How to Simplify Your Lightroom Workflow

While Lightroom makes it a whole lot easier to copy, edit, and manage your photos, you still need to know what you’re doing to make proper use of the software. In this video, photographer Phil Steele shows you exactly how he manages to keep his Lightroom workflow simple:

Copy the Images to Lightroom

First things first. You need to copy some images to Lightroom. This part is easy. Simply insert the memory card in to the card reader and in Lightroom, click Import. When the images show up in Lightroom, click Copy. Then head over to the right-hand panel.

Image import to lightroom

The first step is to import your images to Lightroom.

Click Custom Text under File Renaming. Naming conventions are subjective and depends on your preferences.

Keywords make it is easy to find images on your computer. Steele shows how you can add some keywords that will be applicable across all your images.

The final thing to do is select a destination on your computer for the images to be copied to. Hit Import.

Create Collections

Collections are like groups that contain several images that match a criteria that you set.

Image collections in Lightroom

Your can organize your images using Collections.

You can create a collection like “Landscape”, for example, to contain all of your landscape images.

Rate Your Images

Next, Steele shows how you can do a preliminary check to filter out images that you don’t need.

Image rating

Image rating is an essential process of the Lightroom workflow.

There are bound to be some discards from every shoot. Steele gives a three-star rating for all of his images. His method is to get rid of any images that are less than three stars. Of course, he’s going to re-check and re-rate each of the photos later on.

Re-Check Each Individual Image

The next step is to check each individual image, re-rate them, if required. Anything more than three stars is obviously a keeper. It’s up to you how you use the star rating system, but the important part is to come up with a consistent method.

Add Individual Images to Collections

Sort the images that belong to individual collections so that you can deal with them later on appropriately.

Working with Image collections

Sort the images to collections for easy export

You can now also go ahead and make changes to the order of the individual images. That helps when you publish or send them via any file sending application, as the order sequence is retained.

Export the Images

At this stage, if you wish to send any of the collections to your clients or friends, all you need to do is to select the images and click Export.

This option also allows you to resize the images (makes the file size less intimidating), custom name them, and watermark them.

Image export in Lightroom

Final step is to export the images

I hope these tips give you an idea about how to stay organized with Lightroom. Give it a try. Feel free to make changes to it so that it adapts seamlessly to whatever workflow you’re currently using.

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