Chapter 8: Importing Images (MacOS)

Importing images is different than adding a folder of images to your Luminar Library.  Importing physically moves your images or lets you create a copy of your images to a new location.  You can import images from an internal hard drive, and external hard drive, and even a memory card. You can import images from the Open Button Menu, by clicking directly on a folder or subfolder in the Library Side Panel, or through the Menu Bar.

How to Import Images  

The Open Button menu is located in the upper left side of the both the Library and Edit toolbars.  Clicking on the Open Button menu will reveal three options.  Hover your mouse over Import Images to, you will see a list of all the folders available in the Library Side Panel.  

  1. Choose File > Import Images…  A system dialog box will open up.  
  2. Navigate to the images or folder of images you want to import and select them.
  3. Make sure the additional controls are viewable at the bottom of the import window. If hidden click the Options button.
  4. With the Location menu choose an existing folder in your Luminar Library.
  5. Click the Action menu to choose whether you want to Copy the images to a new location or Move them to the new folder and erase them on the source disk.
  6. Click the Organize drop-down menu to choose id and how the images are sorted into subfolders.
  7. Mark the  Include Subfolders checkbox if you want to take additional folders of images contained within a selected folder.  If this is checked, Luminar will add images from all subfolders inside the selected folder.  If left unchecked, only the images at the top level of the folder will be imported.  The contents of the subfolders will be ignored.  

TIP: Importing from the Library Sidebar. You can import images directly from the Folders area of the Library Sidebar.  If you right-click on an existing folder in the Library side panel and choose Import Images to this Folder… 


Copying images from a Memory Card or Drive

If you want to have the data exist in two locations (the original drive and the new targeted folder) be sure to use the copy command. 

  1. Choose File > Import Images…  A system dialog box will open up.  
  2. Navigate to the memory card or external drive.  
  3. Locate the images you want to use, on a memory card they are likely in a folder labeled DCIM (for Digital Camera IMages).
  4. Select the images you want to import or a folder.
  5. Make sure the additional controls are viewable at the bottom of the import window. If hidden click the Options button.
  6. With the Location menu choose an existing folder in your Luminar Library.
  7. Click the Action menu to choose to Copy the images to a new location.
  8. Click the Organize drop-down menu to choose id and how the images are sorted into subfolders.
  9. Mark the  Include Subfolders checkbox if you want to take additional folders of images contained within a selected folder

Moving images from a Memory Card or Drive

The process of Moving images from a hard drive is nearly identical to Copying.  The key differences is that that images will exist in only one location after the successful move.

  1. Choose File > Import Images…  A system dialog box will open up.  
  2. Navigate to the memory card or external drive.  
  3. Locate the images you want to use, on a memory card they are likely in a folder labeled DCIM (for Digital Camera IMages).
  4. Select the images you want to import or a folder.
  5. Make sure the additional controls are viewable at the bottom of the import window. If hidden click the Options button.
  6. With the Location menu choose an existing folder in your Luminar Library.
  7. Click the Action menu to choose to Move the images to a new location.
  8. Click the Organize drop-down menu to choose id and how the images are sorted into subfolders.
  9. Mark the  Include Subfolders checkbox if you want to take additional folders of images contained within a selected folder.

NOTE: This will physically move the original photos to the selected folder in your Library and its corresponding folder on your hard drive.  The original photo will be deleted from its original location once it is moved into the new location.  If importing from a SD memory card, if the card is locked the images will not be erased.

Organizing Images During Import

To make it easier to find your best photos, Luminar offers several ways to organize imported images.  These commands automatically build subfolders based on different image or folder properties. Just click the Organize menu in the Import dialog to choose one of these options.


  • Into One Folder.  This will place all the images into a single level of the folder.  No subfolders will be created.
  • Keep Existing Folder Structure. If there are additional folders inside the folder you are importing, subfolders will be created to reflect the original folder structure.
  • Year/Month/Day. Luminar will look at the creation date of the image and create subfolders based on the year, month, and day of the moth the photo was taken.
  • Year/Month. Luminar will look at the creation date of the image and create subfolders based on the year and month the photo was taken.

Importing into a New Folder

If you want to import images into a new folder, you should create this before opening the Import dialog.


Create a New Folder

You can create a brand new master folder in your Luminar Library.

  1. Click the Add Folder button (the + button to the right of the word Folders) in the Library Panel. A system dialog box will appear.  
  2. Navigate on your hard drive to where you want to this new folder to be located.  
  3. Click New Folder, name the new folder in the next dialogue box and click Create.  A new folder will be created on your hard drive and will also appear in the folder section of the Library panel.  
  4. You can now right mouse click on this new folder and select Import into this folder

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