Lightroom Archives -
This post is a continuation of the previous post about creating a solid Lightroom workflow and staying organized with your images all year. If you feel all over the place with your image organization, go read that post! Keep reading to learn more about how to export your images using Lightroom export presets.

Exporting your images correctly in Lightroom is very important. It’s especially important when you’re using those images on your website and blog. If you don’t do it correctly you can kill your page speed which negatively affects your SEO. You also don’t want to upload low-resolution files to your client galleries as your clients won’t be able to print their images with the best quality possible.

As a web designer for wedding photographers, one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers constantly doing is uploading images with HUGE file sizes. By huge I mean more than 1MB. I keep my blog images to 1600px wide and less than 250kb, and so should you.

An easy way to keep images consistent is to use Lightroom export presets. In this post, I will walk you through which settings you should use when exporting for blog and client gallery use, and how to create export presets.

To create Lightroom export presets and export images with the correct settings for blog and client gallery use, follow these steps:

For exporting DIGITAL IMAGES used for Blog and Social Media (web quality):
  1. Select the edited images inside of your Captures > Digital folder that you will be using for your blog and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked). See image above.
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Color Space: sRGB
      • Limit File Size To: 250 K
    • Image Sizing
      • Resize to Fit: Width & Height
      • W: 1,600
      • H: Leave blank.
      • Set size units to ‘pixels’
      • Resolution 100 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: Copyright Only
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Blog – Digital”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > blog folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting RAW files that will be uploaded to your website/blog.


For exporting FILM SCANS used for Blog and Social Media (web quality):

  1. Select the edited images inside of your Captures > Film Scans folder that you will be using for your blog and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked). See image above.
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Color Space: sRGB
      • Limit File Size To: 350 K
    • Image Sizing
      • Resize to Fit: Width & Height
      • W: 1,600
      • H: Leave blank.
      • Set size units to ‘pixels’
      • Resolution 100 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: Copyright Only
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Blog – Film”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > blog folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting film scans that will be uploaded to your website/blog.


For exporting DIGITAL IMAGES used for client galleries (high resolution):

  1. Select all of your edited images inside of your Captures > Digital folder and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked). See image above.
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Quality: 85
      • Color Space: sRGB
    • Image Sizing
      • Resolution 300 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: All Metadata
      • Remove Personal info
      • Remove Location Info
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Client – Digital”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > Client folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting RAW files that will be uploaded to client galleries.


For exporting edited FILM SCANS used for client galleries (high resolution):

  1. Select all of your edited film scans inside of your Captures > Film Scans folder and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked). See image above.
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Quality: 100
      • Color Space: sRGB
    • Image Sizing
      • Resolution 300 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: All Metadata
      • Remove Personal info
      • Remove Location Info
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Client – Film”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > Client folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting edited film scans that will be uploaded to client galleries.


Using Lightroom export presets will save you time and keep all of your exported images consistent. By using the Blog export presets, you will be able to keep your website load speed fast which is great for SEO.

Working with wedding photographers and being one myself, I’ve learned the importance of using Lightroom and keeping all of your image organized and in one place. I also know how confusing and jumbled your images can get if you don’t have the right file organization process. If you feel like your images are unorganized and all over the place, and you want to know how to stay organized in Lightroom, this post is for you. This Lightroom workflow series will help you get organized and stay that way.

In this post, I will teach you:

  • How and where I create my Lightroom catalogs to stay organized
  • How to import images into your Lightroom catalog
  • How to organize images into subfolders inside Lightroom

 

In the next post, I will show you how to export images and which settings you should use for your blog and client galleries.

Creating a Lightroom Catalog on your external hard drive

Every year I start with 2 formatted external hard drives that I keep my catalog for the year on as well as all images from that year. The first hard drive acts as my main (working) hard drive, and the other acts as my backup, which I’ve explained how to backup here. I keep everything besides Lightroom itself on the external hard drive so that I can open and edit my images on any computer that has Lightroom installed on it.

