My Editing Flow

What Programs I use & Why

Welcome to a crash course on what my editing process looks like - which programs I use and why I use them!

Here is a quick glance at my step-by-step process:

  1. Import Photos into Capture One
  2. Make selects inside Capture One
  3. Bring selects into Lightroom
  4. Color grade, crop, minor lighting corrections in Lightroom
  5. Bring into Photoshop for retouching and final adjustments
  6. Export using Adobe Bridge

I started using Capture One recently within the last six months mainly due to the fact that I was having trouble with Lightroom crashing while I tethered my camera in studio. Lightroom is great for color grading but terrible when it comes to tethering. It crashes, loads super slow, and makes me look bad in front of clients on set…that’s a big no no! After playing around with the Capture One program for a bit, I instantly fell in love with how quick and efficient you can make selects, organize folders, and tether your camera. I also love that the program has a ‘live’ feed of your camera - perfect for taking self portraits.

Screenshot of Capture One
Screenshot of Capture One

I use Capture One as my step one. Whether I’m tethering straight from my camera on set, or importing photos I’ve shot while on location. It’s the perfect place to begin before the actual editing starts. If I’m on set, before I start shooting, I will organize where my captured photos will be saved on my hard drive first. I like to create different folders so I can organize my selects. If I’m shooting portraits on-the-go or shooting in outdoor locations (and can’t tether), I import photos into Capture One after the shoot manually.

Your folder panel
Your folder panel
Me tethering on set!
Me tethering on set!

After my photos are imported and folders are created - I start rating the photos (making selects)! It’s as simple as hitting the number ‘1’ on your keyboard while you use the left and right directional arrows on your keyboard to navigate between photos. After making my selections, I will select all my rated photos, then drag and drop them into a new folder called “selects”. That way my rated photos are separated from the rest of the photos I won’t use.

You can easily find your rated photos by Sorting them here.
You can easily find your rated photos by Sorting them here.
Drag and drop your selections into your chosen selects folder.

Now that my photos have been selected and are in a cute lil’ organized folder, enter Lightroom! Import your photos into Lightroom and begin the editing process! I use Lightroom for color grading, fixing lighting, easy spot retouching, and batch processing. It’s the best and easiest when it comes to batch editing - you can sync all your settings in one quick swoop. If you want more information on how I edit, check out my Youtube page here.

Screenshot of Lightroom Desktop
Screenshot of Lightroom Desktop

I always edit using The Unicorn Presets - presets I designed and perfected over the course of my whole career. They are perfect for all different lighting situations, cameras, lens, and skill sets! You can shop my presets here. In the bundle you’ll receive 30 different presets - or you can shop them individually :)

Preview of The Unicorn Presets
Preview of The Unicorn Presets

Once I’ve finished editing the photos, I will almost always bring them into Photoshop. This is mainly because it’s retouching capabilities are far superior than Lightroom. I use it to retouch skin, fix blemishes, remove flyaway hairs, clean up the backdrop, fix lighting, and fine-tune coloring. I work on a lot of jewelry and skincare projects so retouching is a huge part of my job. Bless you Photoshop 🙏 To open up your image in Photoshop while inside Lightroom: Left click on the image > click on ‘Edit in…’, > then click ‘Edit in Adobe Photoshop’. This allows you to keep the editing settings you’ve made for your photo in Lightroom. If you want to open multiple images, all you do is select multiple images instead of one using the same process. Lightroom will automatically open all your photos into Photoshop.

How to bring your Lightroom photo into Photoshop
Before and after retouching.

After I finish retouching and editing in Photoshop, I export all of my final images in Adobe Bridge. You can also do this manually in Photoshop or Lightroom, but I find this the best method in bulk exporting and renaming files.

Screenshot of Bridge
Screenshot of Bridge

Bridge will take a while sometimes to export everything, (as does Lightroom), so don’t get frustrated! You also can’t multitask and work on other programs while it is exporting in Bridge, that is one downside. But usually during this time I step away from the computer and multitask on something else. To get started on exporting, go to: Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor…

How to batch export photos inside Bridge.
How to batch export photos inside Bridge.

To batch rename, select all the photos you want to rename then go to: Tools > Batch Rename…
There you can decide where to save your images, what to label them, and how to number them.

How to batch rename photos inside Bridge.
How to batch rename photos inside Bridge.

And that’s all folks! Editing definitely can take awhile, especially if you’re using multiple programs. If you’re too overwhelmed with all these programs, I recommend doing everything inside Lightroom. It’s very beginner friendly and has the power to do everything I just talked about. However, if you’re tethering and using photoshop a lot, I’ve found my method to work the best for me.

Thanks so much for reading! Hope this helps you in your editing flow! I’m always down to help a fellow photographer in any way that I can - message me on Instagram at @champagneunicorns 🦄 or send me an email at hello@champagnevictoria.com 💌