In this tutorial, we’re going through our pre and post-production workflow and giving you the best tips on how to make your own workflow as efficient as possible. When mastered, these tips are guaranteed to save you time in your workflow so you can spend more time doing things that matter, like taking more pictures!

TIP 1: IMPORT THROUGH LIGHTROOM

There are two options to import your images from your card to your computer. The first option is to copy your memory card onto your desktop and then manually import into Lightroom. The second option is to import directly into Lightroom, and we recommend sticking to this option. We recommend this option because the desktop operating system is not designed for image management. This can be a problem when you have images with identical file names because the desktop will treat them as the same image and you will only be able to keep one.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 7.58.58 AM

In our studio many of our photographers shoot with the same camera make and model that don’t have custom file naming options. We frequently run into this problem where we have unique images coming from different cameras with the same file name. When we import directly into Lightroom, it automatically takes care of the identical image file names, insuring that all images that should be uploaded are uploaded.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 8.04.24 AM

TIP 2: CULL IN LIBRARY MODULE

When you begin your culling process, we advise that you do all this in the Library module. You can choose to cull in the grid view or the loop view in the Library module, just as long as you’re not culling in the Develop module. The reason why is because the Develop module uses a different type of image preview than the Library module, and these previews take more time to load, and that will slow down your workflow significantly.

TIP 3: KEEP YOUR CULLING SYSTEM SIMPLE

Lightroom gives us many culling options such as rating, flagging, and coloring our photos, and you may feel the need to cull accordingly. Our tip is to keep your initial culling process simple. When you’re looking through your photos, simply ask yourself if you want to keep or discard the photos. That way you’re only focused on one thing, and your culling process will become much faster.

TIP 4: MASTER EVERY METHOD OF BATCH PROCESSING

We went through on how Lightroom’s strength vs Photoshop is it’s ability to batch process. From using the using the previous button, synchronizing, auto-sync, and other batch processing functions, nothing will speed up your workflow faster than mastering these batch processing techniques.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 8.17.10 AM

Batch processing is your best friend when processing large amounts of images in an efficient manner, and this is also why we recommend shooting in manual mode on your camera. Batch processing works best when images are similar in terms of exposure and color, and if your camera settings are consistent from scene to scene then the batch processing workflow becomes much quicker and smoother.

TIP 5: AVOID ADVANCED PRODUCTION & PHOTOSHOP UNTIL BATCH PROCESSING IS FINISHED

We want to avoid re-work and loss in efficiency, so we save the heavier post processing until we are finished batch processing our images. If you’re constantly stopping to do advanced post production on your images then you’re not taking full advantage of your batch processing workflow. Also you may decide later that you find a better image to do advance post processing to and not want to use the image you’ve already edited, and all that time spent editing the initial image is now wasted.

TIP 6: EXPORT IMAGES TO ANY FORMAT THAT YOU PLAN TO USE IN THE FUTURE

During the export process we recommending exporting the images to any format you might need in the future. So if you need full sized JPEG’s and web sized photos, export for both.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.04.29 AM

The reason is because if you need a particular image sometime in the future, you’ll always have it available to you in the size you need, and it’s available quickly. If you have to re-import your catalog, find the image you need and export, that can be very time consuming, especially if you have to do it over and over again. Although this process will take up a bit more space on your hard drive, the time you save will be worth it.

TIP 7: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAVE EVERY SINGLE RAW FILE UNLESS YOU NEED THEM

As photographers we tend to save every single photo we take. This is where we encourage you not to be a photography hoarder. If you have rejected images that are duplicates or are simply not as good, don’t feel shy when it comes to deleting from your hard drive.

Although when it comes to professional shoots, or when we’re shooting for clients, we reset our rejected images and export them as JPEG files just so we have them available to us if we need them in the future. Sometimes a client might ask “Do you have any more shots of…” and even though the photos may not be the best, the client will appreciate them. So as JPEGs we still have the images if needed, while not taking up the enormous amount of space that RAW files do.

