My Quickest Editing Process for Blog Photos

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.

 

Lightroom Presets

 

2. Apply Preset to all images on Import into Lightroom. This can be found in Apply During Import under Develop Settings.
 Import with Develop Preset

 

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.

 

Give Ratings to images

 

4. Apply the Star Filter to only look at photos above 4 stars
 Filter 4 Star and higher

 

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.
 Select Portrait Images For Export

 

Export Settings

 

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.

15 Comments

  • David says:

    Nice post. Do you shoot mainly in JPEG?

    • Thomas says:

      Hey David,

      I only shoot in RAW or RAW + JPG. If you plan on editing your photos, definitely shoot in RAW.

      • Hannah says:

        Hey Thomas, random question but do you know how to convert raw (nef) photos to jpg for uploading purposes? Recently was in Switzerland and shot in Raw with my Nikon (new to photography) and I’m having trouble converting the files now so I can upload them Facebook, etc.

        Thanks!
        Hannah

  • Maggie says:

    Thank you so much Thomas! This is super helpful! Do you find that you get your best image clarity by setting your resolution to 300?

    • Thomas says:

      I’m not sure how I stumbled across 300 but I’ve just set it there and forgotten about it. I’m fairly certain it only makes a difference for physically printing out pictures.

  • Cristiano says:

    Great post Thomas. I’ve started using lightroom and absolutely love it. I know I should shoot in RAW but still not got round to it, mainly because of storage space. Do you not churn through TBs and TBs of external hard disk space? Cheers. Cristiano

    • Thomas says:

      I have 20TB of storage. At the end of the day image quality is the most important thing to our business. Shooting in RAW vs JPG makes a big difference.

  • Great post! I was just thinking today how I needed to find some short cuts! I’m just starting my blogging journey, so I appreciate your tips. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Hi Thomas,

    Would you make a post about how you edit your pictures (specially for julia’s blog) using lightroom.

    Thanks!

  • Mike says:

    Thomas, do you find yourself ever running into issues with colorspaces being off between the photos on your blog and the photos on your Instagram account. I try to work in ProPhoto RGB always, but occasionally, especially when editing an image further in Photoshop, I’ll find that my images look different on my mobile device then they do on screen (either with a more orange or more green hue to them).

  • Darlene says:

    Hi Thomas! I have been an avid fan of your photography style! Because of that I recently started wedding photography school. Thank you and Julia for inspiring! This helps me alot in learning about VSCO. I acquired Film 01, 02 & 05 ( from a torrent) But couldn’t get the same effect as you do ( It always seem to be not crisps as your photos look like ) Reading your blog helps alot!

    http://www.thenewgirl.me

    • Thomas says:

      Make sure that you have the right film for your make and model of camera. For instance, the Leica SL isn’t yet supported by VSCO Films so they don’t have the same pop as for my Leica Ms.

  • Katie Stuart says:

    This is such a great post!! I bought the VSCO Film 02 pack. Which one do you typically use out of that pack?

    Thanks!

    Katie Stuart
    http://allglammedupstyle.com

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