Putting together a blogpost can take quite a bit of time so it makes sense that we should think about speeding up each area of our process. From my experience, with image heavy fashion blogs like ours (Galmeetsglam.com), editing and selecting images is the longest part of the process. I thought I would offer up my preferred steps for editing and selecting photos in Lightroom.
1. Setup Custom Presets with the same settings that you make every time. If you’re smart, you’ve developed an editing style already. So chances are you are making very similar edits for each image. The fastest way to scale this for each image is to create your own Custom Presets. If you are still working on your own editing style and but you want to quickly improve your edited images a great place to start is with VSCO filters that you can buy in packs specifically for Lightroom. If you’ve looked at the VSCO Film Packs for Lightroom before but unsure on which ones to buy, our favorites packs are 2 & 5. Pack 3 is also fun for the Polaroid Film. I always add a bump of clarity and contrast to all of my images and I add a bump of the dehaze to my landscape photos. Try and develop your own Custom Preset that will act as a great starting point for any image, your goal is to get 75-90% of the final edit with the preset.
2. Apply Preset to all images on Import into Lightroom. This can be found in Apply During Import under Develop Settings.
3. Quickly Scroll through your images giving a 4 and 5 star number to any photos you like. My scale is 5 is something I know I absolutely want to post and 4 stars is a good photo that might make it into the post, you can be generous with your 4 stars but not with 5 stars. Use the numbers on your keyboard as a shortcut so you can quickly scroll through rating your photos, being careful not to over analyze each photo.
4. Apply the Star Filter to only look at photos above 4 stars
5. Go through the photos again and get rid of anything that you don’t feel should make the cut. You can do this by giving a new rating to the image, say “3” for instance. It won’t delete the image but it will remove it from the view because the 4 Star Filter is turned on.
6. Make your final edits for the remaining photos
7. After editing, hold Command (on a Mac) and select all of the Portrait images. Export all portrait images at once using your dimensions for your site. I like to use custom name + original file number. The original file number helps me find the image if I ever need to go back and reexport, say if I want to square crop for Instagram or if a client needs a new size or slight edit to an image.
8. Repeat the same step for all of your landscape images using the proper dimensions for your site.
After this step you’ll have a number of Exported Edited Images, you’ll have to further narrow down your selection of the final images for a post. I like to upload the images into WordPress and then narrow down the images after laying them out in the post. You may have a different process for the selection.
Next time you’re editing a bunch of photos from the same shoot and you’re strapped for time, use this process or a modified version of it to quickly work through your images.