Hey again! Today, we’re diving into the debate of how many photographers cull. Two of the most popular ways that photographers cull in Lightroom is with flags (also known as “flag as pick”) or using the star system. Both of these are ways that we can make our picks about which in images. A reader sent me this email recently about which rating system to use:
I just can’t choose between stars and flagging as picks while culling my images. I like flagging because it keeps it simple, but I love being able to jump to the best photos by filtering by stars. Help Lightroom Love! Tell me what to do!
Sincerely, Stars and Flags Forever
As is the case with many posts here on the blog, I can only share my own personal preferences and opinions. For me, I prefer flagging photos while culling. In my workflow, there are only two types of photos: ones I will deliver to a client, and ones that I will not. And besides, deciding if a photo is a 3 star or 4 star effort is just a headache for me. I like keeping things straightforward.
However, I also see great use for the star system. I might 5-Star an image if I use it in Facebook sneak peeks or for promotional purposes. As always, don’t follow rules that don’t exist – no one says you have to use exclusively flagging or exclusively stars to cull images.
Either way, Lightroom provides us with the flexibility to filter images later based on if images are flagged or not, or by the star rating an image receives. We can also throw in color labels for a bit of complexity.
Let’s also use this as an open mic: which system do you use to cull? Check in with a comment – I’m really interested to hear what you’re doing.