How Lightroom Can Improve Your Blog Photography
The photos on your blog are, in my opinion, more important than the words - initially. Think about it: when you visit a blog for the first time, do you immediately dive into the written content, or do your eyes bounce around to the visuals on the screen until you see something you want to read?
Less than stellar photography can keep readers from sticking around long enough to enjoy your fabulous content, so it's worth investing the time, and potentially money, to improve. I want to show you how Lightroom can improve your blog photography without costing a fortune and without being crazy technical.
HOW LIGHTROOM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY
Until very recently, I've been using Picmonkey for my blog photography, and while I've been able to do pretty much everything I needed to do, there wasn't a streamlined workflow to photo editing, and there are just some things Picmonkey can't do.
Enter: my dear friend Beth from Unskinny Boppy. Beth spoke about Lightroom at Haven Conference this year, and again at my Home Grown Bloggers event in Birmingham. I learned more about Lightroom in thirty minutes from her than I ever knew before. And now I'm a massive fan of Lightroom for my photo editing.
DISPELLING THE MYTHS OF LIGHTROOM
MYTH #1: LIGHTROOM IS SUPER HARD TO USE
First of all, I want you to get over this fear of the technology. Yes, it's different and more "high-tech" than what you might be used to if you use Picmonkey or Canva. But that's not a bad thing.
There are a lot of buttons and options and features of Lightroom, but they all work together seamlessly to make your photos truly amazing. And just like anything else, you have to take the time to learn how to use it in order for it to be effective.
After all, you had to learn how to use Picmonkey or Canva, right?
MYTH #2: LIGHTROOM IS EXPENSIVE
I feel a bit like Dwight Schrute here when I say this, but: FALSE. Lightroom is an Adobe application that you pay for on a subscription plan for $10/month.
$10. << You can't go to Starbuck's twice in a month for $10.
MYTH #3: LIGHTROOM IS TIME CONSUMING
Dwight, say it with me:
Let me break this down for you: I used Lightroom to edit a batch of photos for an upcoming post on Sweet Tea & Saving Grace. I edited 15 photos in less than 10 minutes. That included tweaking the lighting and alignment, cropping, resizing, naming, and adding my watermark.
And they're gorgeous - wanna see? Well I'm going to show you anyway because they're deliciously cute.
See? Told you it was cute.
BENEFITS OF LIGHTROOM V. PICMONKEY
Yes, you can do A LOT of different cool stuff in Picmonkey. I love Picmonkey. And if I'm editing one image, or creating a simple graphic, I still use it because it's quick and easy. But there are things that Lightroom does better.
COOL LIGHTROOM THING #1: SYNCING SETTINGS
Let's say you are taking photos of a room or project. As you take these photos, the lighting conditions in the room remain the same. You end up with a bunch of photos of the room from different angles.
Rather than editing each photo individually, hoping to get the exact same settings for each one, Lightroom allows you to edit one photo in the set, then sync those settings to every other photo. Edit once, then apply to all the images. The lighting will be exactly the same in every single photo, and you'll save yourself a ton of headache.
COOL LIGHTROOM THING #2: PHOTO MERGE
Have you ever seen a picture of the interior of someone's home, and the lighting in the foyer is nice and bright, but it's also nice and bright in the living room, which you can see in the very back of the photo? How do they do that?!?!
I know how. They take several photos from the exact same spot and change their camera settings each time. Then they drop those babies into Lightroom and layer them on top of one another to create a perfectly lit photo.
COOL LIGHTROOM THING #3: GRADUATED FILTER
Sometimes...well, let's be honest...most of the time, your lighting situation will not be the same from one area of your room to another. You'll have shadows in weird places, bright windows in other places, and it can make it very difficult to get your lighting just right.
The graduated filter in Lightroom allows you to brighten just one area in an image. Just like in the photo above, this is extra helpful around the holiday when we have Christmas lights all over the place!
COOL LIGHTROOM THING #4: BATCH EDITING
Oh, my friend, this is by far my favorite thing in the whole wide world! I already mentioned my love for the "sync settings" feature, which makes life a lot easier. The batch editing ability you have in Lightroom helps you create an actual workflow to your photo editing that saves tons of time. Here's how it works:
- Import only the photos you want to edit. Your originals are saved.
- Edit the first photo in the series. Sync those settings to the rest of the photos.
- Make any additional edits you might need to individual photos.
- Export photos
Now, when you are ready to export your photos, this is the batching part that makes me so happy. You choose the folder on your computer where your photos will be saved. For me, that's the folder for that particular blog post.
Then, you name your photos - remember those keywords! Lightroom will copy that photo name to all the images in the export, adding a number behind the name. (For example, "lightroom-photo-1", "lightroom-photo-2", etc.)
You choose your watermark, and Lightroom applies that watermark to every photo in the export. AND you can size them all! It takes about 30 seconds to apply those settings at the time of export, and you're done.
MAKE LIGHTROOM WORK FOR YOU
As I mentioned earlier, my friend Beth from Unskinny Boppy is the Lightroom guru. She created an amazing course, "The Lazy Girl's Guide to Lightroom". She is a great teacher, breaking down the features into bite-sized, easy-to-follow lessons that you can work through at your own pace.
Let me give you a preview: