Jan 17, 2019

What’s in my Camera Bag [Editing and Software]

Digital photography is truly amazing. Not only can you immediately see what your image looks like on your camera’s LCD screen, but then you can completely alter it on your computer. Editing can take your photos to the next level. It can also be a lifesaver when you’ve taken a bad photo. Here are the editing programs and software that I use in my workflow. They should all allow a free trial so you can test them out before buying.


Photo Mechanic

First, I go through all of my RAW files in PhotoMechanic. Since it only generates a preview of each image, it’s lightning fast. No more sitting and waiting for an image to load. I quickly tag the “keepers” that I will show my clients. There are several ways to sort and select images. You can select with a check, give it a color, or star rating. Use whatever sorting flow makes sense to you! You can start a free trial.

Adobe Lightroom

I use Lightroom to batch edit and entire session in minutes. I have created “presets” that I can stamp onto each image for quick editing. My clients select their favorites from their proof gallery. These favorites are then hand-edited in Photoshop. Lightroom and Photoshop are both Adobe products. Adobe offers a “Creative Cloud” membership where you pay $9.99/month for their entire suit. It’s amazing!

Adobe Photoshop

This is for the heavy lifting – remove distractions in the background, face swap, skin blemishes, smooth baby skin, double chin touchups, stray hairs, etc. Myself or my editor will hand-edit every photo that goes in the client’s final gallery. I do apply another “action” that just boosts the sharpening, blacks, and adds a little warmth.


Softens skin. You can run this out of Lightroom and Photoshop.



Resizes photos to fit into your blog and other social media platforms. Creates collage images with one click.

Pixellu SmartAlbums

Makes creating album layouts a breeze! Drag and drop photos onto the pages and it will create a beautiful layout. I use their cloud proofing feature so my clients can preview their album online, leave me notes about changes, and approve their design before ordering.

Spyder5 Pro – Every 3 months you need to calibrate your screen. This tool and software are simple and easy to use. It will make sure your display is showing accurate colors and brightness. When you print or post pictures online you are viewing them correctly.


Phew! I feel like I barely skimmed the surface on what these programs can really do. They are all much more advanced than what I use them for. You can have so much fun editing your images, the possibilities are truly endless. I hope these tools will make your workflow easier and more efficient too! I’m alllll about saving time.

Quick links to related posts:

Part 1: What’s in my bag (cameras, lenses, flash)

Part 2: Whats in my bag (accessories and studio)

Part 4: Photography gear for sale



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