Como organizar suas fotos no Lightroom
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How to organize your photos in Lightroom

Following with the posts about by production, today I will talk a little about the program I use for such a process, Adobe’s Lightroom, and today the tips are on how to organize your photos in Lightroom and make your work more fluid and faster when choosing the photos you will work.

How to organize your photos in Lightroom

The Lightroom catalog is a database containing all the relevant information Lightroom needs about your photos in order to process your images and maintain a workflow.

Lightroom is a digital negative management tool, you can use it to organize and search your photos, as well as process them.

This is the main difference between Lightroom and Photoshop, which is a powerful image editor but has no database features.

Even if you use Photoshop for all your processing you can still use Lightroom to view, organize and search your photos.

Using collections

One of the coolest things about Lightroom is the fact that you can create photo collections, a collection is like a virtual folder in the photo catalog.

You can create as many collections as you want and it’s the simplest wood to separate your photos.

Think you have a session with 10 templates. By downloading all the photos from the session in Lightroom you will have them all mixed up.

The easiest at this time is to create a collection for each template where you only have her photos.

Lightroom uses collections to organize your images.

The collection is a virtual folder that exists in the Lightroom catalog. You can create as many collections as you want within Lightroom and use them for any purpose you see fit.

The more you use them, the more you will find better ways to use them.

There are several types of collections for you to organize your photos in Lightroom:

Collections: Virtual folders in which you can add any photo you’ve imported to Lightroom.

Collection group: Another type of virtual folder for which you can add collections, but not photos. Sets are used to keep your collections organized.

organize your photos in Lightroom
This screenshot shows the icons used to represent collection sets and Collections in Lightroom. Xi’an – Terracotta Warriors (red arrow) is a collection set. Full Selection (Green Arrow) is a Collection. The icon is indented because it is inside the collection set.

Smart collections: These are collections that are automatically populated according to the rules you define.

For example, you can create a smart collection that contains all photos taken in 2015, marked with the key phrase “New York” to find all photos that meet these criteria.

Smart collections is a way to search for images.

Published Collections: These are collections that you define when you publish photos to services like Flickr or 500px.

Print collections: This type of collection uses the Lightroom Print Book module.

Creating collections and collections groups

If this is your first time using Lightroom, you won’t have any Collections yet (other than the smart collections lightroom already has).

So let’s get started! I’m guessing you’ve already imported your first photos into the Lightroom catalog.

Go to the Collections panel and click the most icon you see in the upper right corner. Select Create Collection set.

organize your photos in Lightroom

The Create Collection Set window will appear, here is where you will set the name of your collection.

organize your photos in Lightroom

Name it whatever you want. Here the collection was named as 2015.

The idea is that this collection contains all the photos taken in the year 2015 (remember that collections sets can only contain collections, not photos).

Now it’s time to create collections within this collection set, so right-click on the collection set you just created and choose Create Collections.

Lightroom will ask for a name for this collection, and again you can call it as you like, in this case the name that was given was Island Bay, simply because it was the place where the photos were taken (and saved it within the collection set 2015).

organize your photos in Lightroom

Right-click on this new Island Bay and select Create a wall. The Create Collection window opens. This is a little different and gives more options.

In the collection name you can put whatever you want, here we will do a rascal that will help organize your photos in Lightroom, check the box Set as destination collection and click Create.

organize your photos in Lightroom

Now go to the catalog pane and click Import previous.

Lightroom will display the last set of imported images in the content window.

Go to Edit> Select All to select all photos and press the B key.

Lightroom adds all selected photos to the target collection. The collection called full selection that has just been created.

organize your photos in Lightroom

The photo above shows the work that has been done so far, and the number 27 tells you how many photos are in this collection.

Collections and work systems.

Here there are several ways to create a workflow that works for you, the important thing is that the work comes out fluid and that you always know where you left that photo.

In the case of the collection we just created, imagine if instead of 27 photos she had 270, our search work would certainly be much more painful, so creating collections within smart collections is a good solution, but you will always want to see all the photos for some reason, so the collection that was created with the title Full Selection will have this role

Flags, stars and colors on Lightroom

The Lightroom database (called catalog) lets you assign Flags, ratings (stars), and color labels to your photos. There seems to be as many ways to use them as there are photographers, so here there’s not much rule.


Each photo in your Lightroom catalog flagged or not.

There are two one white flags that will indicate the photos you want to process and a black one with an X that indicates the ones that will be rejected and you will not use.

The simplest way to do this sorting is with the keyboard. Using the arrows to navigate through the images and when you get that image you want to mark with a white flag, image you want to process, just press the letter P. And if you want to reject some image use the X key.

The markers can be undone, so navigate to the photo and press the letter L.

organize your photos in Lightroom

In this photo we have an unmarked photo, one rejected and the last marked with a white flag.


This is my preferred method of separation for photo treatment.

Using the numeric keypad you can set how many stars you give for each photo, from 1 to 5, just by pressing the corresponding number of stars you want to assign to each photo.

This type of rating is very nice because you can for example sort the photos you liked the most with 1 stars, and after this filter so that Lightroom shows you only the photos that have 1 star.

After this you repeat the process only now using 2 stars for the best of the best you have chosen.

Va repeating this procedure until you reach 5 stars, this way you force yourself to always choose the best photos you took.

organize your photos in Lightroom


You can also assign a color label to your photo by selecting by going to Photo> Colored labels and choosing from red, yellow, green, blue, purple, or no color.

You can also use the numeric keypad keys 6, 7, 8, and 9 as a shortcut to applying labels.

organize your photos in Lightroom

Color labels are designed to be adaptable so you can use them for whatever you want.

You can choose what each color means, such as all photos with green color labels have already been processed and are ready.

Or anything else you want to remember what you’ve done or need to do.

Go to Metadata> Color Label> Edit to assign a meaning to each color label.

organize your photos in Lightroom

That’s it soon we’ll have more articles about post production so stay tuned.

Be sure to see also on You Tube how easy it is to find the photos you are looking for.

Leave your comment, how do you organize your photos in Lightroom?

Written by Rix Mascarenhas

Rix Mascarenhas is a photographer, videographer, and drone pilot at

Art lover, always involved with crafts, design, painting etc... As a photographer, I enjoy taking pictures and creating stories that have meaning and help people to thrive. My work is guided by the stories behind each scene that really represent the moment.


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