by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (4)


November 17, 2011

I am often asked “What is the preferred method for loading several years of images into Lightroom?”. Personally, I would choose Import (Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift + I), select the parent folder, choose to ADD them (assuming that they are already in the desired location) set the desired File Handling, and Apply During Import options, and choose Import.

For example, I might have a folder named “Photographs” on my drive (maybe it’s on an internal drive but more than likely all of those photos are on an external drive). Inside the “Photographs” folder I would have all of my images organized into subfolders by year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 etc.). Instead of importing each year, I can simply select the parent folder (Photographs). By default, all of the subfolders will automatically be imported (if you do not see the photos in the middle section be sure to check the option to “Include Subfolders” in the Source area). Since I wouldn’t want to move the files (they are already on the drive where I want them), I will choose  “Add” (at the top-center of the import dialog). If needed, I can always move them later.

I would assume that this would be a large collection of images so I would suggest doing this before you go to bed and let Lightroom render the image previews overnight.  I would use the “Apply During Import” panel to create and apply a metadata template with my copyright and contact information but of course you can always do this to subsets of images  at a later time as well.


  • By Gerardo Latorre - 2:55 PM on November 17, 2011  

    Thanks Julianne, I follow your directions last upon in time ago when I start to make sense to my 18000 photographs catalog. Now all is more easy in all the ways to seek.

  • By Jen - 4:41 PM on April 10, 2012  

    How do I keep all of my folders synchronized to their respective hard drives? For example, if I edit an image, will that image automatically be shown in the folder in LR? I would like to have LR mirror my hard drives.

    I have so many folders and subfolders from clients that I am finding it difficult to go in and synchronize each and every folder.

    Thanks for your help.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:29 AM on April 11, 2012  

      If you choose the topmost folder and select Synchronize Folder, all of the subfolders will be synchronized at once.

  • By Mark - 6:09 AM on June 6, 2012  

    Thanks for your very useful blog. One question, should the importing of 400,000 take as long as a day and a 1/2 ?