A photographer turned private photo editor, but I'll always be capturing the moments in between.

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Exporting Your Lightroom Catalog for Private Photo Editing

A Lightroom catalog is the key to outsourcing for private photo editing! The number one question I get asked most often is…

“How will I get my images over to you?”

Simply export your images that you are outsourcing as a catalog and drop it into a shared folder through Dropbox. Isn’t technology wonderful?

If you’re wondering what a Lightroom catalog is and why we should be using it, I’ll explain.

According to Adobe’s website, a Lightroom catalog is:

A database that stores a record for each of your photos. This record contains three key pieces of information about each photo:

  1. A reference to where the photo is on your system
  2. Instructions for how you want to process the photo
  3. Metadata, such as ratings and keywords that you apply to photos to help you find or organize them

When I edit your images and send them back to you, because I’m using the Lightroom catalog and smart previews, you’re able to see what I did to the photos and also alter the settings if need be. The catalog holds the raw photo, the settings attached to it and also the edited version. Think of it as a photoshop document that has all the layers visible to that file.

Now that you know what a Lightroom catalog is, I’ve created a step-by-step process on how you can export your Lightroom catalog for private photo editing!

Exporting Your Lightroom Catalog

1. Find only the images you want me to edit.

2. Drop the File Menu down and select “Export as Catalog.”

3. A dialogue box will pop up. Make sure “Export Selected Photos Only” and “Build/Include Smart Previews” are the only options selected.

private photo editor breaks down steps to export lightroom catalog for busy wedding photographer


4. When naming your export folder, please include your first initial and last name followed by a good title for this order. For example, “HLutz_Halley+Matt or HLutz_BurnsWedding”

5. When export is finished, zip your catalog folder so that you only have one item to upload. Macs: Selected both items, right click and select “Compress Two Items.”

6. Find our shared Dropbox folder and place zipped catalog into the “To-Edit” folder.

7. Please email me to notify me that your catalog is ready to edit and attach any specific notes about the job you may have.

8. Editing turnaround times take 3-5 business days and I will notify you when your job is ready!

Ready to hire a private photo editor? Contact me through my website halleylutz.com or email me info(at)halleylutz(dot)com!

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I further explain Smart Previews and why they’re just as important!

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