To create a Lightroom catalog on your external hard drive follow these steps:

  1. Connect your new external hard drive to your computer
  2. Open your external hard drive and create 2 folders; ‘Catalog’ and ‘Library’.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective
  3. Open Lightroom. Lightroom will open the last catalog you had open. (If you don’t already have a catalog you will be prompted to create a new one.)
  4. Navigate to ‘File’ at the top of the page and click ‘New Catalog’.
  5. You will be prompted to name your new catalog and choose the destination of the new catalog. Find your hard drive and select the folder named ‘Catalog’ then click Create.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective

How to import images into Lightroom

Importing your images correctly is a valuable process to understand as wedding photographers. Most of you are likely importing thousands of images per year which makes it easy to get lost in all the files and folders if you don’t have everything organized. By importing your photos correctly into subfolders you will stay organized all year.

To import images into Lightroom and keep them organized follow these steps:

  1. Select File > Import Photos and Video… from the Lightroom navigation.
  2. Once the import window is open, select your source from the left side, usually your SD card or the folder of your film scans.
  3. Next, choose ‘Copy’ from the top middle of the import window. This will create a fresh copy of the image into your external hard drive.
  4. Under the ‘File handling’ tab on the right-hand side, make sure ‘Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates’ is checked. This will save you from importing duplicates by accident.
  5. Under the ‘Destination’ tab, make sure you have ‘Organize – By Date’ and ‘Date format – 2017/2017-11-10’ (This will be different of course depending on today’s current date)
  6. The destination of the images should be the folder we created named ‘Library”.
  7. Select ‘Import’.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno CollectiveOnce you select Import, Lightroom will automatically create a folder called ‘2017’ (or your current year) in the ‘Library’ folder. Then it will automatically create and import all of the images you had selected into a folder named after the date the images were shot on (YYYY-MM-DD).
  8. Once your images have imported, right click on the folder with the images and select ‘Rename’.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective
  9. Add the names of the client after the date (leaving the date). This will keep your shoots organized chronologically and not alphabetically.

Organizing photos into subfolders in Lightroom

Once I have all of the images for the wedding imported I create 2 subfolders inside of the main folder, ‘Captures’ and ‘Outputs’. Your captures folder will hold all of your original imported raw files and film scans. The outputs folder will hold all of your exported photos, for blog and client. This is the key to keeping everything organized and easily accessible.

To create subfolders in your catalog follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the main folder, in this case, ‘2017-10-28 Taylor & Jenna’ and select “Create Folder Inside…”
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective
  2. Name the first folder ‘Captures’
  3. Create another folder in the main folder named ‘Outputs’
  4. If you shoot film and digital, create 2 folders inside ‘Captuers’, one named ‘Film Scans’ and the other named ‘Digital’. (disregard this step if you only shoot with one medium)
  5. Now create 2 folders in your ‘Outputs’ folder, ‘Blog’ and ‘Client’.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective
  6. Now that you have all of your folders created, select your main folder and select all images ( command – A ) and drag the images into the captures folder. Be sure to separate digital and film if needed.
    Lightroom Workflow with Moreno Collective
    Reminder: Always move images inside of the Lightroom application. This way Lightroom knows where the photos are. If you move them outside of Lightroom, in finder (on mac), Lightroom will say that the images are missing.

 

You are now ready to start editing your images. Remember, you can always make more subfolders. For example, if you post a lot to Instagram, you can create an Instagram folder inside your ‘Outputs’ folder and export web-sized images to that folder that you want to specifically post to social media. This makes it so much easier to find the images you want to post to Instagram, rather than digging through your 80 blog images, or even worse, the 600-1200 images you export for your client galleries. And you can come back 2 months later and easily find those Instagram photos again!

In the next post, I will explain how I export my images in Lightroom and I will show you the export setting I used for blog images (web-sided), and images that will be uploaded to client galleries.