Creating Moments of Magic with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC

Image Source: Christiann Koepke / Adobe Stock.

Food has always had a special meaning for food photographer and Adobe Stock Premium Contributor Christiann Koepke. Growing up in Montana, gathering around the table for meals was a family ritual. When she moved away from home, Christiann began cooking and hosting meals for her friends to recreate the warmth and belonging of her family dining table. She started documenting these moments, which ultimately led to her career in photography. This sense of intimacy and closeness from her dinner table is still reflected in Christiann’s images.

Image source: Christiann Koepke / Adobe Stock.

Earlier this year, Christiann hosted her 2ndAnnual Food & Lifestyle Bloggers Conference. Here, she shares the key takeaways and tips on how to bring out the best in your photos using Lightroom Classic CC.

Before the shoot

My first step is always to determine what category the shoot falls into – is the photography needed for a sponsor’s brand, a client request, for my brand, or to expand my portfolio? From there, I map out objectives, deliverables, and timelines, and delve into research. With all of the elements in place, I am able to have fun on set because I go into the shoot feeling fully prepared and focused. By the time I am shooting, the visual story I am looking to tell is clear and top-of-mind as I frame each shot. The “perfect shot” is rarely an accident.

After the shoot

No matter what stage you’re at with your photography, the final step in post-processing is absolutely key to the success and longevity of the images you share with the world. It’s 100 percent worth the time and effort. Here are some of the key things I look out for in each photograph when I’m editing with Lightroom Classic CC.

1. Exposure

As a first step, make sure your image is properly exposed. I adjust highlights and shadows prior to changing the overall exposure of the image to help retain contrast and depth. The goal is to have an already properly exposed image in raw format, only needing to slightly tweak highlights and shadows to enhance.

2. Tone

Pay attention to the overall tone of the image. When shooting with natural light, if I have a set that nears the end of the day, I often will have to color-correct the blue light of early evening. I do this by warming the image in the Treatment section by moving the bar towards yellow until it balances out.

3. Detail

Clear, crisp images are key for my work. I take extra steps to detail the image to ensure it doesn’t have a “muddy” or high-contrast element. I do this by bringing down the contrast (usually to a negative number), and, under the Noise Reduction section, max the Color, Detail, and Smoothness sections.

4. Style

Post-processing is an art in and of itself. An image should always be telling a story, and the final image should always reflect you. It can take some time to find and define your look, but that discovery and process is all a part of the fun. Many people tell me that they get a magical feeling when they look at my work, and I’ve arrived at this style by committing to finding unexpected beauty in everything I shoot. It’s not about perfection – it’s just about diving deep into your craft and exposing beauty through your camera.

See more of Christiann’s food photographs on Adobe Stock, and for more editing tips and the latest updates, follow her on Instagram, and download her free recipe book.

All images courtesy of Christiann Koepke.