As a photographer, there are plenty of elements that go into the wedding process, especially your post-wedding workflow. One of the top tools for you to learn and feel comfortable with is Lightroom. When used correctly, Lightroom can help speed up your workflow and keep you as organized as possible. Since you work with various clients and have many tasks to accomplish, organization and speed are keys to your success.
In our Online Trainings, Guides, and blog posts, Lightroom Guru and ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Jared Platt, has shared valuable tips for how to use Lightroom to maximize your workflow. Here are the top Lightroom tips you should implement into your wedding workflow from the expert.
Lightroom allows you to have folders to keep your images organized and easily accessible. Some of the ways to properly use folders in Lightroom is to create individual folders for each session you shoot. Use a folder structure that is similar to the way you store images on your hard drive. Make sure that the folders you create have descriptive names and avoid dates in their naming structure. Learn more about how to organize folders in Lightroom here.
Access the Painter Tool
After your images are organized in a folder, use the painter tool to your advantage. The painter tool is a quick way to add keywords to your images. In the Library grid view, click on the first image you want to keyword and keep the mouse pressed over each image you want the keyword to be applied to.
Tip: After your images return from an outsource wedding photo editing company, use the painter tool to add your Signature Style to the color corrected images. For example, if you want a few images to be black and white, highlight them, click on the painter tool, and select the black and white style to be applied.
Utilize Tone Curves
Another tool which helps you quickly make advanced adjustments to your images is the tone curve. When you use the point curve, you can adjust certain parts of an image without affecting the adjustments made in the Basic Panel. This makes it really simple to apply your style to images you receive back from a photo editing company like ShootDotEdit.
Tip: To gain more control over your images, use the tone curve to work with individual color channels to customize your look.
After your images are color corrected, it’s time to add your Signature Style to each. Because it can become time-consuming to click through each of the buttons necessary to navigate through Lightroom’s modules, use keystrokes. This will help you minimize mouse clicks utilize keyboard shortcuts, so you have quicker access to manage your photos. You can also quickly navigate and work through various modules.
Create Default Styles
In Lightroom, a top feature is its ability to create default settings when you import images. If you always increase clarity and add a split tone to your photos, rather than manually performing the action to each image, it can be applied to a group of images when they are imported into Lightroom. When you take the time to determine which sliders and tools you constantly use, you can create default styles and save time in the long run.
Another way to increase your speed is to use auto-sync. With auto-sync, you can choose several images at once and apply specific corrections to that batch of images. By using the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + S, the corrections will be applied to all your highlighted images. This is a great shortcut to use on a large section of images that were taken with the same lighting conditions and camera settings, such as family formals. If you sync all your images and decide to change an individual image, you can quickly go into the Develop module and alter the sliders for the specific shot.
Build a Master Catalog
When you build a Master Catalog in Lightroom, you can easily work on multiple jobs at the same time, within the same catalog. Although you can opt to have a separate catalog for each job, it is a more efficient and effective way to work on your images. A Master Catalog allows you to speed up the time it takes to work on your images, which helps you keep your business organized.
Calibrate Your Screen and Camera
While calibration can be tedious, it ensures your images look the way you want them to. It also saves time when you add your unique style to images. You can calibrate your camera to match it to your Import Settings in Lightroom, ensuring the images look consistent as they go from your camera into Lightroom. Make sure to also calibrate your screen, so the color you see in Lightroom is accurate.
Use Develop Module Shortcuts
As you add your Signature Style to images in the Develop module, continue to use keystrokes as much as possible. To toggle between the basic adjustments, such as exposure and contrast, use the comma and period key to move up and down through these adjustments. When you have one of the adjustments selected, rather than using the mouse to move the slider left and right to change how much that edit is applied, utilize the plus and minus keys to alter the slider. To move the slider in larger increments, hold the shift key along with the plus and minus keys. All your adjustments can be done without even touching the mouse.