What Exactly is a Lightroom Workflow?
For many of us seasoned photographers it can become quite easy to throw around terminology and words as if we all are speaking a brand new language but the truth is, not everyone knows that language…
This quick post is to do one thing and one thing only – give you insight into what exactly is a “Lightroom workflow.”
Lightroom Isn’t Only for Editing
Perhaps the greatest misconception for new photographers is Lightroom as a program is so much more than only a photo editing program. It’s an entire “image management solution”. So what that means is it has the capability to help you organize your photos, edit the photos, showcase the photos in print or web and more.
My question to you though is… are you using Lightroom for much more than just merely editing?
My Lightroom Workflow vs Your Lightroom Workflow
Everyone can have a different Lightroom workflow, and that’s ok, if it works well for you. The term workflow simply refers to the process of processing your images. It’ll be the road map of every step that is required to take your images from the camera’s memory card to your clients hands and everything between.
Simple right? In theory yes, but in practice, it isn’t always so easy.
Discipline in Process & Automation = Time Savings
It can often take time to come up with a Lightroom workflow that works simply because unless you’ve already been photographing events or sessions for the last few years you might still not be sure of what is the best process to use. Or you might not even realize that you are missing some crucial steps in your workflow that would save you a lot of time.
In terms of automation, using presets can help tremendously. Did you know that in Lightroom you can use presets during the importing, editing and exporting process to help automate your workflow?
Yep, it’s true…presets can save you a bunch of time, so if you find a set of presets that you love and make your life easier or quicker – use em!
Ultimately, once you define a process or road-map, then it’s up to you to be disciplined enough to follow that process with each and every shoot and when you do – you’ll be able to improve your overall photo editing speed and time spent per customer.
Over the years I’ve crafted a streamlined workflow that simply works and enables me to edit portrait sessions in as little as 20 minutes from import to export and full weddings with 3,000 images in 4 hours.
All of those time savings translate into more profit for YOU, so yes, this stuff matters 😉
Organization is something that at first seems like not a big deal but once you start doing more and more photo shoots you’ll quickly realize that a lack of organization will lead you into a plain ol’ mess of photos. You might end up with multiple shoots uploaded into a single folder making it hard to find the photos you need to work on etc… To be prepared for taking on more volume of clients, photo shoots and of course tens of thousands of photos eventually in your Lightroom catalog, a little upfront organization will go a long way!
So What Exactly Makes an Awesome Lightroom Workflow?
Here is what I think…
“the overall process that one follows from importing their photos into Lightroom through exporting their final, client ready photos out of Lightroom and all of the steps between that will enhance photo organization, quality of edits & automation to yield a better end product for the customer as well as solid process to follow for the photographer.”
Now – I have a question for you, before I show you my workflow I’d love to know, what do you most want to improve with your Lightroom workflow?