how to save a photo in lightroom

With all the options for file types and settings, knowing how to save a photo in Lightroom can sometimes be a complicated undertaking from any kind of post-production software. When it comes to Adobe Lightroom, properly saving the photos in the appropriate formats is even more complex.

How to Save a Photo in Lightroom

Understanding how to save photos in Lightroom can make the difference in putting your best efforts forward as a photographer and having a successful photography business with a long list of thrilled clients. Throughout this blog post, we share details on how to save in Lightroom and options for saving to help make your workflow streamlined. And as a post production photo editing company, we know how important it is to have a fast and streamlined workflow.

Understanding How to Save in Lightroom

The first step toward knowing how to save photo in Lightroom is understanding that saving files works differently. Unlike Photoshop, where saving your changes can overwrite your original photograph, Lightroom takes a nondestructive approach to your photo changes. The original file, such as the RAW file or TIFF, is untouched, while any adjustments that are made are stored with the photo as a set of distinct instructions.

Lightroom’s unique method of saving adjustments provides you with more freedom as a photographer to explore options and adjustments available in the software. Regardless of how many changes you make, you can always return to any step in your process without worry about losing quality or data on your original photograph.

lightroom save photos
Images by Brian Hatton Photography

Although a company that specializes in photo editing for photographers can take care of your editing needs in a fast and efficient manner, it can be valuable to understand the benefits of programs like Lightroom.

All of this means that the process of saving adjusted photos from Lightroom is a very different process than you might be used to, especially if you are more familiar with saving files in Microsoft Word or other Adobe Creative Suite products. To begin with, rather than saving files from a Save As menu, as a Lightroom user, you will export images to their next destination from the Export menu.

Options for Saving Photos in Lightroom

What you decide on for how to save photos in Lightroom will depend on where those photos are going next. The way you will export your images from Lightroom depends on whether the files are your finished product, you are sending them to a wedding photo editing company, like ShootDotEdit, or they will continue to be processed in another program, such as Photoshop. The information below will walk you through the process of saving or exporting your photos in both situations.

For Finished Files

In a majority of cases, a wedding photography editing company will use Lightroom and use all of the features and tools needed to produce perfect, eye-catching wedding photographs. Lightroom has most of the tools a professional photo editor will need for general edits and improvements to your photography, including exposure, contrast, saturation, cropping, and other creative adjustments, such as creating bokeh for images.

save and export lightroom photos
Images by Brian Hatton Photography

After you receive your edited images back from a photo editor for photographers, you can export those files in their final format. After selecting the file or files that are ready to export, you will choose the right settings from Lightroom’s Export menu. The basics that will be more familiar in this menu are setting the export location and the name for the saved file. You will also choose file settings, including the file format (JPEG, PNG. PSD), color settings, and image quality.

In addition, you can select the image size. General recommendations are to use a 300 pixel per inch setting for print and 72 pixels per inch for web. You can also set specific pixel dimensions as needed, for example, 2048 is a good maximum width or height for Facebook, as it will otherwise scale your images down. You can also set dimensions to meet specific needs, like sizing for Instagram or your wedding photography blog.

Finally, when exporting your finished files, you can select to add Output Sharpening or a watermark to your image prior to exporting it. The exact settings will naturally depend on how and where the photo will be used, and how large it will be displayed.

For Further Adjustments

When you want to move the photos that were edited in Lightroom by a company that specializes in photo editing services for professional photographers to another program, such as Photoshop, you can also do so through Lightroom’s Export menu.

lightroom save and export photos
Images by Brian Hatton Photography

This might be if you decide to add effects, such as blurring the background or adding bokeh. With this option, your images will open immediately in the next program after it has been exported through Lightroom. As a photographer, you may find this helpful when you are using Photoshop to create an album or collage of the images for your clients.

In most cases, however, when further adjustments are needed for your photos, such as artistic additions that are made after the images are edited, you can open the files in Photoshop or another program from the Develop module in Lightroom. From the Develop module, you will select the Edit in option, then select the program where you will make adjustments your photo or photos next.

When you use this process to export your Lightroom work to another program, Lightroom will save a file (.tif format) in the background. This file will automatically be updated when you bring your working file back from Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or another program and into Lightroom again. This ensures a smooth workflow.

Along with understanding the various editing techniques that can be applied in Lightroom, knowing how to save a photo in Lightroom is what allows you to display all of your best photography work in a variety of formats once the images are complete. Whether you are sending final photos off to a professional printer to present to your clients or uploading beautiful high-resolution samples to your blog or portfolio, you need the right process and settings to demonstrate the extent of your skills.

At ShootDotEdit, we understand that finding the exact right settings for saving and exporting your photos can be overwhelming. We are here to support wedding photographers, providing not only guides like this to help expedite your photography workflow, but also post-processing services so you can focus on more important aspects of your photography business (like shooting or meeting clients!).

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published