The Most Misunderstood Word in Lightroom

Spoiler alert: it’s “Import.”

After wrapping up my Lightroom tour, I can pretty much tell you there’s no other word or concept that’s more confusing. Here’s why:

Lightroom Classic:
When you hit the “Import” button it doesn’t move your images inside Lightroom. It doesn’t import your photos — you’re just using Lightroom to “Manage” your images — it makes thumbnails of your images, but it doesn’t move them. Your images never move — if they’re stored on an external hard drive, that’s right where they remain. Even if you’re importing from your memory card — your images don’t go into Lightroom — they go onto your hard drive: Lightroom just makes thumbnails for them and lets you manage them after they’re imported onto your hard drive.

It shouldn’t say ‘Import.’ Maybe it should be “Manage.”

Lightroom CC (the cloud-storage version of Lightroom)
Here’s the weird twist — in Lightroom CC it doesn’t say “Import.” It says “Add Photos” (see below):

That’s fine, except for one thing — this version of Lightroom actually does ‘Import” your photos. They do move. They leave your computer and go up to the Cloud. If you import photos from your camera, they go up to the cloud, too. Import works here’s because your photos are moving into Lightroom’s cloud, but instead it says ‘Add Photos.’

Dear Adobe:
Help new users. Switch these terms. Import belongs in CC, and Add Photos (or “Manage” or some other more descriptive term) belongs in Classic.

Whichever one you use…
I hope this helps you to have a better understanding of what’s happening with your images once Lightroom comes on the scene.

My humble thank you to the community
Last Wednesday my wife Kalebra was involved in a serious traffic accident. A young driver turned directly in front of her and hit her nearly head-on. She was rushed to the hospital with neck, back, and chest injuries. They ran a battery of tests (Cat scans, X-rays, etc.) and it doesn’t look like there’s any permanent damage, but she’s in pretty rough shape. She has lots of contusions and bruises, and she’s in a lot of pain. I was in NYC for Photo Plus Expo when I got the call and I took the next flight home. They did release her from the hospital and she’s at home now, but she’s still in a lot of pain.

Of course, I wasn’t able to teach my Advanced Lightroom workshop at the conference, but I’m very thankful that my buddy Matt Kloskowski stepped in at the last minute to the teach the workshop (and save the day) and he did a kick-butt job (which honestly was no surprise). Thank you, Matt!!!

Also, once the word got out that I had to miss my workshop for a “Family Emergency” (and my session at Westcott’s booth, and my Book Signing at Rocky Nook, and my keynote presentation at the Lucie Technology Awards), so many friends and colleagues reached out, and we’re both so grateful. Thanks so much for all your prayers, good thoughts, and offers to help — we were both really touched. Kalebra is on the mend — it will just take lots of rest, but we feel so blessed and so grateful that it wasn’t worse. Her car was destroyed and if you saw the photos, you’d know how lucky we are that she and our super doggo Maki, (who was in a pet harness in the back seat) are all OK.

Here’s to a much better week, this week!