Lightroom Tutorial: Travel Photographer Joe Allam Walks Through His Import Workflow

Importing photos after a shoot is often one of the more boring parts of an assignment and getting it done as quickly and easily as possible is often the name of the game. This has unfortunately led to a lot of Lightroom users not really using the Import function to its full potential. In his newest video, Joe Allam walks through his entire process in great detail, explaining why he does each step along the way. 

There are plenty of ways to organize, catalog, add metadata, and back up images. Everyone does it differently, and although I have trained several photographers' assistants to organize their archives my way, no one way is going to work for all photographers. Allam imports and organizes his photos in a very different way from me. However, just a few minutes into watching his explanations, I can see several tricks that would speed up a lot of workflows, no matter how you decide to name files and folders or how you use collections inside Lightroom. There are most likely features within Lightroom's Import function that you are not using or don't know the function of, many of which will probably speed up your workflow, saving you precious time. 

Allam talks about using presets in various ways, like import, export, develop settings, and file naming, creating or organizing files into collections on import, as well as some of his workflow process for social media. Utilizing presets is probably one of the best ways to quickly improve your workflow, and I'm always surprised by the number of people not taking advantage of them. Like Allam, the minute I think I might have a need to repeat anything twice, I take the time to create a process. I have dozens of presets for each social media account. I even use them a lot with my Fstoppers articles. 

Even if like me, Allam's import workflow is drastically different from your own, take a few minutes to watch his process. I'm sure you will pick up a few new tips to apply to your own methods and hopefully cut just a little more time so you can get back to taking photos. 

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Joe Allam's picture

Thanks so much for sharing my video! I'm glad you've found some tips along the way, even if your process is drastically different from mine!

This video is actually the first in a short series, with the next being my editing process following the enjoyment I've had from my Tokyo street photography vlogs. I hope you enjoy that one too!

Steven Elliott's picture

Thanks a bunch Joe. Some great tips to use LR more efficiently. I'll definitely be using all or most of these in my workflow. I did have one question, wondering if I might be able to email you and ask?

Thanks so much.