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Lightroom vs. Photoshop: When You Should Use Each

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As a photographer who is busy working with clients, shooting their engagement and wedding photos, and spending hours on your post-wedding workflow, incorporating tools which help you decrease your time spent is crucial to your success. Of the workflow options you have, two of the highest regarded programs for photographers are Lightroom and Photoshop. Each of these post-wedding workflow systems assist you in quickly working on images to send them to your clients. They are also programs you can use after your images are color corrected by a wedding photo editing service, such as ShootDotEdit.

Sometimes, it can be confusing to know which one you should be using during your post-wedding workflow, especially when you may be knowledgeable about both. For you to have the fastest workflow possible, we wanted to share with you what the appropriate times are to use both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Retouching

During the wedding shoot, you do your best to make your clients look flawless. Sometimes, there are unflattering elements in the photos, such as stray hairs or blemishes which are apparent in the image. When you are looking to quickly fix these issues, Photoshop allows you to use various tools, like the spot healing brush and patch tool to retouch your photos. Lightroom also has some great tools for basic retouching. If you want to do basic blemish removal and skin smoothing, you can stay in Lightroom to perform your edits. When you are looking to perform heavy retouching, which requires the liquify tool and others, you can use Photoshop for this.

Related: How can creating a strong and recognizable brand through your images skyrocket your bookings?

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Workflow

Your post-wedding workflow is one of the most important aspects of your business to pay attention to, especially because it can be the most time-consuming. Since Lightroom allows you to upload your images and work on them simultaneously, your workflow speed will increase drastically. Because Photoshop only allows you to work on one image at a time, Lightroom can provide a faster workflow overall since you can quickly few several of your images at once in the Grid View.

Related: Jared Platt has 5 advanced Lightroom tips to share with you

Image Manipulation

Creating a Signature Style for your images can help you quickly reach your ideal clients, which increases your chances of booking more weddings. In Photoshop, you can take advantage of its image manipulation tools, such as blending. Blending your images means you can use multiple photos together to produce one photo with unique highlights and shadows, helping you differentiate your images from others.

You can also create layers of different adjustments to control the intensity of the layer. Use compositing in Photoshop to select a specific area of one photo and paste it in another photo. For example, if your bride has her eyes closed in an image you really want to use, you can replace them from a different photo. Finally, stitching allows you to put together multiple images to create one panorama. Think about how awesome your landscape portraits will look when you do this!

Shortcuts

As you develop a fast workflow, using shortcuts in Lightroom and Photoshop can help you quickly add your artistic edits to your color corrected photos. Lightroom’s shortcuts are presets, which record how you adjust the sliders on one occasion for your photos (meaning you can use that style again with your created preset). Photoshop’s shortcuts are actions, which record the sequence of steps you took to create the look for your images. Though both are helpful, Lightroom presets take less time to use on a group of your images.

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Related: How can you effectively use Lightroom presets with your color corrected photos?

Learnability

When you are working on your images, you may develop a pattern of what you desire for them. Learning the ins-and-outs of an editing program may be challenging at first, but should not derail you from learning how to maintain a style for your photos. Lightroom is a program which can be quickly learned to help you make adjustments.

Conversely, Photoshop is a more challenging platform to master because of the many tools it features and the intricacy of working on each image. Although both are beneficial to have knowledge of, Lightroom can be more quickly learned (helping your workflow move along at a faster pace).

Organization

In your business, organization is an important part of your post-wedding workflow. Without an organization system in place, you risk spending more time searching for photos rather than working on them. Lightroom has the capabilities organize your photos, and Photoshop requires you to use other programs to view and store your images. Lightroom also allows you to star images, add keywords to photos, and organize them in a way which gives you immediate access. You can create catalogs and folders for your images and presets, placing everything you need in an area where you can easily find them.

Because your post-wedding workflow can be tedious and time-consuming, understanding the differences between Lightroom and Photoshop can help you spend less time in front of the computer. Lightroom can be your main source to house and make global edits to your photos, and Photoshop can be used for smaller, more detailed edits to individual images. Find out more about using Lightroom presets to add your artistic edits to your images with The Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Using Presets!

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