Firsts Friday: Lightroom Workflow

My last year of high school, I took dual credit classes at the local community college. My favorite class was english. Mrs. Firestone, my teacher, was the quintessential english teacher. Eccentric (read: fascination with wolves, large scarves, and highly teased hair) and sweet, she gave me a new love for writing. 

But, while I was taking her class, I sat next to a middle-aged woman coming back to get her degree. Half way through the semester, she leaned over to me before class began and asked "would you like a copy of Photoshop?" My knee jerk reaction was "YES!" But, I wanted to make sure her offer was for real. She explained to me that she had bought Photoshop for a Mac and that she had a windows. A couple weeks beforehand, I had mentioned something about photographing an event. "Surely," she said "since you're a photographer you could make use of it."

That was that. A week later, and I had my very own copy of Photoshop licensed in my name.

Believe it. If that wasn't God's provision for my life, then I don't know what it was!

So, for the past 4 years, I've been using Photoshop CS5, along with Bridge, to edit all my photos. It's been a hassle, but worth it since I invested $0 into it!

I always knew in the back of my mind that I needed to buy Lightroom (and Brian Powell practically coerced me into it). But, I could never justify the price when what I had was free. This summer, I have the most weddings that I've ever had-huge blessing! So, I thought I better invest soon, and learn quickly!

This is in no way a complete overview of my Lightroom Workflow, but I thought it might be helpful to visually represent how good this switch has been. Seriously. Time saver, life saver, back-up saver, and I love how cleanly my photos get edited.

So, Brian, you can now say "I told you so," and every other photographer reading this who is about to reach through their monitor and shake me for not making this switch earlier!

Enough talk. On with the visual evidence!

The above photo is from an engagement session that I absolutely loved. The couple. The light. The season. It was all on point. But, my black and white looks more like grey and white. I spent a ton of time editing and wasn't super happy with the results...

This is photo as I edited in Lightroom, in literally two seconds. B&W with some minor color adjustments. I love this contrast so much more! The focus is brought to the love.

Another favorite. This wedding I second shot with a friend was sublime. But, the end product looked way more red and just not crisp.

Once again, a little tone fixing and I love how much crisper Lightroom processed the same photo. AND, in less than half the time. Oh, and did I tell you that I used to individually export each image in Photoshop (so inefficient, yikes...). But, that's humiliation for another day...

This is my beautiful friend Brooke. And, to me, this picture is her. Her infectious laugh is one of my favorite things about her. This photo was taken when I first got my new D800. I love this picture, but the colors don't seem quite correctly balanced for my liking.

And, this is how I processed the image in Lightroom. The tones, the colors, they're all true to that moment.

I am LOVING the switch from Photoshop to Lightroom. And, what is even more important than efficiency (can an industrial engineering student even say this?) is that I feel like the images I give my clients are more true to how I see them, and how they actually looked when the moment was captured. I love reflecting the reality and freshness of life even more now in my photos (and saving loads of energy and time)!