A workflow needs to be creative and efficient. The creative part most photographers do very well, however, it’s the efficient part I see my colleagues struggle with. To help shed light on how to develop a workflow, I created the “Complete Portrait Workflow” as an example. This workflow can be used with ANY image editing software that incorporates the use of Layers. I chose to use Skylum’s Luminar for three main reasons. Here’s why.

Reason 1: Intuitive Layers

Photoshop is amazing at many things, but being intuitive isn’t one of them. It takes a long time for photographers to become proficient. That makes sense as it was originally designed for graphic artists. Luminar was designed for photographers. It incorporates the ease of Lightroom as a digital darkroom, but has the power of Photoshop’s layers. A perfect combination.

Reason 2: Easy to Learn From and Create New Presets

Luminar ships with over 80 ready-made presets. Presets are made up of a combination of Filters and Filter settings. Here’s the best part: if you want to learn how a preset was created and see how a combination of filters affect your image, you apply it to your image and then look in the Layers panel to see which filters and settings were used to create the effect. You can even make changes or apply more filters and then save it as a new preset to be used for future edits.

Reason 3: Software Price

New photographers — and many long-time users — complain about Adobe’s subscription model. They don’t like the idea of “leasing” their software for $9.99 a month. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it but as an educator, I can’t ignore the loud grumbling from students. When they hear a standalone copy of Luminar — that can be used by itself or as a plugin — costs just $69 to OWN, they are sold. So, it makes sense for me and other educators to design presets, tutorials, workflows and learning material.

Complete Portrait Workflow Content

I wrote a three-part Portrait Workflow series that was used to record this video. The written version is meant as a reference source. You can read about the workflow here on Photofocus.com. I suggest you watch the video and then bookmark the written articles. If after watching the video you still have questions — hey, it happens — leave a comment and we will do our best to answer your question.