Introduction

  • 1.1 Intro and Welcome
  • 1.2 What is Adobe Lightroom?
  • 1.3 Lightroom Strengths and Limitations
  • 1.4 3 Keys to Understanding the Lightroom Catalog System
  • 1.5 Our Two Recommended Catalog Workflows
  • 1.6 7 Steps and Best Practices in the Production Workflow
  • Getting Started

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Creating Our First Catalog
  • 2.3 3 Simple Steps to Understanding Importing
  • 2.4 3 Ways to Skin Every Lightroom Cat
  • 2.5 8 Interface Components and Shortcuts
  • 2.6 Module and Shortcut Overview
  • 2.7 Taking Lightroom Images to Photoshop
  • 2.8 The Basics of Exporting
  • Customizing Lightroom

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 6 Ways to Customize Your Interface and Views
  • 3.3 My 3 Favorite Loupe View Metadata
  • 3.4 Customizing Grid View Attributes
  • 3.5 Customizing the Identity Plate
  • 3.6 Customizing Panel End Marks
  • 3.7 How to Create a Watermark
  • 3.8 Additional Interface Customization
  • 3.9 Using Neutral Desktop Background
  • Key Library Features

  • 4.1 Folders and 10 Tools to Manage Them
  • 4.2 5 Reasons Collections Rock
  • 4.3 Why You Should Use Publish Services
  • 4.4 The Histogram and Quick Develop Panel
  • 4.5 Everything You Need to Know About Keywording
  • 4.6 The Basics of Metadata
  • 4.7 3 Ways to Rate and Cull Images
  • 4.8 3 Reasons the Filmstrip is Awesome
  • 4.9 3 Methods to Filter, Unlimited Possibilities
  • 4.10 My 5 Favorite Library Toolbar Functions
  • 4.11 Stacking and Why I am Not a Fan
  • 4.12 How and When to Rename Images
  • 4.13 10 Must Know Library View Shortcuts
  • 4.14 14 Must Know Library Function Shortcuts
  • A Professional Workflow

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 5 Tips on Your Shooting Workflow
  • 5.3 3 Pieces of Hardware to Optimize Lightroom Speed
  • 5.4 Wide Gamut IPS Displays and Color Correction
  • 5.5 9 Key Settings to Optimize General Preferences for Workflow
  • 5.6 3 Key Settings to Optimize Catalog Settings for Workflow
  • 5.7 Creating a Soft Import Develop Preset
  • 5.8 Creating a Vivid Import Develop Preset
  • 5.9 Creating a Standard Metadata Preset
  • 5.10 Creating a General Import Preset and Importing
  • 5.11 How to Sync Camera Capture Times
  • 5.12 How to Keyword a Wedding Catalog
  • 5.13 Rendering Previews Prior to Working
  • 5.14 The 3 Pass Workflow Overview
  • 5.15 Our 3 Step Logic to Culling
  • 5.16 Simple Culling Out Example
  • 5.17 Simple Culling In Example
  • 5.18 Syncing Functions
  • 5.19 Process by Scene
  • 5.20 Rename Prior to Export
  • 5.21 Creating Our 4 Most Used Export Presets
  • 5.22 Archival
  • 5.23 Refer to the Workflow Checklist
  • Tips & Advanced Functions

  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 How to Use the Auto Import Function
  • 6.3 How to Import via Tethered Capture
  • 6.4 Export, Import and Synchronize Catalogs
  • 6.5 Export with Previous
  • 6.6 Export to Email
  • 6.7 10 Useful Shortcuts You May Not Yet Know
  • 6.8 Use View Modes to Navigate Modules
  • 6.9 Using XMP Sidecar Files
  • 6.10 RAW vs. DNG
  • 6.11 Advanced NAS and Smart Preview Catalog Setup
  • 6.12 Conclusion