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Five Lightroom ‘Smart Collection’ Ideas

I always think of Lightroom Classic’s Smart Collections feature as an assistant that works tirelessly behind the scenes to gather and sort photos for you based on your suggestions. Kind of like an intern without the attitude. 😉

Anyway, here are five ideas for Smart Collections you can use to help bring a little extra organization to your Lightroom life:

Your Best Photos Of The Year

If you mark your best images with a 5-star rating (or a color label), you can have your smart assistant gather them up for you into a collection. Just create your smart collection to gather photos from 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022 that have a 5-star rating (or whichever color label you apply to your best image), and it’ll gather them up for you, including any ones you mark that way until the end of the year.

A Collection of Nothing But All Your Panos

Have your Smart Collection gather up any photos with the word “Pano” added to the file name (Lightroom automatically adds the word ‘Pano’ to the end of your complied panoramas. Well, at least if you made your pano in Lightroom, it does).

A Collection of Images You Want To File For Copyright

This is a great way to make sure you don’t forget to submit your images each year for copyright protection. Set up a Smart Collection to gather any images that: (a) are from this year, (b) have the copyright status ‘unknown’ (so you haven’t marked them as copyrighted), and (c) are saved in whichever format you save your finals in (I only submit final images for copyright – and I save my finals as JPEGs, but you can choose whatever you use for designating a final – a star rating, a pick flag, label, etc.).

A Collection of Images With a Specific Keyword

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer and you’re looking for updated images to share on your website or on social, you could create a Smart Collection of all your 5-star images with the keyword “Bride” added to it (provided, of course, that you keyword your images).

Images Without GPS Info

If they don’t have GPS info, they’re not organized on Lighroom’s built-in world map, so if you create a Smart Collection that compiles every image without GPS data into a collection, then one Saturday morning when you’ve got nothing to do, you can add these to the map, even if your camera doesn’t have built-in GPS (here’s a quick video on how to do that).

That’s just a few – if you’ve got any good ones, please share them in the comments below. 🙂

Have a great Monday, ya’ll! 🙂

-Scott

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1 comment

  1. Mike Worley 27 September, 2022 at 08:46 Reply

    I have two that I use a lot. The first one looks for photos that are not in any collection. This helps me remember to put them in at least one collection.

    The second looks for photos that I have edited (I mark completed edits with three stars) but which don’t have a caption. My thought is that if I’ve edited the photo, it is likely one I will use for something and it should have a caption so I know what it’s about at some future time.

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