How To: Culling using Lightroom

Culling, or Image Selection, is a key step in your post production. Imagine you’re shooting a 10 hour wedding. At the end of the day you could have anywhere between 3-5 thousand image, or more! Because selecting images is a very personalized process, it’s important to find a culling program that best suits your preferences as a photographer!

Everyone on the editing team here at Post Partner has different culling programs we prefer. Take our production manager, Myles, for example. His preferred way to cull images is in Lightroom. It’s one of the many programs you can use, but for him it makes the process a lot simpler when all the Culling and Editing can be done in one space.

Here’s 3 ways to make Culling selections in Lightroom!


Flagging is one of the easiest and most straight forward ways to cull photos. When images are imported into Lightroom, they aren’t assigned a flag attribute. When using the flag method, it’s easiest to work in the library module. The easiest process is to flag an image that you selected, leaving blurry or rejected images untagged for secondary review. This will make it easy to search chosen versus unwanted selections. Once you’re finished, you can choose to do a mass delete on your rejected images, or apply another attribute.

How do I select an image to be flagged?
Simple! When looking at your images in the library module, click the flag in the top left corner.


Another option for selecting or organizing images is by assigning a star rating. You can assign any image a value between 0-5 stars. At Post Partner, we always use a 5-star rating system when culling images. Images we select receive stars, those rejected remain untouched. Choose any numbered value that best suits your personal preference. You can even assign different star amounts a meaning to classify certain images into scenarios or settings.

What’s the easiest way to assign a Star Rating?
To give an image a star rating use the keys 0-5, the number corresponds with the rating of the star.

0 – No stars assigned
1 – 1 star assigned
2 – 2 stars assigned


If numbers aren’t your thing, try using a Color Label. Just like Star ratings, you can assign a specific color for the images you’ve selected. Or, assign different colors different meanings to classify a certain image or scenario.

Shortcuts for Color Labels
6 – Red
7 – Yellow
8 – Green
9 – Blue

Culling in Lightroom - blog images

Tip from Myles: “If you’re going to cull in Lightroom, make sure you build standard-sized previews before getting started. It will allow the images to load a lot faster. In the Library module, select all images (Command+A), then go to Library > Previews > Build standard-sized previews, and Lightroom will create the previews. Trust me, you’re not going to want to wait for every high resolution image during culling!”

If you’re looking for a new technique for culling, give Lightroom and try and let us know how it goes!

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