Bridge to Lightroom

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Today’s Question: How can you move an extensive list of folders from Adobe Bridge to Lightroom and maintain the folder structure?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can simply import your entire folder structure using the “Add” option in Lightroom’s import feature, and your complete existing folder structure will be retained and reflected within your Lightroom catalog.

More Detail: Many photographers have a misconception about the Lightroom catalog and the impact of that catalog on an existing folder structure. Put simply, the Lightroom catalog references your existing file and folder structure, so that any folder structure you’ve been using to manage your photos thus far can still be used if you choose to transition to Lightroom.

When you are importing photos from an existing folder structure, you can simply select as the source of your import the top-level folder for that storage structure. For example, this might be the “Pictures” folder in your operating system or an external hard drive dedicated to the storage of photos.

By enabling the “Include Subfolders” option at the top of the left panel in the Import dialog, and making use of the “Add” option at the top-center of the dialog, you can add your entire existing collection of photos into your Lightroom catalog.

For subsequent import operations, you can use the Copy option to, for example, download images from the media cards from your camera to the storage location that contains your photos. You can also create a folder as part of that process, based on the folder strategy you’ve already defined for managing your photos.

To learn more about understanding Lightroom, defining a workflow that best suits your needs, and much more, take a look at my “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom” bundle. This bundle is useful even for photographers who haven’t made a mess in Lightroom and want to be sure they avoid doing so. You can get a discount on this full bundle of video courses by following this link:

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