Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I started using Lightroom years ago on Version 1 or 2, and back then, I told it to import my photos into a folder, and put the photos into a folder for each day (for example 2006-01-07, etc.).

It has now gotten to a stage where I have a LOT of folders with photos set out this way and I have begun thinking about converting them to a folder structure by month and year (above would now be in a folder called 2006/01/07).

Since all my photos are in one major directory, and since all my RAW Files have a XMP file associated with them, I am wondering if

  • creating a new Lightroom Library,
  • importing my photos to that new library,
  • moving the photos to a new directory and
  • working on the new structure that way

would be a good approach.

Is there a better way of moving photos and folders around in Lightroom? By the way, I am currently on Version 4.

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2 Answers 2

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You can reorganize folders quite easily within Lightroom -- just drag and drop. The trick is simply to do all of the work in Lightroom so that it understands where you're moving photos to and can keep the database updated. (That is, do not go to Finder or Explorer and start dragging folders around.)

In the Folders panel in the Library module, I'd go about this by creating the folder structure 2006/01 then dragging 2006-01-07 into it -- creating 2006/01/2006-01-07. A little redundant, but very fast and easy!

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Cool. that should do what i need it to do... –  TiernanO Mar 12 '12 at 19:43
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I don't see there being any need to create a new library. Lightroom 4 will import and optimize your library just fine and you can make the changes easily enough.

My personal preference is a simple year/month organization like I think you said you are using. Anything beyond that and I use Lightroom's metadata filtering, which can be used to select photos by any criteria you want, such as day or lens, or whatever. From there you can drag and drop them into whatever structure you would like.

It should be easy enough to select all images in a given month and drag them into the top month folder, if that's what you want to do.

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