  • September 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve got to do this with my photos!

  • January 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    thank you! just got to use this and it was SO helpful! on my way to some serious organizing… :)

  • Crystal
    August 21, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    What do you do once you’re ready to get them from the smart collection somewhere else? Like printing… do you export all of those to a certain folder so they’re all in one spot to print? You can’t print directly from LR, so I’m not sure what the next step is after they’re gathered into a smart collection. Thanks for all you to!! You’re amazing!

    • August 26, 2015 at 6:42 PM

      Hey Crystal, yes, once I have them where I want them I will select all and export them sized properly for print to a print folder. Thanks!

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