Lightroom Shortcuts

Thank you to Gayle of Mom and Camera for these great Lightroom Shortcuts!  This is from week 2 of 6 in our Lightroom newsletters.  These are two popular posts that will save you lots of time in Lightroom.  Enjoy and have fun applying them in Lightroom. You can download the shortcuts here!

Playing Favorites in Lightroom

Ever afraid to play favorites? With my kids, I’d have to answer YES! With my photos, NO WAY! In fact, choosing, picking, and sorting my favorites in Lightroom one of my favorite features. I am sure it has SAVED me HOURS of time over the last several years!

How should you sort your photos? Well, ultimately that is up to you. But here are the 2 main ways you can rate and sort your photos in Lightroom.


You can use flags to pick the photos that you like. The easiest way to flag your photos is to use the "~" key that is right next to the number 1 on your keyboard. If you accidentally flag a photo that you don't want flagged, then just press the same "~" key again and the flag will be removed! SIMPLE!


You can easily rate your photos using stars by pressing the number 1 for one star, the number 2 for 2 stars, the number 3 for 3 stars, and so on up to 5. If you rate a star and you want to remove the rating, just press 0 and the stars will be removed. One caveat: Don't get caught up giving your photos star ratings based on "how much you like it" (5 stars for the best photo you have ever taken and 3 stars for just an average shot and 1 for just slightly above "junk.") Just rate the ones you like using SOMETHING. I use the number 3 to rate any photo that I like. I reserve the number 5 for photos that I want to show in a portfolio.

Speeding Up Your Workflow in Lightroom

Why would I want to spend the time to pick favorites in Lightroom?

By spending a few minutes (and by few, I mean 10ish or less for about 100 photos) to pick out my favorites and double check their sharpness, I save myself LOTS of time while editing. Once I have picked

my favorites, I sort them from the rest of the photos using the tool bar above the filmstrip. Now I only see the photos that I want to spend time editing. I am no longer overwhelmed, distracted, or second-guessing about the ones that I didn't choose. I edit the favorites and call it good.

Rating my photos also helps me when I am going back through folders looking for a specific photo. Typically, I only remember photos that I have used or edited. So instead of looking through ALL the photos, I make sure I have a filter set so that I only see my favorites.

Rating also helps me when I want to use Lightroom's Smart Collection's feature. This is a feature that literally saved me 3 DAYS worth of work the last time I put together my family's semi-annual book of photos. The following SHORT video will show you how to use Smart Collections to quickly grab and sort photos in Lightroom!


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5 ways Lightroom will speed up your workflow

I get so many emails from folks wanting a simple answer to the question "do I get Photoshop or Lightroom?" I think of it this way: if you want limitless editing possibilities and are interested in graphic design, get Photoshop. But if you're a photographer who wants massive possibilities at your finger tips and doesn't want to spend their entire existence (not to mention $$) editing their shots, you can't possibly go wrong with Lightroom.

Lightroom takes some getting used to. For example, when I first started using it, I didn't understand the concept of importing and exporting. I didn't get why I couldn't just open, edit, save and close like I would with Photoshop. But there are plenty of generous people out there (shameless plug!) who will help you figure that out. Check out Pretty Preset's Lightroom for Beginners eCourse. It is 100% worth it and you will come out feeling completely equipped to start you long and happy life with Lightroom.

So if the jury is still out about whether you want to start your editing with Lightroom (or switch to it from another program like Photoshop), then allow me to share with you the top 5 ways Lightroom will make your workflow a breeze:

1.Importing & Exporting - Like I said, the import/export part of LR seemed like rocket science to me. I was perplexed (don't laugh at me!) but it's like this...instead of opening your photo, editing and then saving, importing your images into LR will save your butt in so many ways. As a busy mom, I often spend my editing days jumping back and forth from the computer to the kitchen, school run, back to the computer, upstairs to change a diaper, back to the computer, etc etc. And at some point, my 7 year old will log me out on the computer so he can play Star Wars. And my hours of editing? They would be lost if it weren't for the fact that the files aren't simply opened for editing. Instead, they're imported into LR so that whenever I go back into the program, I can pick up where I left off and nothing gets lost (thank goodness for that!)

2.Presets - Clearly the funnest part of LR. I love presets. They're (in theory) one-click edits for your photos. In practice, you still need to do some of your own tweaking but they will save you time I swear!

3.Previous - The 'previous' button is my absolute favorite button in any computer program ever. Say you're editing a wedding ceremony. You spend 5 minutes acquiring the most perfect combination of settings for the perfect B&W. But you still have 20 shots to go. Well, just move over to the next shot and hit 'previous'! It will apply your perfect settings onto the next image in a nanosecond.

4.Copy/Paste - A variation on the above concept is copying your settings and pasting them onto another image. When viewing an image, right-click-copy or just hit ctrl+c and the panel will come up that asks you which settings you want to copy. For example, I usually de-select 'crop' because I don't want to crop every shot the same way. Then, you can right-clic-paste or ctrl+v the settings onto any other photo. And yet again, you've saved potentially hours of your life editing every image in the exact same way.

5. Export - When you're all done, just export all the images into a new folder (I call mine 'edits' or something) and instead of individually saving all of my images one by one, they all save in one go.

So there you have it. 5 ways that LR makes editing faster & easier. Afterall, editing is just part of being a photographer. It shouldn't be eating your whole life away.

Written By: Elizabeth Halford is a professional photographer and blogger.

You can download this helpful page here!