Lightroom workflow

Everyone has their own workflow for storing and editing photos. Over the years, I've learned a lot from other photographers through YouTube and Reddit communities like r/photography. It's an ever-changing process, and there's always something new to learn from others.

Here's how my current Lightroom workflow looks like:

1. Backup Photo

  • After clicking photos and once I come back home, the first step is to backup photos to an external hard drive.

2. Create Folder

  • Folder structure usually looks something like this. Year → yy-mm-dd-Event/location → files

3. Create new Lightroom Catalog

  • Then I open Lightroom to create new catalog. Yes I create new catalog for all new projects. New catalog is inside the project folder so that it’s easy to find

4. Culling

  • Once catalog is created I import all the photos to Lightroom, and then start culling.
  • I give 1-2 stars to photos which I like

5. Edit Photos

  • This step is self explanatory

6. Cull again and delete unwanted images

  • After finish the editing, I filter all unrated photos and see if I miss few good images, if not then at this point I delete all unrated photos.

7. Color Flags for different purposes

  • I give yellow flag for the photos that will go for print or are print worthy, blue for posting on instagram and 3 stars for outstanding images which should be rare.
  • Reason for different color flags is to understand which cropping is required or applied to photos. For example if I am posting on instagram photo is cropped to 4:5 or if I am printing usually it’s 8:10

8. Rename Files

  • Then I switch to library view and then rename all files in sequence as per folder name.

9. Export Photos and merge to master catalog

  • Finally, I export the photos and then open master catalog and import the project catalog. I recently learn about master catalog and I think is good way to have one single catalog if you are going through years worth of photography.

I would love to hear your workflow on how you edit on Lightroom and to have some feedback or improvements on my current workflow. Feel free to leave comments or reach out on Instagram: @varun_y

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