My digital photography workflow using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Digital photographers often face the challenge of managing an efficient digital workflow to get from capturing images to creating presentable images. I spent years perfecting my workflow and it’s an evolving process with constant tweaks and adjustments as new tools become available. In the past, my workflow involved multiple applications which were best suited for a particular task. Until the introduction of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, I simply could not find any single application that worked well for the entire workflow. In this lesson, I will discuss my workflow for a photo shoot with models which involves submitting images for their review. The same workflow can be used for any jobs involved others reviewing your images.

A good workflow should allow the photographer to accomplish the following tasks easily and efficiently.

  • Import images from camera to computer.
  • Allow preview of images once imported.
  • Rename images based on user definable templates.
  • Allow easy editing of images to set flags for deleting images or ranking images.
  • Allow mass adjustments of exposure, color temperature, etc to correct for lighting errors.
  • Allow easy creation of smaller size proof images.
  • Allow creation of contact sheets or web galleries for image review.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom accomplishes all that in a single application. My workflow includes the use of Photoshop to embed a custom watermark on the images. Lightroom includes the ability to watermark the images with text but I prefer to use a logo watermark. (The upcoming Lightroom 3 will add the ability to add graphical watermarks). Note that the goal of this workflow is not to create final usable images but to separate or edit the vast number of images and filter out the usable ones. There is no need to spend hours tweaking exposure for images you will not use so the most efficient thing to do is to select final images for further processing.