photography - software

here i am once again being afraid to write a blogpost about how i do things as a photographer. i guess i feel afraid because i feel like i do things differently than other photographers. oh well, here we go with photography 101 round 2 y'all.

so last time (which was forever ago.. whoops) i wrote about my photography process i gave y'all the DL on my equipment. this time i'm going to talk a little more about my equipment, but more-so about the tools i use for editing. i use 3 programs for editing: Photoshop, Lightroom, & Bridge.

i have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership since i'm not only a photographer, but also a graphic designer. it costs me like $50 a month I think. that's hella expensive, i know, but when you are devoted to something like photography & graphic design, you pay it. this is why i urge people sooooo strongly to NOT get the same camera as me when they are just beginning to take an interest in photography. my camera body cost me $2,000 & my lens cost me $1,300. if you decide later down the road that photography isn't your thing like you thought, you just wasted almost 4 grand. like why.


so i typically don't launch my photos into actual Photoshop too often. when i do it's because i want to use the clone stamp &/or patch tool, the dodge & burn tools, or i reallyyyy want to manipulate an image (which tbh i do like maybe 1% of the time). i know LR has all those tools, but i just find them easier to use in PS. if i don't need to do any major editing, i just use ACR or Adobe Camera Raw.


ACR is the extension Photoshop uses to edit raw images. i'll make a blogpost soon about my settings when i shoot, but for right now i'll say that i never everrrr shoot an image in anything other than raw. whenever i open a raw image in ACR, it's because i want to use a specific filter.

why i use 800 different programs to edit:
back when i started getting into portraits, i did a mentor session with a photographer from Chicago. she taught me the Bridge + PS workflow, so i have continued to use this workflow for many years because it's what i know. i began purchasing VSCO Presets, & because i worked in ACR, i bought the ACR compatible presets. within the past 2.5 years i've started using Lightroom more. i don't know if it's just me, but i find that the controls in LR are a little more sensitive & sometimes it makes it hard for me to edit. but anyways, i use PS when i want to use my VSCO Presets, & i use LR when i want to use other presets that i bought later on.

so i typically edit things like fashion & senior portraits in ACR. i tend to like the presets i have for ACR more with those type of photos. i use LR more for wedding & lifestyle photography.

fun fact
if you aren't a photographer/interested in photography but are just scrollin' on through this post, you'll probably recognize VSCO from the iPhone editing app VSCO Cam. yes, they are the same people! VSCO started out making presets for raw photos & eventually came out with an iPhone app. VSCO Presets are made to emulate different types of film.

when i edit in ACR, i view/organize/cull my images in Bridge:


Bridge is basically like Finder on a Mac, except it has a lot more tools for optimal organization of photos. i use it almost always over Finder because my computer is slow af & when i try to look at photos in Finder they won't load 🙃

i plan on doing a video later of my editing process, but for now i'll just say that when i finish a shoot i come home & load the images into a folder on my external hard drive. when i'm ready to edit i cull through my photos & pick out the best ones, then put them in their own folder. i do this all in Bridge. when i'm ready to edit i just double click a photo in Bridge & it will open it right into PS.


so like i said before, if i'm editing in LR i'm probably editing a wedding, some lifestyle photos, or i'm using this black & white preset that i loooove but is only made for LR.

i've had a lot of photographer friends in the past ask me why i don't solely use LR. honestly, it's because the only difference that i can really tell between the two is that LR is basically just PS & Bridge combined into one program. if anyone has a smarter reason as to what differentiates the two please leave a comment because idk.

for the photos i edit in LR, i love using the LXC Presets. the tones are really muted & look great on lifestyle photos & wedding photos to set the mood. 


Porsche 2TB external hard drive (i have 2 of these)

this was a jumbled mess of a blogpost but i hope it was helpful to someone out there! please comment with any questions you have & i would be happy to answer them.


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