My Lightroom Workflow

The backstory of the process

I use Adobe Lightroom for managing and editing my photos and when I first started out using it, I had no idea what I was doing. After a couple of years of making my own system, I watched Jared Platt's The Ultimate Lightroom Workflow on creativeLIVE and had an epiphany. I STRONGLY encourage you to cough up the money and purchase this video tutorial, as you get an extreme value for money! Those videos have literally saved me days of processing time!
Jared Platt's style of 'Just do this and you will be happy' is much better than many other instructors approach of 'You can do this or that or whatever you want to...' which usually ends up with more questions than answers.

I've adjusted the process to fit my liking, and here it is. Use it if you want!

My Lightroom Workflow (Version 1.04)

Please note: This is a work in process, especially after 8.!
  1. Import

    • Copy from memory card to ..\Working\[yyyymmdd]-[TitleOfJob]-[Type]\RAW\Card01..99\
      (ex. ..\Working\20130302-FarrahJamesWedding-Event\RAW\Card01\IMG_0034.CR2)
    • Import folder into Working Catalog of Lightroom
      • Build 1:1 previews
      • Apply generic Keywords
      • Apply Camera Profile
      • Apply Copyright info
  2. Add IPCT information

    • Category...
  3. Adjust Capture Time

    (if more than one camera was used or wrong timecode/zone)
  4. Select images

    • Positive Selection
      (pick 'P' images that you like, 1 to 3 stars for Favorites)
    • User Survey Mode
      ('N' - Select 4-6 images and compare - The more, the faster)
    • Distraction Free!
      (No toolbars 'T', No side panels 'Tab')
    • Go with gut-feeling, but check for sharpness ('Z')
  5. Organise images

    • Move all Pick's to Selects folder, under RAW folder (..\RAW\Selects)
    • Move all Favorites to Favorites folder, under RAW folder (..\RAW\Favorites)
  6. Keyword

    • All Favorites and Selects should be keyworded!
    • 'CTRL+K' jumps to Keyword field in Library module
    • Use Spraycan to tag images with Keywords
  7. Adjust Images

    • Use AutoSync for similar images
    • Process Favorites first, Selects second
    • User Presets whenever possible!
  8. Re-organise images

  9. Rename images

  10. Process in Develop Module

  11. Photoshop edits

  12. Review images that were not picked

    • Delete crap 'X'
    • Pick misses 'P' (goto 5. and start over)
  13. Export Images

  14. Convert Non-Selects to DNG

  15. Remove/Erase rejects

    • 'CTRL+Backspace'
  16. Export JPG's

Version History:  
1.05: 13.01.2014 - Removed Export Proofs, Added Convert Non-Selects to DNG
1.04: 13.01.2014 - Removed Export Catalog and Import Catalog 
1.03: 18.11.2013 - Added 10. Process in Development Module 
1.02: 27.09.2013 - Added description to 16. Export Catalog
1.02: 27.09.2013 - Removed section about exporting XMP's - Never actually used!
1.01: 23.09.2013 - Added YouTube video for 3. Adjust Capture Time  
1: 19.09.2013 - Initial version


  1. This is very helpful... continue to post more.

    1. Glad you like it. Working on a major update with videos and much more. Also a major update to everything after 8. - Stay tuned!

  2. Thanks for this. Nice and straightforward.