If you are a photographer you know how tedious it can be to keep your photos organized and find them quickly. Lightroom was created to help people like you keep everything in one easily accessible space. If you are like most photographers you likely have a ridiculous amount of images to store and may be wondering how many photos Lightroom can handle at once.
There is no definitive number of photos that you can store and edit in Lightroom. Many photographers have over 50,000 images in Lightroom with plenty of space to spare. The primary factor is how you keep them organized and the processing speed and storage space on your computer.
For more information on Adobe Lightroom’s storage capacity and tips for keeping things organized continue reading.
Understanding How Lightroom Stores Photos
With the digital age in full bloom, it is easier to snap more pictures than ever; keeping thousands of photographs organized can be a tedious task for anyone. That is one reason why Lightroom is such a great addition to your design arsenal.
Lightroom has no limit to the number of photos you can import into a catalog. That is another reason why most professionals recommend only using one catalog. This will be discussed more further in the article.
When you need to organize photos it helps to have a clear understanding of how Adobe’s Lightroom stores photos and how best to organize them so you don’t lose your mind searching through endless thumbnails.
Easy Organization With Keywords and Links to RAW Files
The reason Lightroom is so handy is that it manages information such as where the original file is located as well as a link to the file. The program also stores certain keywords, ratings, and processing information so you can easily search for and find the file when it is needed.
When you import a photograph into Lightroom the program automatically creates the link telling you where which device and location the file’s original file came from.
Any changes made to the photo will be applied to the file in a non-destructive way so that you always have an original copy in the event you need to do further edits or use the original photograph for something else.
For more information on how many photos can be stored in Lightroom and the best way to organize them once imported continue reading.
Easily Organize Thousands of Photos in One Lightroom Catalog
Whether you are using Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC it is important to take some time to consider a few things before randomly importing a whole bunch of photos.
Importing a whole bunch of photos without any strategy can result in a very messy storage situation that can cause time delays or lost photos.
To avoid common issues that many photographers run into follow these steps.
Create a Homebase For RAW Files
The first step to consider is where you plan on storing your RAW files that will be uploaded to Lightroom. If you only use one computer then storing them on your computer should be sufficient as long as you have plenty of storage and memory.
If you tend to hop from one computer/device to another it is best to store your RAW files on a removable USB drive or some other external hard drive storage device so you can easily take your files with you wherever you go.
Cut The Cuteness And Be Practical
When naming files, folders, and sub-folders it is important to use labels that make sense. Don’t use weird names or random letters and numbers to describe the image because it will be very difficult to search for the image later.
If Lightroom cannot find the file you are searching for because it was poorly labeled the result will be you searching through thousands of images until you come across the one you desire.
It is equally as important to label your RAW files in the same way you do in Lightroom so you can easily find the original files if necessary.
One And Done – Multiple Catalogs Gets Confusing
Professional users highly recommend creating only one catalog rather than multiple catalogs for every category/sub-category.
When you create more than one Lightroom catalog it can become extremely difficult and time-consuming to find images, and import or export files. It is just generally harder to keep up with things if you have more than one Lightroom catalog.
One well-organized catalog has been proven to be more beneficial to hobbyists and professionals.
If you are organizing photographs for personal and professional reasons you can still effectively use a single catalog as long as you are mindful and clear about how you label and categorize your files.
An example of how best to organize your photographs is listed below to give you a more clear understanding.
Create A Catalog
Begin by creating your catalog in Lightroom.
Create Two Main Catagories
Next, Create a folder for your professional photographs. It is best to label it with the name of your business/company or simply label it as “Work”.
Next, create a second folder for your personal photography. You can also name this folder whatever you like, but be sure it is clear so you don’t get confused later on down the road.
A good label would be “Personal” or “Memories”.
It is not set in stone that you can only create two main folders however it will help to simplify the process of searching for particular images.
If you have multiple companies or clients you can still create a folder for each one in your main “Work” folder.
Create Sub-Folders As Needed
Once you have your two main folders created you can begin to create folders and sub-folders in each main folder as you import new images.
As you take more photographs you can add more sub-folders/categories within the main “work” or “personal” folders as necessary.
Continue reading to learn why it is better to use Lightroom than an online file browser.
Don’t Be Fooled By Online File Browsers
Online browsers can be helpful for some organizing however if you want to have access to your photographs from any location it is best to stick with Adobe’s Lightroom.
Lightroom allows you to access your files no matter where you are even if you are not using the device in which the RAW is stored.
Lightroom saves any changes you make to the image and applies them in a way that the original image will not be altered or harmed. Lightroom is considered to be a non-destructive way of editing and storing photography.
The Only Limitation Is The Size Of Your Hard Drive
Lightroom is such a great addition to a photographer and designer’s portfolio of tools because there is no worry about how many photos can be uploaded and stored. The only thing you have to worry about is the device you are using and how much room is on your hard drive whether it is on a computer or an external drive.