Video in Lightroom


Today’s Question: Do you see it as realistic to import my video files to Lightroom or should I consider another app and leave Lightroom only for photos?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To me it depends on the nature of the video. My approach is to keep videos that I see as “belonging” alongside my photos in my Lightroom catalog. Videos that are intended for a specific video project (such as training videos in my case) are not imported into Lightroom, and instead are managed through a separate workflow.

More Detail: As I imagine most photographers can appreciate, Lightroom is first and foremost a tool for managing still photos. However, it does support a variety of video formats, and you can import videos right alongside your still photos. You can even apply some basic adjustments and trimming to your video clips within Lightroom.

That said, for “serious” video projects, you would likely be doing the vast majority of your work outside of Lightroom. Perhaps, for example, you might use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit your videos, and perhaps use Adobe Prelude to manage your videos before production. In those types of situations, I wouldn’t import the videos into Lightroom, as they wouldn’t really fit into the context of my Lightroom catalog.

Of course, many photographers (including myself) capture videos that serve as more of a supplement to still photos than as elements of a larger video project. For example, those videos might be used along with still photos as part of a slideshow presentation. These types of video captures were, in my view, captured for much the same reason the still photos were captured. As a result, I import these types of videos into my Lightroom catalog right along with my still photos from the same trip or photo shoot.

So, while I do feel that all of my still photos belong in Lightroom simply because they’re my photos, the same isn’t necessarily true for video captures. For video I recommend considering the context (and intent) for those videos before deciding whether to import them along with your still photos into your Lightroom catalog.