Lightroom Tips

3 (and a half) Reasons to Use Flags Instead of Ratings in Lightroom

Are you a flagger or a rater in Lightroom? You know, how do you sort your photos? If you’re a flagger, you go to Photo > Set Flag and choose Pick, Reject, or Unflagged. If you’re a rater then you to to Photo > Set Rating > and choose 1 to 5 stars. So which do you use? Personally, I stopped rating a long time ago and just use flags.

First, I think flagging is just simpler. You’ve got 3 choices. I like it. I don’t like it. Or, I’m just not sure yet. In many cases, simple is better, and I think this is one of them.

Next, when it comes to finding your favorites, flagging makes it easy. If it’s flagged, it’s a favorite. If you use ratings, it get’s a little more complex. For example, let’s assume 5 stars means it’s really really good. Well what does 4 stars mean? It’s really, pretty good? So when it comes time to filter so you just see your favorites, what do you want to see. Your really really good photos or your really, well, kinda pretty good photos? 🙂

Now come the rejects. We all have them (well, I don’t – but I’m sure most of you do – KIDDING!!! Totally just kidding!!!). So we’ll assume 1 star means it sucks, right? Does 2 stars mean it kinda sucks? Maybe not totally sucks but pretty close. With flagging, you press X when you don’t like a photo to reject it. That’s it. I hate it and I want it gone. Then it gets an X. And don’t even get me started on what a rating of 3 means 🙂

If it doesn’t get a P (for Flagged or “pick”) and it doesn’t get an X (for reject) then it’s unflagged. Which, in my book, means I just can’t decide right now. I’ll come back to it later. And most likely you’ll reject it anyway. There’s just something about it that you can’t bring yourself to reject right now.

The Half Reason
Oh yeah, there’s a half reason why I think flags are better. In Lightroom if you go to Photo > Delete Rejected Photos it automatically removes all the rejects from your library. Notice there’s no Photo > Remove 1 Star Photos menu item there. That means the guys making the menu’s in Lightroom even like flagging better 😉

So what are you? A Flagger or a Rater? Or both?