Lightroom & Organizing Digital Scrapbooking Supplies: Part 2

So here I am, reporting back after a couple of days of ‘light-rooming’ … can we make Lightroom a verb? I must confess, it’s been a somewhat steep learning curve, and at one stage I felt like giving up, but I think I am coming out on top of it all! And I am so excited about the possibilities of finding stuff and seeing it easily now. I do believe it will kick-start my scrapping, which has been a bit sad lately, as I have been frustrated at not being able to find stuff in my scrapping collection easily.

I have almost 1,000 products/items now imported into LR (Lightroom), tagged and ready to go. But before I go any further, I must say that I can’t stress enough how invaluable Kayla Lamoraux‘s videos and blog posts have been … I know I wouldn’t have got far without them.

Really crucial to the whole experience is this … Kayla says over and over again, ‘Make this your system. Don’t just adopt mine; create your own system that suits your own scrapping style.’ I took this to heart, and have done things a little differently every now and then, but for the main part, I have followed her ‘method of attack’.

Kayla suggests that you do one big import of your scrapping supplies, and then tag them, but I didn’t do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the idea of everything being imported at once terrified me for some reason, and secondly (and more importantly), I wanted to thoughtfully ‘spring clean’ my eight year old collection of digi-goodies. (Incidentally, I discovered some interesting things about my collection, but I’ll share that in another post.)

And I’m really glad that I did it that way, because I really needed to work out my system, and then put it into practice in a small way; I then had a chance to refine it as I imported individual kits.

I think I would have been totally overwhelmed if everything had been imported at once, and I would never have gone back and cleaned out my stash. This way, I know that each kit is one I actually will scrap with, and that it has been imported and tagged correctly.

This is my procedure for importing a kit into LR …

Firstly, set up a folder where you will transfer your kits that you want to import. Copy and paste a kit into this folder. (When everything is in LR, and backed up, I will delete the ‘old’ copies of my supplies … lots of room on my hard drive, which is a good thing!)

Secondly, ‘clean up’ that folder … for example, I remove the ‘folder’ previews and Piracy notices, as they are not needed. I empty subfolders (like alphas) into the main folder. All the items in the kit are in one folder now.

I rename anything that needs to be edited; for example, I make sure that the folder is named with the designer and kit name, so that I can easily tell what is in the folder.

I remove the zip file and pop it into a folder where all my zips are stored, that is then backed up. This means I have a copy of my kit somewhere else, in case I ever need to unzip the file again.

Thirdly, I open the kit folder in bridge, select my png files and pdf files and convert them to tiff files, which LR will then recognize. The importance of this is significant when you realize that now you can tag and see these files in LR. (LR doesn’t see or tag png files or pdf documents.) Kayla explains how to do this here … once you have done it a couple of times, it becomes very quick and routine.

Fourthly, I import the kit into Lightroom, then tag the kit papers and elements by designer, kit name and then by tags such as papers, colours, elements, etc. Even the preview is tagged, so I can search through my kit previews quickly. For details on doing this, Kayla explains it so much better than I could, so check out her tutorials here

A couple of things to think about … Kayla very kindly shares her tag terms here, but I decided to create my own as I went rather than import her list and use it. Again, it’s a matter of creating a system that works for you, rather than being a sheep and following someone else blindly, lol.

And please, please, watch the little videos that accompany each blog post … some of them I have watched three or four times, to get a handle on what I need to do.

Be brave, be courageous, be determined … you can get there in the end, but it will take some work to wend your way through new software and procedures, but I am sure that you will find it as rewarding as I am. And now I am waiting to see what Kayla has for us next …

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3 Comments

  1. Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Well done Sharon, you must be pleased with yourself. It does all sound a bit daunting & very time consuming but I am sure it will be all worth it. I still haven't looked at her lessons yet as I want to finish another course I am doing first. Hopefully next week.

  2. Posted April 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much, Sharon. I really enjoyed your post.I am new to Mac (2weeks) and just ordered Lightroom today to go with PS5 & Bridge. So happy there arethose like you and Kayla out there to encourage me.I have a stash that started in 2003, so as you I will do it a little at a time and delete old stuff Iwill never use. Thanks again. Janaka:GodBlessAmerica

  3. Allison
    Posted January 2, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I am so bummed that Kayla has taken all her videos offline! I watched them several years ago, but life got in the way and I never finished cataloging my digiscrap or photos. I went back to find her valuable videos and nada….she said she is moving onto another job and will no longer host those videos 🙁 I would even pay for them! Any chance you have them saved??? LMK!

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