I am a huge believer in Lightroom. If you’re not using it, you should be. Today, Tony Reynes shares his Lightroom workflow with you guys. Everyone’s workflow is different, but Tony is a master. So pay attention. Take it away, Tony!

I am regularly asked about my work flow. Being a hyper-organized guy, I like to find whatever I shoot with ease. Here is my process. You may find pieces of it that work for you. When I get home from a shoot, this is what I do.


  1. Take memory chip/s out of camera and camera bag.
  2. Start up the computer and attach the card reader.
  3. Start  Lightroom.
  4. Insert card into reader and find the new images in the import window.
  5. Import images into computer; I put them into a file I call 000Bigload. It is called that because:
    1. It is easy to find in the Lightroom file stack; it is number 1
    2. I do not back that file up to the cloud; time is saved by not moving potential crud
    3. For redundancy, this file is mirrored on another internal drive
  6. Once all the cards are copied into the computer, I look at them to make sure I have all my shots.
  7. At this point, all used cards are formatted in camera and ready for next use.
  8. The new images are then reviewed in Lightroom and I try to cull out 20% before I start to play with the remaining best of them.
  9. I will star the images/image sets that I think are best and start to work on them.
  10. Each time I come back to the computer to do any work on these images, I try to cull another 5-10%.
  11. When I have finished processing these new images, I will tag them. This usually includes: year, location, subject, time of day, major color and any people in it.
  12. I then create a new home for the images in a new Lightroom file. My on-board hard drives, I have a Mac Pro, are broken into System, Scratch, Mirror and Archive.
  13. The new home file will reside on the Scratch Drive and will be named some thing like this:
    1. Year (2013)
    2. General Repeating Headings( People, Local, Miscellaneous)
    3. Or, a major trip
    4. Sub cells for specific trip days or specific people
  14. With this file system, file hierarchy could look like:
    1. 2009>Local>Chicago>Cultural Center
    2. 2001>People>Julie
    3. 2006>Arizona>Tuesday>Upper Antelope


This is my system. If you talk to 50 people, you will get 50 different ways of doing it. Listen a lot and then piece together what is right for you.

What you will also note, is that I am pretty brutal on keeping stuff. In 10+ years of shooting I have less than 30,000 images. I sort of think, the better eye I get, the better I am at spotting junk…including my own.

If you have comments on my posts, please say boo. I will respond. Let me know what you would like me to talk about.

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One Response

  1. Anne Belmont

    Great article, Tony! You make me want to do some “housecleaning” and reorganize my files!


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