A photographer works at his desk

My Favorite Photo Editing Time-Saving Tips

Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, it can be intimidating to face a large amount of unedited photos. With our busy schedules, it’s essential to have a process that will handle this task quickly and easily. Here are seven of my favorite tips for speeding up your editing workflow:

Get it right in camera.

You will do yourself a big favor if you can get your exposure and white balance as accurate as possible while shooting. More importantly, be consistent with your images; so, if you need to make changes later, you can apply those changes to multiple photos instead of individually tweaking each photo. Also, avoid the “spray and pray” approach to shooting, which creates unnecessary duplicates and will only slow you and your computer down later when editing.

Use Photo Mechanic for culling.

I love using the software program Photo Mechanic for culling my images. Selecting the keepers from the rejects is super fast – you simply flag the ones you want to keep and export them for further editing later. When I switch to Lightroom or Photoshop for more extensive editing, I’m only dealing with the best images from the photo shoot.

Create Lightroom Import Presets.

There are certain changes that can generally be applied to every photo, such as contrast, sharpening, and vibrance. Lightroom allows you to automatically apply these changes to all your images during the import process using Import Presets. You can create multiple presets and save them for future use.

Use Develop Presets.

When editing your photos in the Develop Module in Lightroom, you can save your changes as presets. Whether it’s changing the image to black and white, or varying degrees of brightening or darkening, multiple keystroke changes can be saved and applied to another image with a single click of the mouse.

Try the Previous tab.

After adjusting a photo in Lightroom you can apply those exact changes to the next photo by simply clicking on the Previous tab.

Use the Auto Sync feature.

The Auto Sync feature in Lightroom is an easy way to apply your editing changes to a batch of photos instantly. Simply select your main image and then use the Command key (Mac) or Control key (PC) to select the other images that you want to adjust. Then turn on Auto Sync and whatever changes you make to the original photo will be copied to all the other photos. This is a great time-saver for adjusting images taken in the same lighting conditions or needing the same adjustment, such as a black and white conversion.

Match Total Exposure.

This Lightroom trick is very similar to the previous Auto Sync tip. Simply select and adjust your main image and then use the Command key (Mac) or Control key (PC) to select the other images that you want to have the same exposure values. Then go to Settings and select Match Total Exposure and Lightroom will attempt to give each image the same overall exposure. It only affects exposure; no other adjustments such as white balance will be copied over. Still, it’s a very helpful batch processing technique.

Good luck and happy editing!

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