Photographer Shares His Lightning Quick Lightroom Workflow

Scouring through a huge number of photos and editing all of the ‘winners’ can be a tiring task, especially when you consider that one day may consist of hundreds or even thousands of photos. A great workflow can help significantly expedite that process, and fortunately for us, pro photographer Nick Fancher has chosen to share his.

When it comes to working in Lightroom, Fancher has gotten his process down to a science. It’s not perfect (he’ll be the first to admit that) but it has enabled him to meet the sometimes staggering demands of his JackThreads job. Using this workflow, he can turn 500 initial images into 100 finished images in less than an hour — a process he claims would take him ten times as long if he was using Bridge and Photoshop.


We’ll let Fancher walk you through his process in the video, but the TL;DR version goes something like this:

First, use the right bracket key to thin the number of initial images by giving the good ones one star and sorting by star rating. Then, start from scratch and completely edit the first image of each set that was taken using the same lighting, and then apply those settings to the remainder of the set. Finally, go through and tweak those settings on the rest of the images to get each photo right.

He speeds up the process in the video, but even if it were shown in regular speed, he seems to work through the 400 images from this one photo shoot (three lighting scenarios) in no time at all. As we said before, it’s not perfect; but as with the Dodge and Burn tutorial from yesterday, if you don’t have a quick Lightroom workflow established, this’ll be a great place to start.

(via Fstoppers)

P.S. Head over to Fstoppers if you want to see the three lighting setups he used for this shoot.

  • Neoracer Xox


  • Buzzerfly

    I really enjoy watching different workflows from different peop,e, and am always able to pick something up that I will try out in my next editing session. Thanks!

  • Aaro Keipi

    Not a big fan of his processing choices BUT this is a very informative and helpful video. Gotta test out his method.

  • Dave Williamson

    Wonder how much sped up the video is. Kinda reminds me of those DIY shows where they construct a patio in 5 minutes.

  • Mike Ermilio

    Knowing how slow Lightroom is, I’d say it’s sped up a lot.

  • rudirofaz

    Good adverstising

  • Daniel Lin

    Fast workflow? No mention of Photo Mechanic? 2/10, too slow.

  • DirkBelig

    ^ Spam. How much image adjusting can you do in the program you’re advertising? Exactly.

  • Carbonyl Carbon

    Doesn’t (old) insulation contain asbestos?

  • Snaphub

    There is also a tilde method with marking photos as flag on/off. I use it a lot with 500+ photos. Nice workflow btw. I need ssd drive to speed up my processing…

  • Bill Wilson

    Instead of filtering the photos by rating them, there’s a built-in filter feature called flagging that works just as well. Simply use the “p” key to flag a photo and the “u” key to unflag. Then you can filter out all the unflagged images. If you want to select an even smaller segment of those, use the “b” key to add to “Quick Collection.”

  • Edward D Mota

    Ya, my computer would still be trying to open one…lmao.My Lightroom crawls.

  • Jim Danvers

    I use the tilde too. Discovered it purely by accident a couple of years ago – has been the way I do it ever since. {shrug shoulders} :) Agree on SSD – my OS lives on SSD but data (photo’s) on an external drive. Thinking about picking up a second SSD and moving them to it …. Agree with Mike above re: it had to have been sped up – a lot. LR doesn’t move through images that fast esp when in the develop module . . .

  • Mike

    Ya, I think that girl is bathing in asbestos.

  • Pezzonovanta

    That looks like fiberglass. Asbestos sheets look like gray cardboard.
    Also, asbestos is extremely rare to find nowadays.

  • Jonathan

    What’s the difference though?

  • Bill Wilson

    Using the “flag” feature allows you to still rate the photos from 0 stars to 5 stars if you want to filter them in that manner once you’ve flagged them. You might as well use the appropriate features for the appropriate functions, right?

  • Scott

    Also, on a PC, if you click your caps lock key, then when you hit the “p” or “u” the picture is flagged and LR automatically advances to the next photo. You don’t have to use the arrow keys to advance. Once handed operation.

  • Mark Florence

    Thanks! I watch your video for inspiration to work through my workflow faster!

  • Jct

    According to the OS’s clock – top right – it is sped up at different rates – a minimum of 8.5 times and a maximum of around 25 times faster.