Organizing files in Lightroom need some advice!

I am new to scanning and can’t find a specific topic on this forum that addresses it.
When I import the images into lightroom, I have been creating a folder within folder, and putting my sony a7r3 raw files here, So I load my files, open in Negative Pro 3 and make adjustments and apply. What is a good method of storing these files as well as the additional versions such as jpegs and TIFFs. I normally migrate files on my working MBP to backup drives, and keep the current year on my MBP. (They get backed up)

Make absolutely sure that you rename your image files to reflect the same information that you manually write on your physical negative storage, whether it be a page, or an envelope. When you have ten rolls of scanned images this might not make a difference, but when you have a few hundred, it will. I learned this lesson the hard way.

I use the year, month, and day, and a roll number, and sometimes even a frame number. (I use a similar folder naming convention.)

Lightroom is flexible in the ways it provides for renaming. You can do it right at the time of importing within the import dialog, or you can do it after the fact.

I create my folders in Lightroom in the same fashion, but I switch between making folders that are just the year and month, and creating them the same as the roll name.

Make use of Negative Lab Pro’s extensive Plug-in meta data. It will come in handy.


The best way to organise files is to organise them in a way that makes the files easily findable. What way that will be depends on several things, some of which are “user preference”.

Organisation by folder- und file names

  • much better than doing nothing
  • independent of software capabilities
  • easy, human-readable, no software needed
  • somewhat limited: which will be part of the filename? Ocasion? Person? Persons?
    Filenames can get longish, e.g. “Peter_Paul_Mary_Concert_NewYork.jpg”

Organisation by metadata (keywords, IPTC tags)

  • much better than doing nothing
  • depends on software capabilities
  • searchable info not human readable
  • no limits: add whatever info you need to find images again (in a few years or by someone else)

Organisation by folder- and filenames as well as metadata

  • combines the advantages (and some of the efforts involved)

Read more about photo asset management in the generic article(s) here:

Thanks for the tips!

My I suggest you take a look at the material on digitizing written by Peter Krogh who is a photographer out of Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to his own project, he has worked with corporations and the US National Archives putting together digitization plans. He has two digital books available specifically for people like us digitizing private collections.

Mr. Krogh’s information is VERY detailed and in some (most?) cases is overkill. However, his thoughts on how to name and store your images is probably the best I have found. Take a look here and specifically at the books Digitizing Your Photos and Organizing Your Photos. I have both and they are excellent.

I hope this helps.

You can find Peter Krogh on youtube and get some insight on how to organise assets in Lightroom.

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That’s where I first found out about him. It was this presentation at B&H that got me started.

How/where is NLP’s plugin for metadata?

When you’re in the Library module of LR Classic, go to the Metadata drop-down and select either “All Plug-in Metadata” or scroll to the bottom of the metadata selection area and select “Negative Lab Pro.”

Thanks Tony, found it!