Adobe Lightroom comes with the ability to sort your photos into collections. In fact, there’s an entire section on the left dedicated to organizing your photos in either Collection Sets, Collections, or Smart Collections. But there is also a separate collection located under the Catalog drop-down, and that is the Quick Collection.

What is the Quick Collection?

The Quick Collection is a place for you to quickly add photos that you need to grab from more than one folder in your Lightroom Catalog. It is an “easy access”, temporary location for a group of images that you will print, export, share, or create a new collection from. It starts out empty, and you can add images to it by drag-dropping them over top of the collection, or, if there is a plus icon (+) next to the name Quick Collection then you can use the keyboard shortcut B to add photos to it.

Why use the Quick Collection?

Here are a few ways that I use the Quick Collection:

  • To group photos together that I will use in a blog post or article
  • To temporarily store photos I need to export and share with someone online
  • To set aside a group of photos I will be uploading to my online portfolios

The Quick Collection is kind of a temporary holding place for photos, so I always clear it out after I am finished using it (or before I need to start a fresh group of photos). You can also save a Quick Collection as a regular Collection if you want to permanently save the grouping of photos you have created.

What is a Target Collection?

By default, Lightroom makes the Quick Collection set as the Target Collection, and is indicated by a “plus” sign (+) next to the name of the collection. This means that when you use the keyboard shortcut B you will automatically add (or remove) any photo (or group of photos) that is highlighted into that Target Collection. You can also easily set other collections as the Target Collection by right-clicking over the name of a collection and selecting “Set as Target Collection”.