Importing Workflow | For Photographers

I’ve had a lot of questions lately about my importing and editing workflow, and how I do things so fast! Having a quick and efficient workflow from the moment I start to import photos to when I deliver the final images in the gallery to my couples makes a world of difference for me and my business! Today I just wanted to take a minute and talk about my process for importing photos.

importing photos with photomechanic

First off – I don’t import my photos directly into Lightroom. I use PhotoMechanic. If you don’t know what it is, and you’re editing a ton of sessions, you NEED to check this program out! It was worth every penny and literally gave me hours back of my life when it came to editing – and honestly, I was pretty quick at culling in lightroom! Now it goes even faster! It’s the greatest and quickest way to cull your photos! I can cull through about 5000 images in probably an hour or so.

In terms of importing, I have a pretty solid system that works really well for me. I have an internal hard drive and an external hard drive that has EVERYTHING that I edit, including all the original files. I also have a solid state drive in my computer that I use ONLY for editing.

So, here is how I import my images:

  • I create identical folders on each hard drive (not the solid state drive) for the original files to be imported into.
  • I “ingest” all the files from all the cards from a session right into PhotoMechanic. I ingest them to BOTH hard drives – one is the primary location, and one is the secondary location. It doesn’t matter which is which, but it ingests to BOTH drives so I automatically have them in two places from the get go.
  • Once I’ve ingested all the images into PM, I organize the files by capture time and cull the final images by tagging them.
  • After I’ve gone through all the files, I sort them by the “tagged” images, and then I select all those images and drag them to a folder on my solid state drive (my editing hard drive).
  • Once they’ve been copied there, I open up a new catalog in lightroom, and I “ADD” the images in my editing folder to lightroom! I don’t copy them or anything because that creates more files and takes way more time!
  • From there, I go ahead and start my editing workflow!

I hope this helps show just one of the many ways you can go about importing your photos! Everyone has a different system, and it really boils down to what works best for YOU. However, you do want to be sure that you’re creating a system for yourself that is quick and efficient and still allows you to have a life!


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importing photos with photomechanic

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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

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