If you're like me, you love the process of taking a photo a lot more than you love sitting at your computer and organizing images, searching for images you need, and editing your photos.
Thankfully, there are a lot of people that are a lot smarter than I am who have made the process of using Lightroom much, much easier.
From keyboard shortcuts that make quick work of tasks to ingenious Lightroom plugins that help you automatically tag photos, there are a ton of awesome Lightroom hacks that you really need to know.
Here are just a few of my favorites...
These Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts Will Save You Tons of Time
Just like in Photoshop, using keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom can prove to be a game-changer in terms of speeding up your workflow.
For example, pressing E toggles the Library Module and pressing D toggles the Develop Module.
These shortcuts can speed up the process of editing because Lightroom performs faster in the Library Module. That means that when you need to find a photo, toggling back and forth to the Library Module will make quicker work of that task.
Likewise, pressing L dims the lights in Lightroom and another press turns them off. This is helpful on occasions when you want to look at a photo without any distractions.
Another easy, yet profoundly helpful shortcut is SHIFT + F, which eliminates the grey bar at the top of the screen.
Doing so gives you a little more real estate to actually see your photo as you edit, while also getting rid of an element on the screen that can be distracting.
For even more Lightroom shortcuts, check out the video above by Chris Eyre-Walker.
The Best Lightroom Plugin for Organizing and Searching Your Photos
Let's face it - the most time-consuming and laborious aspect of using Lightroom is having to tag all your photos upon upload.
But there's a Lightroom plugin called Excire that makes the process of tagging, organizing, and searching your photos a veritable breeze.
The Excire Search and Excire Search Pro plugins are, in a word, amazing.
Using artificial intelligence, these plugins will automatically tag your photos for you by analyzing the subject matter in the photo as well as how the photo looks.
Let me explain...
If you're using Excire Search, you get access to 125 common keywords (i.e., bike, boat, or mountain) that are used to tag your photos.
What's more, Excire Search understands how the images look as well, so if the predominant color in the shot is blue, it'll be tagged as blue.
With Excire Search Pro, there's even more keywords at your disposal - currently over 500 of them, in fact.
That means that you have an even greater ability to tag and organize your images, and your ability to find specific images within your Lightroom catalog becomes instantly better.
With the power of automatic keywording, any photographer - whether you're a stay-at-home mom with tons of photos of your kids or a seasoned professional that wants to clean up your Lightroom catalog - Excire can be a difference-maker in how you work.
And since both versions of the plugin are priced so well, you don't have to be a world-class photographer with a bank account to match in order to reap the benefits of these incredible plugins.
If there's one thing you do to improve your Lightroom workflow, adding an Excire plugin should be at the top of your list!
Get more details about Excire in the video above by Anthony Morganti.
Apply During Import to Give Each Gallery a Cohesive Look
One of Lightroom's best features is the ability to apply a given preset to an entire gallery of images upon import.
Not only does this save you a mountain of time but you can also develop your personal editing aesthetic and easily apply it to each image you upload.
Using this feature allows you to mass upload images without having to spend hours and hours making the same basic edits to each shot.
Instead, you can fine-tune each image to perfect the look while maintaining the cohesion of your aesthetic throughout the gallery.
Image Credit: scyther5 via iStock
When it comes down to it, getting all of the potential out of Lightroom is a simple matter of knowing shortcuts, making smart decisions about plugins, and relying on built-in features that will help you streamline your workflow.
Heck, even simple things like using the HSL slider to make very fine, granular edits to your images can have a profound impact on how they look.
With the Lightroom hacks I've outlined here, you have a few avenues for achieving beautiful edits that you might not have had before.
Now all that's left to do is to apply these hacks and get to editing!