These 15 Lightroom Tips are the perfect place to start when it comes to learning Lightroom. We know you are a busy wedding photographer. You try to stay booked all year round. You do everything possible to advertise your business and voila! You succeed! Clients keep coming and you keep shooting. You love this part of your business. But, there is one part that you may dread — sitting down to edit your photos. Maybe you are using a complicated software or maybe you are using the right one but don’t know how to use it correctly.
If you’re like many photographers, you use Adobe Lightroom to edit your wedding photographs. Leading professional photographers use Lightroom. Lightroom comes in two versions- Lightroom Classic and New Lightroom CC. You can use either one of them based on your needs.
Why Use These Top 15 Lightroom Tips?
Adobe Lightroom by far is one of the most powerful tools to edit your wedding photos. It is amazing software for image organization and image manipulation. It allows you to import, save, view, organize, tag, edit, and share large numbers of digital images.
Lightroom’s built-in organization tools, presets, and shortcuts help your edits move fast. With a few wedding photo editing tips, Lightroom can make quick work of all those photos to edit.
You have the ability to custom create presets or buy presets to create the intended effects you want. The best part? You can do this in just one click. With Lightroom, you can save lots of time for your business and personal life.
So how can you use Lightroom easily and effectively? What are the things to keep in mind while editing in Lightroom? Here are 15 Lightroom tips to get you started!
Top 15 Lightroom Tips For Wedding Photographers
First, copy your wedding images from the memory card to your hard drive. Open Lightroom and click on the ‘Import” button. Now you’re set. Want more Lightroom tips for workflow? Check out this blog post here!
1. Cull Photos With Stars and Flags
After importing the photos and adding them to a collection, cull the photos. You can cull the photos in Lightroom with the help of two main tools — flags and stars. Tap P on the keyboard to add a flag. Tap 1-5 on the keyboard to give the photo that many stars. You can then go back and edit the photos with four and five stars. You can use the ones with 3 stars if the final number of photos is a bit low.
Photo cropping is one of the most basic tools in your photo editing arsenal. Be sure not to over-crop or your images will look tight and cramped. Lightroom’s crop feature also straightens crooked lines and adjusts the aspect ratio. Tilt the corners of the crop box to straighten, drag the angle slider or use the auto button to help straighten the shot. Or, use the drop-down box to select a new aspect ratio if the couple has ordered a certain print size of that particular shot.
3. Use Customized Presets
Some photographers swear by presets for fast editing. Lightroom presets are great for speed, and also easy to customize. Tweaking a preset or creating your own will help mix speed with a look that’s more your style.
4. Adjust White Balance
Lightroom Classic’s color controls sit in two main panels. You can find White Balance at the top. Use the Dropper tool to select something white in the image. It can be the groom’s shirt or the bride’s dress. Now, fine-tune using the temperature and tint sliders.
Temperature determines how warm or cold your image looks (yellow or blue). Tint adds green or magenta (a pinkish tone). By combining these, you’ll be able to get a natural look for your images.
5. Correct Contrast
Optimizing contrast is the close cousin of adjusting brightness or exposure. You can move the contrast slider to the right to increase (or left to decrease) the contrast in the image. If you want more control, check out the Tone Curve section. You can also move the line on the graph at various points to create the level of contrast that your image needs.
6. Tweak Vibrance and Saturation
Vibrance and Saturation are among our favorite in the top 15 Lightroom tips and can help your photos pop by boosting their colors. Using Vibrance and Saturation sliders can depend on your preferences.
Move the sliders along until you get the desired effect. Be careful not to overdo it as too much saturation will make the image look fake.
7. Brighten the Photos
Many photos can appear too dark. A simple slide of the brightness bar is all it takes to brighten the scene.
8. Cut Noise
Noise refers to tiny random grains on photos taken in low-light. It distracts from the foreground, focus, and the effect of the image. Photo fixing and editing can reduce or cut the noise. Noise reduction tools will keep grain from high ISOs in check. The luminance and color sliders will also reduce noise. The detail, contrast and smoothness control its application. We believe this is a great addition to the top 15 Lightroom tip list!
9. Use Specialized Tools to Dodge and Burn
Dodging refers to nudging out more highlights and light areas in the photos. Burning allows you to bring out more data and detail from areas that may have become too light or washed out. Using these tools effectively requires a refined eye and can take some time and patience. We promise the results are worth it!
10. Sharpen That Blur
Unlike a JPEG, the camera doesn’t apply any sharpening algorithms to a RAW photo. Under the detail panel, use the sharpening slider to bring out the details. Zoom in before you make this change. Take care not to over sharpen.
11. Use Clone Tool to Fix Flaws
Blemishes, wrinkles, and shadows can reduce the quality of your wedding photos. But, a few clicks of the cloning tool can make it look like those flaws were never there. It’s important not to overuse this tool, as this can make photos look unnatural.
12. The Handy HSL Tools
The HSL — or hue, saturation, luminance panel — is one of the top 15 Lightroom tips! It allows for fine-tuning the image’s colors. Luminance is how light or dark a color is. Saturation is how bright or dull a color is, and hue changes the shade of that color.
Lightroom gives each color a slider inside the HSL panel. This allows you to adjust one without affecting the others. These color tools are helpful for creating a specific look. Pulling up the orange luminance slider will brighten up some skin tones while Pulling the red luminance slider will make red skin less obvious.
The HSL is also essential for getting great black and whites. After converting the image to black and white, the HSL becomes the B&W panel. This controls the shade of gray each color converts to.
13. Try the Auto Mask Tool
For faster retouching, check the auto mask tool. Lightroom will then try to automatically detect the edges. This means that the teeth whitening tool, for example, is only brushed over actual teeth. Like the full presets, making a new brush preset is also easy. Use the sliders on a custom brush to choose the settings. In the effects dropdown, choose the option “save current settings as a new preset.”
14. Love this Lightroom tip! Say Bye to Flaws with the Healing Tool
Photoshop may be more detailed. But this one belongs in your arsenal among the top 15 Lightroom tips! Lightroom has a healing brush tool that works for a lot of retouching scenarios. It’s the one that looks like a circle with an arrow on the right in the toolbox underneath the histogram.
The healing tool works well for minor acne and even getting a street sign out of the background. This tool has both clone and healing modes. Lightroom also has a built-in brush preset to whiten teeth and soften skin. You can find them in the effects menu in the dropdown. You can use a single slider to control the intensity, or tap the arrow for more fine-tuning on each setting.
15. The Magic of Export Tools
Lightroom’s tools don’t stop with the edits. Wedding photographers can use the program to create a slideshow video of the day. They can even add a watermark when exporting for the web.
The slideshow is a panel on its own. It’s not yet available in CC but is a Classic only feature. Inside the edit panel, if you scroll down to the watermark, you can choose “edit watermarks”. Watermarks are great for deterring image theft.
Top 15 Lightroom Tips: Conclusion
These are some basic Lightroom tips to help you edit your images beautifully. There is a lot more to learn about editing, but these tips are good to get you started.
With these tips, you can enhance the quality of your images drastically. Your clients will love the final results and the speed of delivery — which may mean more referrals for you!
Lightroom is definitely a tool worth mastering. But when you start getting booked more (especially in busier seasons), delivering photos to your clients on-time may seem almost impossible! Want more in depth Lightroom tips? Check this blog out here!
In order to keep from creating a negative experience for your clients, you may want to consider partnering with editing professionals like ShootDotEdit.
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