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

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My Favorite Lightroom Tools

Listen, I know editing is not every photographer’s favorite thing to do. You’d rather be… well, photographing. As a private photo editor, I understand how much you’re editing. And that’s why I’m excited to share my favorite Lightroom tools with you. I use these every day as a private photo editor and know you’ll be spend less time editing and more time doing what you love.

1. Match Total Exposure

Match total exposures is one of my favorite Lightroom tools! I was stoked when I first found out about this tool. Match total exposures works wonders if you’re shooting on Aperture Priority or bracketing and have a series of photos with different exposures. 

  • Select all of the photos in your series
  • Make sure your key image you want to reference is highlighted
  • Go to settings and select “match total exposures”

Voila! Your series of photos now match and the good news is you didn’t have to do it manually, saving yourself lots of time.

2. Level Out

Have a crooked horizon line? Instead of manually fixing it multiple times using your naked eye, follow these steps using the angle tool in crop overlay.

  • Select crop overlay
  • Click on the angle tool
  • Drag tool from left to right across horizon

3. HSL Color Picker

This next tool is one of my favorite Lightroom tools. It’s called the HSL Color Picker Tool. Try to say that 5 times fast! The HSL Panel is what you use most to adjust the color of your images. If you don’t know exactly what color needs to be changed, this feature is very handy!

  • Select color picker icon left of each name in panel
  • Drag up to increase level
  • Drag down to decrease level

You should automatically see the levels changing on the right.

4. Alt Option Key

This tip is a two-parter with the alt-option keyboard shortcut (on a Mac and alt on a PC).

  • When sharpening, hold down alt-option while dragging the mask slider to the right. You’ll be able to see what exactly is getting sharpened and how much.
  • When working with split toning, hold down alt-option while dragging the hue or saturation slider to figure out what color you’re adding and the amount.

No more second guessing! 

5. Automask

Anything that contains the word “auto” in it, I typically recommend to run far away from. With one easy click, you can change the background behind your bride and groom. 

  • Select an adjustment brush
  • Make sure “automask” is selected
  • Click on area with one click
  • If the automask didn’t do a great job press “o” to switch to an erase mask and go over anything you want untouched.

Side note: Although they may seem tedious, adjustment brushes will be your best friend when fine-tuning an image! Plus, you won’t have to bring images into Photoshop so much.

So there you have it. I hope you found my favorite Lightroom tools insightful in helping you edit faster and better!

If you’re just absolutely fed up with spending so much time at your desk and are looking to outsource your editing, visit the contact page on my website. I’d love to hear more about your work!

If we’re not connected on social media, say hi @halleylutz. I look forward to seeing your beautiful work and getting to know you more!

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