LIGHTROOM TIP: Organizing Collections From Folders

Hey everyone. Sorry for being away lately. If you follow my personal blog (if you’re in to landscape photography I hope you do), I posted that I was going to be gone for a week filming a Landscape Photography at Mt. Rainier (outside of Seattle) class for KelbyOne. Well, I had no idea that I wouldn’t have any internet and cell service for most of the time. Anyway, I’m back in the office until Photoshop World and I wanted to get out a quick tip that I just learned this week…

Side Note: I posted a recap of my photos from that trip in case you want to see it. Here’s the link.

Okay on to the tip. And it’s one that I can almost definitely (like the way I just covered myself there), I’m nearly positive (yup, once again), that you don’t know. Collections are a very popular way of organizing your photos in Lightroom. But did you know that you can drag a folder from the Folders panel, in to the Collections panel and Lightroom will automatically make a Collection out of it?

We had Sharad Mangalick, the Lightroom Product Manager from Adobe, visit earlier this week. In one of our meetings he did this tip, and here’s a quick recap of the conversation:

Me: “Dude! What’d you just do?!!!”.
Him: “I just dragged the Folder in to the Collections panel to make a Collection”
Me: “Really?!!!”
Him: “Yeah, you didn’t know that?”
Me: “Ummm, uhhhh, ummm Yeah, of course I did. I was just surprised you did too” :-)


Anyway, if you’re wondering why this works well it’s because a lot of people have a workflow where they create a collection of everything from the shoot. Then, they proceed to Reject the bad photos and get rid of them. When they’re done, what’s left is the good stuff. It’s a slightly different way of working, where you make the collection first, and then reject. Rather than, rejecting, getting your favorites, and then making a collection. But I know it’s part of many people’s workflows, and with this tip, it’s that much easier.

Anyway, there’s a little tip for ya’. Enjoy and I hope you have a great weekend!

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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  1. Thanks very much, Matt!

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  2. That’s almost great Matt, but I’d like to create collection sets by dragging instead.

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  3. I just had that same reaction reading this! Now if they would only allow me to copy and paste collections I would be a happy man!

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  4. Hey, Matt–

    The Subscribe button for the newsletter on your other blog doesn’t work. Plus, I thought I was already subscribed, but haven’t gotten anything in a while.



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  5. Hey Matt. I just saw Janine’s comment and checked. The last new post notification I know I received because it’s still in my inbox was from February 12 (the Death Valley racetrack post). I was traveling for a couple of months and didn’t notice they were missing. I’ll try checking the two boxes below to see if that helps.

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  6. works nicely.
    Would even be nicer if it would work with solo mode.
    With many folders to “cross” before arriving at the collections part things may get “lost”

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  7. Great tip Matt. It fits right in with the way I store my images on disk.


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  8. Matt
    Love your blog and website. Question about using collections. If you use a collection to do the editing for you photos to get to the “good” ones, how do you delete the rejected photos from your hard drive? deleting the rejects from the collection, just removes them form the catalog.

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