Photoshop – Creative tool, allows advanced editing, combining photos, adding layers, etc. Many uses beyond just improving photos. Infinite creative options. We’ll use this when we want to get really creative with our photos and work some real magic.
As for organizing and quickly making changes to photos, there are a few main options! You really need to organize yourself as you start to take more photos, and there are three main options. There’s no right or wrong answer for which one you should use, so we’ll take a look at all 3 as we go along.
Bridge – connects everything. Easy to sort, organize, and find. Can quickly open photos in other Adobe apps. You don’t actually import photos into Bridge, it just views them where they are. You can move them and rename them and all kinds of things, but there aren’t actually any photos within Bridge.
Lightroom – Cloud based. Easier to understand and figure out, sync with other computers & devices, edit on the go, full access to full quality files at all times, and doesn’t use up hard drive space, but cloud storage is expensive. In the past, I’ve used this one to very quickly import a photo, make basic changes, and quickly export. Throughout the year, we’ll take a LOT of photos, and I kind of need access to them all at some point. If I tried to upload EVERYTHING from throughout the year, I’d run out of cloud storage space in no time. Paying for cloud storage space is kind of ridiculous, so this one doesn’t really work great for me.
Lightroom Classic – looks a little more intimidating, has more features, files are stored locally (uses up hard drive space and hard drives fail/get lost/get stolen), tethering (connect directly to a camera in a studio), great if you only use one computer and don’t need to edit on your phone. I’ve always used Classic for most of my organization and important editing, because it’s so versatile, but I’ve had some issues. I work on the yearbook at home and at school. With this version of the program, I have to have my files accessible on both. I can store my files in OneDrive, but Lightroom Classic has a “catalog” file that contains all of the information about the photos, and I’ve found it extremely difficult to use one catalog in both places. Just recently, Lightroom Classic updated and I seem to have lost my entire catalog. Luckily, I still have all of the photos, but the albums that I’ve created and the presets that I’ve come up with and more seem to be totally gone. So frustrating!