Easy Lightroom Time-Saving Tricks To Speed Up Your Workflow

Nov 6, 2019 | Photography Tutorials, Tutorials

To keep up with both my client work and my 365 project, my Lightroom workflow needs to be as efficient as possible.  I’m always working to utilize shortcuts or utilize time-saving steps……So, from import to culling to editing, I’ve got some great shortcuts to share with you!



Back Up As You Import

I’m sure it goes without saying that backing up your RAW files is critically important.  To ensure you never forget to back up, you can use either an automated online backup system like Backblaze (which backs up your computer continuously, so it is always searching for new files), or you can use an external drive.  If you take this approach, you can elect to have the backup copy made right on import.  Just select the “Make A Second Copy To” checkbox from the import dialog and you’re good to go!

Personally I use an online backup system, but it it nice to know there is a simple and cost-effective approach built right into Lightroom!



Use Keyboard Shortcuts For Managing Your Files

There are so many amazing keyboard shortcuts buried in Lightroom.  I’m sure you’ve accidentally discovered a few simply as you work.  It’s impossible to remember all of the shortcuts, but the great thing is that Lightroom has built a guide right into the program!  You can view all of the shortcuts by clicking “Command /” on Mac or “Control /” on PC.

The Library Shortcuts menu is accessed from the Library mode.  These shortcuts will help you with culling and file management.


A couple others that I like to use that are not on here are:

  • “U” to deselect a photo
  • “Command Delete” to delete all the photos I have marked with an “x” after I have finished culling (for personal work) or after I have completely the gallery (for client work)
  • I also always work with the Caps Lock down while culling so that I am automatically advanced to the next image once I pick or reject the one I’m looking at

You can also read more about my complete Lightroom culling process (which includes all my shortcuts) here:


Use Editing Shortcuts

Just like with the Library module, there’s also a while bunch of shortcuts buried in the Develop Module.  Below are some of the editing shortcuts available to you.  You can view all of the shortcuts by clicking “Command /” on Mac or “Control /” on PC while you are in the Develop module.


But honestly I think this list only covers just some of the good stuff!  In addition here’s a few other’s I like:

  • Use the “[” and “]” keys to make the size of your adjustment brush bigger or smaller.
  • Double click on the slider to return it to neutral OR click on the name of the slider and use the (+) and (-) keys to adjust it.
  • Use the dropper tool for targeted white balance adjustments.
  • Use the dropper tools for targeted adjustments that will fine tune areas of your image.   I specifically  use this for color in the HSL panel and in the tone cure  (I go into this a lot more in What Lies Within!)
  • Hold the “alt/option” key down while moving points on the Tone Curve to decrease the sensitivity of your movements
  • Use the delete key to remove radial filters and spot adjustment your no longer want.
  • Hold the “alt/option” key while masking your image sharpening to see exactly what is being sharpened.  You can use this trick while split toning as well to see exactly that part of the image is going to be impacted by your hue selection.
  • Press the “j” key to turn your “blinkies” on so that you automatically can tell if any highlights are blown or shadows are clipped
  • Batch process using the “copy/paste” function or  quickly sync your edits from the image before using the “previous” button.

Here’s a quick little video where I walk through using my favorite editing shortcuts:

password: Lightroom_Tips

This One Is For All You Shootproof Users Out There:  Easily Flag Your Client’s Selections Using The Search Funciton

This is probably my favorite trick of all!  I send clients the proofing galleries through Shootproof.  From here they “star” their favorites to purchase as part of their collection and I go back and polish those up for delivery.  In the past this was something I had to do manually, but now  can quickly mark these favorites in Lightroom using the search function!

First I go into Shootproof and view the gallery visitors report:



Then I click on the “favorites” number to view the files that were favorited:




Then I scroll to the bottom to view the file names.  I then copy these file names and head over to Lightroom.  


In the Library mode of Lightroom, I press “command F” to pull up the search function, and I past the file names in the search box.  Make sure to select “filename” and “contains” before pressing enter.


This then sorts the gallery showing only those that my clients selected for her collection.  I press “Command A” to select all of the images and I flag them then use my labeling system to mark the ones she wants – I give each client-selected image within the collection 1 star.  Then, I’m ready to start getting them all polished up for her!  So easy and quick!!!


Hope these quick Lightroom tips are helpful for you!  And I’d love to hear from you!  What tricks to you have that shave time off your editing workflow?



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