Mastering image management and post production workflows: Create Lightroom catalogs

Creating lightroom catalog

In Part 1 of our 2-part series in improving post-production efficiency, we explored an amazing application that speeds culling. As a follow-up step, we are going to discuss how you can quickly create a catalog in Lightroom.

Lightroom displays a stream of the most recently imported or edited images. You already know how painful it is to open and display a previously-edited batch of images. This isn’t something you’d want to do when you are in crunch mode.

Creating a catalog helps you organize your images by assignment, so you can effortlessly locate and work on specific sets of images in Lightroom. A real-world example is organizing your documents in clearly labeled sections in a binder or document case. It’s the most efficient and easiest way to locate something you need.

How to create Lightroom catalogs

To start with, all your rated images go into a sub-folder under the primary assignment folder (say, Assignment X –> 4 starred images). In Lightroom, create a catalog in the primary folder and give it a name (say, 4 starred images).



Now, import the files to Lightroom.



Select all the images, and rename them (Library > Rename Photos; the shortcut is F2).



Use the “Edit” option to create a custom name setting for the images.



In this example, we have included the date of capture (20150126) as part of the filename. We have also inserted a sequence number for the images. When you’re done, all your images in this catalog will be renamed.


Since the catalog is stored in your primary folder (say, Assignment X), you can open it directly and edit your images. Or, you can choose to open it through Lightroom. Either way, you know where to find the images you need.