#5 of 10 Things All New Lightroom Users Should Know 1

Welcome back. Glad you made it to see #5 of the 10 Things I would tell new Lightroom users!

Ok, so here we go…

Don’t Shoot the Messenger…

…It’s another boring topic on getting organized.  I know, I know.  Being creative is so much more fun!  I agree 100%.  So, next week, I’ll provide a HUGE tip on the creative process.

Until then…

Your workflow should (or should not) include using keywords.


Well, keywords allow you to organize your pictures in a way that will make finding specific photos in a flash. In last week’s installment, I briefly mentioned it – “would you like to find any photo, among thousands, within seconds.”

Keywords are the key!

Here is why you may wish NOT to use keywords…

  • photography is a hobby, and you don’t mind spending endless (and, if I may add, unnecessary) time looking for photos
  • or maybe you use Collections, as discussed in lesson #4…

…in that case, you may be able to find the exact photo you need within your Collections.

But, if you’re a stock photographer, photojournalist, wedding photographer or portrait photographer with a client base, etc.. it may be in your best interest to use keywords.

They will make your life easier, after all.  So, add them to your workflow like a pro.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

I get it.

It’s not fun.

It’s time-consuming.

It sucks, actually.

When your digital assets grow to 50K, 100K, 200K, and then you decide, oh gee, I should have added keywords…  I can’t find that photo of lil’ Johnnie (for your client or for Grandma) among my 11,555,654 photos.


Now, how many days, weeks, months is it going to take to keyword all 1 billion and 2 of your photos?

You’ll be overwhelmed.  Guess what.  Chances are you’ll do it “another day.”  Good luck with that.

So, why not take a few minutes for each new import?  It really doesn’t take that long when you have a workflow.  Plus, when you’ve mastered all the Lightroom tools to streamline your workflow, it’s a breeze.

Do You Have One?

Don’t have a workflow?  Why not?  It would help if you had a written workflow for the Library Module AND for the Develop Module.  After you follow your system enough times, it becomes a habit.  Habits are good.  You won’t forget anything.  You’ll be more organized than you ever thought possible.

You’ll be ONE with Lightroom.

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Imagine and feel the bliss. It’ll be like hanging out at the beach on a warm sunny day – without a care in the world.

It will help you stay consistent, increase productivity, and help you keep your sanity… a written workflow provides -> a stress-free and as calm as you can be lifestyle (er, work-style. Is that even a word).

Plus, your spouse, kids, friends, or clients will thank you for it.

Your kids or clients; “Wow, mommy/daddy/name of your business… is so happy today!”

And you: “That’s because mommy/daddy/Photographic Elements is blissfully organized.”

Or you could skip key-wording and enjoy the cold, rainy day, with a side-of-a-torturous migraine,


 ignoring the kids/clients or spouse until you’re able to find, you know… “that photo.”

But seriously, key-wording is something that you should consider doing.

Regardless if you’re a pro, amateur or hobbyist.

The benefits far out-way the negatives. The only negative would be the time it takes to add them.

Then again, how much time are you going to waste “looking” for something?

I guess, if you never plan on looking for specific photos, then you can skip key-wording.

The choice is yours. What will you do?

To keyword or not? Let me know in the comments below…

How To Add Keywords

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Option 1: There is an option to add keywords during import.

Pro: It’s quicker.
Con: Limited to basic keywords.  Keywords will be added to ALL photos during import.

Option 2: Use the inner panels; “Keywording” and/or & “Keyword List”.

Pro: Set keywords for each photo individually.

Con: Can be time-consuming.

However, “Keyword Sets” can significantly reduce the time needed to add.


Plus, having a workflow makes it more accessible.

We are now halfway through all 10 things I’d tell new Lightroom users.  As promised, number 6 will be about the Develop module.  I’ll answer a very, very (insert voice of Yosemite Sam) important question.


Are you excited?  I know I am.  “I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it! name that group (if you don’t know, I’ll give you a hint next week)…

…just another excellent reason to come back next week for #6!