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Lightroom and Photoshop: The Most Popular Photo Editing Software with Real Estate Photographers

January 15th, 2018

Max recently asked:

Which photo editing program do you recommend for real estate photography? I would rather purchase one as opposed to monthly use of Photoshop. Do I need more than one program? I am well equipped and have started in some advance editing and shooting in RAW. I am using Adobe Elements but it is not sufficient.

This is a classic question and we’ve talked about it and had polls on it in the past. The Adobe Photographers’ Bundle that costs $9.99/mo is what I recommend for real estate photographers. And this combination of Lightroom and Photoshop is what over 60% of the readers of this blog use. It is a terrific deal for what you get!

When you are starting out in real estate photography, you can get by just using Lightroom but as you progress, you will want to do layer blending and other things that can’t be done in Lightroom so you will soon want to make use of both.

This is not to say Lightroom and Photoshop are the only way but this combination is the most popular with real estate photographers.

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11 Responses to “Lightroom and Photoshop: The Most Popular Photo Editing Software with Real Estate Photographers”

  • So, here we are again with the question in another form….. But the answer is always the same. Use what works for you…

    In the not so distant past, I also resisted the monthly plan of $10 a month as I had the current Adobe products and why the hell would I spend $10 on the monthly subscription just to have the most current updated program…. Then I read a response by a photog I respect, Scott Hargis, and realized that I was just being stubborn, foolish, penny pinching, etc. The fact is that I generate well over 6 figures a year with my business and this isn’t even a pimple on my back side. To have the most current products on hand at a stroke of a download to move my business forward is worth a hell of a lot more that what I tip for a drink at the bar.

    I do this full time, but if I were to be just starting out, then I would recommend newbies start with the monthly subscription until they feel comfortable with the process.

    The bottom line is, if you are going to strive to make a decent living in this field, you need to commit… In what works.

  • I agree with Jerry. It comes to $120 per year, and it’s worth every penny. Back when I upgraded from the Adobe CS3 suite to the CS6 suite, it set me back about $400, plus Lightroom was about $125. I had tried to hold out as long as I could, but I needed the upgrade to stay current…and that was a big blow to my budget. The subscription is much more manageable, and I have the software that I need. With CS6, I also got Illustrator and InDesign, but I never used them.
    For photographic work, go with the subscription for LR and PS. There are other tools out there, but you can look at them later, as your editing skills grow.

  • I also use LR and PS, however, yesterday I found out that Luminar has many features that are offered by LR as well, like straighten the verticals. Has anyone used it for real estate photography?

  • @Francesca – I have Luminar 2018 and I’ve tried the straightening verticals tool but compared to LR I find Luminar is still a little lacking. I love the one-click “auto upright” feature in LR. It allows you to get the verticals close in camera and LR will get them right on. With the Luminar 2018 interface, I find I have to struggle to get the verticals right on. Maybe it’s just hard to teach an old dog new tricks:)

  • Also don’t forget for the $120 (£120, im in the UK) we get all the updates as well and a new version of PS every year. I’ve looked at Capture One and whilst it renders my Sony RAWs better than LR, it doesn’t have the Lens Profiles for the ones I use (Rokinon 12mm and canon 10-18mm).

  • I use both LR and PS – I switched from Elements about 5 years ago and have never regretted the upgrade. I would say I can do 85% of my editing in LR but there are certain tools that I prefer the PS version, like spot healing and cloning. Also as said before you will get to the point where you might want to do some masking and blending. Just make the leap and you won’t regret it. The world of digital photography is always changing and progressing and you’ll want to keep up. At the end of the day it all makes your workflow easier and faster and your images more professional

  • We use Capture one 10. Very similar to LR but I think we get better results with C1

  • I started out using DxO back in 2008 or so – Lightroom 2 was out and it couldn’t touch DxO for RAW conversion. I tried every version of Lightroom that came out to measure the performance against DxO and LR 4.5 made me switch.

    Lightroom 6 CC started me on a quest to find a replacement because of the incredible bloat of LR – it became so slow on my machine that I could hardly get through a day’s shoots before 10 pm. It still is slow, but I managed to get in on a beta test on the next version which looks like it will be much improved in speed.

    I’ve tried Luminar (way too slow), Capture One (convoluted workflow), Affinity (lacks many tools), ON1 (can’t get used to the workflow here, either). I thought I might try DxO again, but the cost is considerably higher if you use a full-frame camera.

    There is really no comparison.

  • Quite simply, the Adobe Photographers’ Bundle has to be great value for money.

  • I do pre-edits in Lightroom. I find color correcting, straighten verticals, etc and applying to all of my brackets is easiest to manage in LR. I also use their filtering system to manage multiple shoots and exteriors and interiors since I shoot those differently.

    Combine images with Photomatix (I heard LR enfuse is good too, but havent used it)

    I think open all of my combined bracketed images in Photoshop, blend in fill flash and window layers, and save.

    Editing software is like camera equipment and photography technique. Use what gets you the best results. I shoot on average around 25-30 homes a week, so the management workflow is a high priority.

  • I use Lightroom to import and file the images. That’s all. Then I open the images in Bridge, import them into Adobe Camera Raw, edit the raw files, and then process them as HDR using Photomatix. My final tweaks are in Photoshop.

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