Matching Shoots and Folders

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People are very concerned about the use of a database vs a browser for finding and accessing their files. Being a database, Lightroom is not optimally setup to act as a browser. There has been much discussion on this is various forums from Adobe to Pixmantec and a lot of people want a file browser. While this is not currently possible you can make your folder structure match your shoot hierarchy, with a little work on import.
Assuming you’ve been using ‘Copy to Library’ from the beginning, your files reside in the ‘Photos’ Folder of your Lightroom directory. If you’re referencing files you may already have a structure and are most likely using another way of importing your files off of your cards. You can still makes the shoots match by using the naming convention I’m about to describe.
For those using ‘Copy to Library’, here’s the skinny. Insert your card/card reader (Camera import is not fully supported yet) and the Import dialog will open (assuming you’ve this set up in your preferences). To get our shoots to go into both a selected subfolder and a matching shoot we use the ‘/’ delimiter to define our containing shoot. Each ‘/’ makes a new containing shoot. Let’s say I’m importing a new studio session and I’m using a year/month/genre/shoot structure. Without selecting a containing shoot in the ‘Segment by’ box, I name my shoot 2006/08 Aug/Studio/EmmaD. When I check my shoots after import, I can see that I have a new shoot in 2006>08 Aug>Studio called EmmaD. Clicking on an image in this shoot using CMD-R for Mac to Open In Finder or Ctrl-R for PC to Open In Explorer shows me that the folder structure matches my shoot hierarchy.
If you are referencing files you can use the naming convention with the ‘/’ to type in a shoot name that matches your previously allocated shoot location.

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