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Lightroom Export Trick

March 8th, 2012  |  Published in Featured, Shoot

~by Andree Kehn

I am as scattered as they come. After a couple of years of being in business I realized that I needed to standardize my client folders so that I wouldn’t lose my mind.

I created a client folder template that lives on my hard drive, and eventually built automation into my Lightoom catalog. Every client has the same output, every time.

That way, when the client gets around to ordering their files, or vendors come around looking for sample photos, the images are ready to go. No need to fire up Lightroom again.

I use a new Lightroom catalog for every job. I do this in part because Lightroom has a reputation of bogging down after tons of images are added to the catalog, but mostly because I find it keeps me better organized.

I created a Lightroom catalog template, which lives in my client template folder. It has all of my preferences set up the way I like them. My special development settings I use on import, slideshows specifications, brushes and presets and are all ready to go each and every time I create a new catalog.

Every time I create a new job, I copy the folder template and rename it with the job name. Inside this template is the Lightroom catalog. I rename the catalog, open it and start importing.

But what really keeps me organized is the Export panel.

Here is where Earl Christie saves the day. He helped me create a folder structure on my hard drive for all of the different size images I use.

Then we created Export User Presets for all of those files sizes. I use Client High Res, Client Small Res, Blog and, Facebook. Each User Preset is created with all of the specifications I need to output those files.

When I export, I work my way down the list of export options and all of the images go into their respective folders in my hard drive “00Processing Output” Folder. I don’t need to navigate to the appropriate folder every time I export. I just click one after the other and all of my files are automatically exported. Then I go to bed.

When I come back to work, I simply copy the entire collection over to the client folder. Since I am copying the folders, the folder structure is identical for every client. If I need to pull images for a blog post or for a vendor, I can go right to any client folder and know exactly where to find them in the right dimensions.

Once I’ve copied the files over to the client folder, (and backed up my drives) I trash all of the files in the 00Processing folder, so it is ready to accept the next export from Lightroom.

It’s a super simple solution that is one more step to staying organized.

Let me hear what you do!

About Andree

Andree Kehn has written 38 post in this blog.

Andree is a fun Bethel Maine Wedding Photographer, who specializes in contemporary photojournalism. She eats shoots and leaves.


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