Lightroom: My Develop Module Workflow

category: Lightroom • 2 min read

I’m currently processing 1000+ photos in Lightroom. It’s hard, it’s painful. My first step is go though all the photos and delete all the out of focus photos, the junk photos, the wrong timing… The keywords, the IPTC info is the easy part since they are all for the same customer, Sync Metadata does the trick, but the hard part is the Develop module.

Here are my steps for the Develop module:

Lightroom -- Develop Steps: Workflow

Lightroom — Develop Steps: Workflow

  1. I always Crop first. This will tell me if it’s worthwhile to do the rest of the processing of the photo.
  2. Sometimes I will do the White Balance. If I change it, I do it only once, then apply the White Balance to all the other photos in the batch.
  3. I click on Auto. Either I like it, and then will use it as a starting point for changing the photo. If I don’t like it, I undo the Auto.
  4. Depending on the photo, I will do the Exposure. The Auto gave me the hint of which direction to adjust the Exposure.
  5. I almost always adjust the Fill Light. Either, I’m don’t know what I’m doing or my cameras are not good enough or … but I find that for almost all photo I have to adjust the Fill Light.
  6. About half of the times, I have to adjust the Brightness for the photo to “pop-up”.
  7. About half of the times, I have to adjust the Contrast for the photo to “pop-up”.

This is my usual workflow in the Develop module. The key word is usual.

  • This doesn’t mean that I always do it in that order.
  • This doesn’t mean that I don’t do other things to the photos like converting to Black & White…
  • There’s no right or wrong, just preferences. It means that these steps are my main steps in processing a photo in the Develop module. An important reminder:

All steps taken in the Develop module do not affect the original photo and can be undone if you don’t like it or change your mind.