You’ve been asking, so I am answering!
People have been wondering about my workflow when it comes to culling and editing images. We often take so many images that we end up wondering how in the world we are going to actually sort through all of them and pick just the best ones. We can spend hours flipping between two almost identical images trying to pick “the perfect one” and it can feel like you’ll never even get around to editing.
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to look at the detail in each and every image and wonder if the image is good enough to edit then send over to the client. Over time, I’ve really figured out a system that works really well for me. Take a read through my workflow process below.
Step 1 - Get all my RAW images into Lightroom
Nothing magical about this step here! I get all those raw images into Lightroom then move on to step 2.
Step 2 - Give 5 stars to all the images that spark my eye
That’s right. I give all 5 stars to the images that really spark my eye. These are the images that I am immediately drawn to. You don’t sit there and assess each and every image; it’s a quick emotional response. What makes you feel? What images spark that something inside of you that draws you in? Those are the images I will give 5 stars to.
Step 3 - Look at them in a small format
Let’s face it, social media images are small. An image that full of dramatic nuances when large might not come across the same way on Instagram or Facebook. I go through all of my 5-star images and I find that ones that really grab my attention in a small format. When I find the ones I love in a small format, I edit them and export as smaller sizes.
Step 4 - Pick the rest
Go through the remaining 5-star images and decide on the best ones in each group/set. Try to go with gut reaction when selecting them. If you are having a really hard time deciding which is best, then get technical or even play with edits to see one has more of an impact when edited. Make your final selection of images you’ll want to edit.
Step 5 - Edit
The moment we’ve all been waiting for-- editing. I edit my photos using presets that I’ve created (that can also be yours! Check out the shop here!) so my images all look consistent. If I switch between a few presets based on lighting and location, I make sure I edit all of the images from each set with the SAME preset for consistency.
Overall, you can see that my process is quick and efficient and the culling process is based on emotion more than technical composition. Especially when you plan to post a few images from a session on social media, you really want to keep in mind that the impact an image has on you when you first look at it will have a higher impact on someone else when they see it for the first time.
What is your workflow when culling and editing? I’d love to hear it! Share in the comments below!