How To Cull And Edit Quickly From Your iPad | Family Photographer


If you dread culling as much as I do, then you’ve come to the right place.

I invested in an iPad Pro as a last-minute write-off for 2019 with the intentions of learning how to cull from it… fast forward 8 months later, I finally figured out how thanks to my photo bestie Whitney!

Most professional photographers use Lightroom Classic instead of Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud). It gives you a lot more editing freedom and controls over your personalization (custom brushes, radials filters, etc). If you subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite you have access to a variety of photo editing programs (CC and Classic are both included).

In the top right corner of Lightroom Classic, you’ll see a cloud icon that will give you a variety of sync options. Follow the prompts to set that up. You’ll have to have the Lightroom app download on your mobile device (can be phone or iPad) and make sure the sync is happening from there, too.

I used to create a new catalog each year, have a folder for each month, and a subfolder for each session organized by their date. Once I started to pick up speed though, I had to start making a new catalog each month. The more images that are stored in a catalog, the slower it becomes.

Back in your LR Classic catalog, right-click on the folder you want to sync with your mobile device and create a collection. When another window popups, confirm that you want to make it a collection. The collections are what actually sync in the cloud since they are only using smart previews (this is also why it’s quicker to cull on your iPad because it’s only a preview loading). Scroll down to the bottom where it says collections and make sure you see that double-sided arrow. That means you’re syncing.

On your iPad, you can check the status of the sync by clicking the cloud in the top right corner. Since I use AfterShoot to cull my photos first, they’re already rated for me. I like to create a filter where I only see flagged & unflagged images that are rated 5 stars.

There are 2 gestures that will help you cull quickly. To access them, make sure you’re in the star menu (circled in yellow below) On the right side of the screen, swipe up with your finger to flag/pick, swipe down to reject. On the left side of the screen, your swipe up or down controls the star rating.

Back in your main catalog, you can filter the folder to only show the images that are flagged and/or unflagged to show the ones that you’ve culled (circled in yellow – again, I do flagged & photos rated 5 stars). Depending on the extent of the editing I have to do, I’ll edit my sneak peeks on my laptop, and do the rest of the editing from my ipad just by copying & pasting the settings and making minor adjustments as needed.

I know it sounds a little confusing and has a lot of back and forth, but once you get the hang of it you’ll realize how easy it is! I’ll work on a recording of the workflow soon!


If you’re looking for more guidance on how to streamline your systems, check out my mentoring opportunities!

October 12, 2021





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