Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Michela
There are very few things I use and love that I know I will continue to use and love for the rest of my life. And yes, one of those things is Adobe Lightroom for photo editing.
Whether you are just starting out as a photographer or are ready to up your photo editing game, it has the potential to massively improve the quality of your photos. I’ll walk you through my favorite things about the software, photo edits I’ve done, and wait for the end to try three of my presets FREE from my first collection.
This post is not sponsored and I am only talking about this product because I’ve used it for 5 plus years and absolutely love and recommend it. This post does contain affiliate links which means if you click on that link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, which helps me keep this blog afloat! Read my full disclosure.
What is Adobe Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom is a photography software that allows you to edit, store, and organize your photos.
There is the traditional desktop format, as well as a mobile app to easily edit photos on the go or photos taken on your phone. The Lightroom mobile app can be downloaded for FREE (YAY!), however, you won’t have access to every editing tool.
If you purchase the photography plan, you can sync your Lightroom Desktop and Lightroom Mobile easily!
Who is Lightroom for?
Lightroom is going to be for anyone interested in photography no matter their motivation or level of interest. It has benefits for absolute beginners to photographers who do photography as a profession, to businesses looking to solidify their brand image to simply wanting a more cohesive Instagram theme – which is actually so significant these days to Instagram growth!
Here’s a more straightforward list:
- Beginner photographers who are learning how editing works
- Professional photographers who need to establish their own editing style for their portfolios of work
- Businesses building a cohesive looking brand (whether on social media, advertising, or their website)
- Bloggers who are also wanting to create cohesive photo edits and color palettes across their website
- Anybody with an Instagram or love of photos who want to just play around with editing!
And like I said, if you are on the fence, you can start by just downloading the free mobile app to see what it has to offer!
Why should I buy Adobe Lightroom for photo editing? Why not use free apps?
This is where I’m going to get into the good stuff about why Adobe Lightroom is the best investment I’ve ever made for my photography, whether it’s just for my Instagram feed or actually building a photography portfolio. And yes, I’ve also made money from my edits and photography!
I’m going to dive deeper into this topic when talking about Lightroom vs. Photoshop down below! Overall, I find Lightroom to be, not necessarily easy, but easy to go about learning it.
The thing is, there’s so much you can do with the platform. And over time, you’ll learn it all, but in the process, I appreciate the way to use its tools are straightforward and simple. They also have tutorials on how to achieve certain looks on your photos, right within the software!
Full Manipulation of your Image
What’s great about Lightroom that makes it better than free editing apps or knock-off software is the ability to fully manipulate the image. It can handle and solve pretty much anything, even super overexposed photos.
Even when it comes to simply using the mobile app with your iPhone photos, the controls give you the ability to manipulate the photo like it’s coming from a DSLR.
And when shooting with a DSLR, make sure you’re shooting in RAW files to unlock every possible capability in editing your photo. If you’d like me to make a more technical post on camera shooting, let me know in the comments!
Find your Style as a Photographer
Once you do start diving into Lightroom and playing around with the settings, you’ll realize that you tend to like similar looks of photos. Congratulations, you’ve found your own editing style!
You can maintain that style easily by creating your own presets (scroll down for more info on how to get 3 FREE Presets to start with or add to your own collection!)
Easy Organization and Exporting
Lightroom has a ton of great organizational options for your photos. I have over 15,000 photos in the Desktop application, so it can be easy to lose track of their location.
But Lightroom allows you to organize them in so many ways. You can mark photos upon import to skip suspected duplicates. You can add photos you want to remember easily to a quick collection. Plus, there are endless options for creating folders and subfolders with your own labels.
Make Money from It!
So, I mention that I make money from Adobe Lightroom for photo editing!
There are several ways to do this!
- Sell Your Presets
- Edit for Others
- Shoot Photos for Clients as a Business
Firstly, you could sell your own presets. This has become super popular as Instagram photographers have become famous for their individual styles.
Thirdly, if you are trying to make photography a profession, whether full-time or on the side, you’re going to need Lightroom for sure. Like I said, developing that editing style is key. Clients will want to see your work and having consistent, beautiful edits to your photos is something that they will notice.
I did this in college, doing graduate photography portrait sessions! I didn’t even do that many and still made hundreds and hundreds of dollars for not a ton of work (because I already knew Lightroom!)
Adobe Lightroom Vs. Photoshop Features
The Adobe Photography plan at just $9.99 a month actually comes with both Lightroom and Photoshop! So, you have access to two of the best photo editing software out there.
They are both also included in the Creative Cloud plan if you wanted full access to other Adobe software!
So, while you’ll probably have access to Photoshop if you choose to invest in Lightroom, I’m going to tell you why I prefer Adobe Lightroom for photo editing over Photoshop.
For me, Lightroom is by far the winner when it comes to ease of use. You don’t have all the confusion of layers and tools – instead, you have sliders as your controls.
These sliders all have a component of the photo that they control, for example, exposure, contrast, saturation, clarity, etc.
It’s so easy to play around with these sliders to create your ideal edit without messing with intricate layers in Photoshop.
That being said, Photoshop allows you more creative freedom. For example, if you’re looking to do skin retouching, Photoshop is going to give you a much smoother edit because you are working layer by layer. I opt for using the clone/heal tool or the brush tool (with decreased clarity) to smooth skin. It’s quicker and more user-friendly, but at times may not be as polished as its Photoshop counterpart.
I’ll be honest, Photoshop to me is just so much more intimidating and I have not taken the time to dive deeper into it because I am already more than satisfied with Lightroom.
If you really want to experience both, like I said they would both come with the various Adobe plan options, and there’s an easy way to crossover editing platforms.
Key Features of Adobe Lightroom
As I said, the user experience of Lightroom makes everything so straightforward and easy but allows you to manipulate your photo in a countless number of ways.
My Key Tools are:
- Tone Curve
- Clone Tool
- Graduated/Radial Filters
Adobe Lightroom Presets
It’s no secret that Adobe Lightroom is used and loved by many, which is why I completely recommend it to friends and family alike. What’s really made Lightroom pop off is presets!
Presets are saved versions of edits that you can apply to another photo with one click. This is how people are able to achieve cohesive and beautiful Instagram feeds or establish their unique editing style as a photographer.
My Adobe Lightroom Presets
You can try 3 of my presets for FREE as part of The Travel Library!
Enter your email below for exclusive access to the presets and other travel resources.
And that’s going to conclude this post! I hope it was super informative and you have a better understanding of how Adobe Lightroom can immensely improve your photography.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinions on Adobe Lightroom as well!
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I hope this post got you some insight as to how you can grow the next level with Adobe Lightroom for photo editing! I also hope you will enjoy my presets! Whether you try out the free ones or purchase the pack, with all of my heart I appreciate the support you give to my blog!
See you in the next post!