Lightroom is the best program you can use for not only editing but for culling, rating and organizing your images. If you’re new to photography, then Lightroom is probably new for you as well. Don’t be discouraged when you first open up the program and it looks overwhelming. Know that soon you’ll be able to use all the tools with ease and you’ll make the most of this incredible program.
Today I am sharing with you my top 5 Lightroom tips for beginners. These are the essentials-- the things you should know before anything else. Take it from me, these were the first few things I learned that really made a difference in how I used Lightroom and I know you’ll find these tips super helpful, too!
Use Lightroom to stay organized.
Lightroom is an amazing tool for organization. When you open up Lightroom, it’s going to ask you where you want images stored. Take this as an opportunity to really organize yourself and your images into a great system that will work for you in the future. Some ideas for organization would be organizing your images by the date of the shoot, by the location or by specific events. If you shoot boudoir, you may want to organize by client name, then date. If you’re into nature photography, location and date might be helpful. Pick a system that will make the most sense for you.
The ‘Basic’ tab is your best friend.
The ‘Basic’ tab is where a lot of great edits can be made. This basic tab is just that-- the basics! The sliders located in the basic tab have the ability to really bring your image to life and I recommend opening up an image and just going through each slider to see what it does. From temperature and tint, to blacks, whites, shadows, dehazing, saturation, contrast and more, the basic panel provides you what you need to make an image look as true to life as possible.
Cull your images with star ratings
When you’re going through all of your images in Lightroom, use the following keyboard shortcuts to star your images to rate the ones you like the most and the ones you’d rather not spend time editing. Simply press 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 on your keyboard to give the image the equivalent star rating.
Lightroom can look confusing and overwhelming-- especially when everything is so new and every panel seems like a good option! Bring up the Basic panel then use develop module in Solo mode to help you focus on one editing panel at a time instead of having them all open. This will help you really get the most out of each panel you’re working with without feeling the pressure to play with everything else in Lightroom.
When you import a session, you may find that you’re making the same adjustments over and over again for each image. The best way to be efficient in Lightroom is to save these consistent adjustments as a preset. When you save the preset, be detailed with your description. For example, if your images were taken on a cloudy day (which would give off more blue tones) in a studio, then a great name for a preset could be as simple as “cloudy afternoon studio”. Then, the next time you are editing photos that were taken on a cloudy afternoon in your studio, you can apply the preset and save yourself time.
These five simple tips can really help you make the most of Lightroom. They will also help you learn to use Lightroom efficiently to really make the most out of the time you spend editing. Give these tips a try and let me know what you think! Are they helpful for you as a new photographer just beginning to understand the capabilities of Lightroom? Share your answer below.
Do you want to play around with presets? I have presets available in the shop! Take a look and purchase a set that you think would help bring your images to life.