Snapshots are this ingenious little feature in Lightroom, which is unfortunately often overlooked and unused, which allows you to kind of bookmark an editing moment-in-time so you can quickly and easily get back to it, either to continue editing, or to use as your primary edit.

After explaining the basics of snapshots, I'll share the three cool things you can do with snapshots:

  • You can update a snapshot should you make a few addition tweaks.
  • You can use it for comparison purposes, either comparing the edit to the original image or comparing two different edits to see which one you prefer.
  • You can create virtual copies and the snapshots stay with it, which is awesome for exporting multiple versions of the same image.


The snapshot panel is just after the Presets panel and is empty until YOU create a snapshot. There are two ways to make a snapshot:

  • You can click on the + sign that is at the top-right corner of the snapshot panel.
  • You can use the keyboard shortcut which is pressing command (control on a PC) and the n keys together.

The box that comes up allows you to rename it or leave it as the date/time. I like to rename mine to things like "clean edit," as well as whatever preset I used, like "Black Thorn."


Update it if you make a few more tweaks.

Once youve made a snapshot (command and N on a Mac, or control and N on a PC), you can keep it updated as you edit by right-clicking on it and choosing Update with Current Settings.

Compare different "after" versions, like comparing presets.

You can use snapshots to compare to edit versions right inside the Develop module. This is done by right clicking on the snapshot and choosing Copy Snapshot Settings to Before.You can now view one edit next to each other. How cool!

Export multiple versions of the same image by creating virtual copies AFTER making snapshots.

I prefer to keep all my edits in one place via snapshots on the main image until I'm ready to export. Then I create two or more virtual copies (right click and choose virtual copy), and click on the snapshot of my choice BECAUSE the snapshots were copied over along with the virtual copy. Isn't that fantastic?