Lightroom Tips

Lightroom and the New Year

Happy New Year folks! I hope you all had a safe, happy, and fun holiday. Now its time to get back to work. Here’s a few things for you to consider doing (if you’re not already) when it comes to Lightroom for the new year.

1. Collections – Collections are like little photo albums. They’re a quick easy way for you to always be one click away from your favorite photos. I have a video that talks a little about smart collections here and Scott has a really great post where he talks more about his collection workflow.

2. Delete more photos – One way to help wrangle your Lightroom experience is to simply have less photos in your catalog. I’ve got over 10,000 images in my catalog from 2009. You know how many made it to my portfolio or were sent off to the people I was photographing? Less than 1000. That’s 9000 photos that really don’t serve much of a purpose. A smaller photo library makes it easier on everything – you, your storage devices, and your computer. For you, its less photos to deal with and backup. For your computer, it means a smaller faster catalog. Really try to become a good photo editor and edit down to only your best photos. I’m on my way. I took a couple hundred photos of the family over Christmas and New Years. Last night I sat down and delete a lot of them so now I’m down to about 35. I felt liberated 🙂
(kidding of course, but you know what I mean).

3. Print more – Make it a point to print more. And use the Print templates to make it easier. If you’re printing one photo on a page to hang on a wall then Lightroom has some good templates to start with. But if you’ve been on vacation and want to print more photos to a page, start getting creative with print templates to do it. Here’s a video I did a while back that may help but the point is to print more. Even if you just export a bunch of 4×6’s and send them to Costco.

4. Presets – If you’ve just started following this site then you’re missing a couple years worth of Lightroom presets. There’s a nifty little button on the right side called Presets that you can click and see all of them. Give ’em a try. They’ll really speed things up for you as well as give you some neat ideas for processing your photos.

5. Backup – Lightroom’s preferences have backup options in it. I’ve written about it many times here. I also have an online training course dedicated to backing up Lightroom and your photos. Whatever you do, make sure you start a backup strategy if you haven’t already. Trust me, you’ll sleep better knowing you have.



  1. Dick Erb 9 January, 2010 at 23:06 Reply

    I have converted some raw files to DNG, but no longer do because Capture NX2, which I occasionally like to use< will not read them.

  2. Pradi 8 January, 2010 at 05:51 Reply

    Hello Matt,
    I have a question regarding Collections. Do you know of any possibility of exporting images to jpeg from a Collection Set whilst maintaining the set’s hierarchy? Till know I didn’t hear of any possibility 🙁 As a workaround, I was hoping that the Filename Template Editor would have a parameter that would identify the collection containing the image. But I stumbled on a dead end again… The Publish Services from LR3 don’t provide this functionality either.

  3. clivemoody 7 January, 2010 at 12:56 Reply

    Hi Matt, Happy New Year, am a great fan of your stuff (I’m in snowy & freezing UK). I would love to see your tutorial on backups, but not worth joining NAPP. Is there any other way I can watch this (DVD or download etc) as I want to upgrade my backup workflow?
    Keep up the great work, cheers, Clive

  4. TomB 5 January, 2010 at 14:46 Reply

    Great advice. I spent the holiday break sorting and deleting my photos which took time but was painless. Finally, I set up my new system based on your Kelby Training methodology using two external hard drives. Thanks for the guidance.

  5. SamNW 5 January, 2010 at 05:43 Reply

    Regarding backup, is Apple’s Time Machine on an external HD a sufficient solution, or should I be doing something else?

  6. Michael 4 January, 2010 at 22:26 Reply

    Happy New Year, Matt and thanks for the great site. I couldn’t agree more with you on point 2, I did a big clean out several months back and freed up close on 20 Gb of hard drive space.

  7. Bill B 4 January, 2010 at 15:13 Reply

    You mention sending 4 x 6s to Costco for printing, which is what I do. I understand that better (more predictable) results are possible by using Costco’s profile for the printer at their local outlet. I recently downloaded it and have managed to install it but I do not know what to do after choosing that profile in the Color Management window. The Print command want to send the image to my printer. How do I get something that I can upload to Costco? Thanks.

  8. Rachel O 4 January, 2010 at 11:55 Reply

    Thanks for these reminders/challenges as we head into this new year. I need to work on number 5, especially.

    I recently got PS 8 Elements for Mac and was so excited to be able to go from LR 3 Beta to PS in a quick manner. But I’ve just discovered that that option is grayed out on LR 3 (Photo -> Edit In). Is that because it just isn’t functional in LR3 or is that because something hasn’t been set up on my computer. I’ve been searching around for this answer and can’t seem to find it. I’d be appreciative if you could answer this.

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