I got hooked on photography around the same time I started using Photoshop 7 back in middle school. Starting out with a Nikon point-and-shoot, hundreds of images piled up quickly on my old Dell PC. I remember using Microsoft Camera and Scanner Wizard to import the images into dated folders and having lists and lists of 2005_01_13 or 2006_07_14. Somehow I was able to remember what photos I had taken on that random date. My system wasn’t total chaos, but it was close. Thumbnail view back then in Windows Explorer just didn’t seem to cut it, but I made due. Id open each image, one at a time, in Photoshop just to apply basic adjustments or maybe convert it to black-and-white. Needless to say, it was painfully slow but enjoyable.

Fast forward a few years to when I first bought Lightroom 3 in 2011. It totally changed the way I managed and edited photos. I was able to create one catalog with all my images and I didn’t have to search through lists and lists of folders. I could add keywords and metadata to help me find my images. No longer did I have to open Photoshop for light editing, but it was really easy to quickly jump between Photoshop and Lightroom.

My younger brothers played baseball and I was the team photographer. Id come home with hundreds (if not thousands) of images after a day at the ballpark. With Lightroom, I could quickly browse through the images and make selections with stars. Now batch processing would save me loads of time adjusting the exposure and contrast, noise reduction, and sharpening across all of my images. Using Publishing Services, I was able to drag all of my final images into an album to automatically upload overnight to Facebook so I could share the photos with the players and parents.

Now 4 versions later, Lightroom is the core of my photography workflow. Id be completely lost without it. Most of the time I can accomplish all my editing right inside Lightroom without having to jump into Photoshop. My catalog is growing every day, to the tune of over 150,000 images in just a few short years.

So don’t go away any time soon, Lightroom. Youve forever changed my photography workflow. Im excited to see whats in store for the next 10 years!