Hi, Garrett! I recently got back into photography and was wondering how you organize your photos in Lightroom, how you use collections (if at all), and what you decide what to upload to Flickr. What does your folder taxonomy look like? Do you delete ruthlessly and only keep the best? Do you sort selects into collections instead? Do you see your Flickr stream as a backup solution for your edited shots or as your "show room"? Thanks!
I organize things in a pretty simple fashion. My catalog is a series of collection sets—one for each year, one generic larger set for everything related to LA—with sub-collections for events or important groupings like our kids’ milestones:
When I import new photos, the first thing I do is drag stuff into appropriate collections. There might be crossover in the case of a photo of Oliver, for instance, where it will be in “Oliver, Year 2” and also “LA Apartment”. Once I drop everything into collections, I also flag photos I might want to edit and upload.
I have a few smart collections, the most important of which is the “flagged” collection. That’s where I do all my editing and posting from. If a photo is flagged, it either gets edited and posted or un-flagged if I decide I don’t want it to be public.
I could be much better about deleting photos I know I don’t need (like blurry shots, duplicates, alternates that didn’t work, etc), but I often don’t bother because hard drive space is cheap. If it’s an obviously bad shot, I try to kill it right after import. My entire Lightroom library is on Dropbox, so it’s backed up there. I also have a Backblaze backup as well as a physical backup here in the office.
Flickr (and 500px and Facebook) are my showcases, not my backups. I consider any of those temporary since Yahoo! could make the crazy decision to kill Flickr tomorrow (which would be horrible, but). I take backups very seriously because this data is the most precious thing in my digital life.
It might also be worth noting I have two Lightroom catalogs: This one, which is on my Mac Pro and contains nearly every shot from the past 6 years, and a separate mobile catalog which I use when I need to edit a photo from my MacBook Pro on the go (on vacation, from home, that sort of thing). Since I keep my collection on Dropbox and I don’t want the entire giant data set to be on my laptop, I selectively sync only the mobile catalog on my MBP.