Post-Processing » Lightroom Tutorials » How to Create Lightroom Snapshots

How to Create Lightroom Snapshots

Snapshots are a lightroom feature that allows you to save a version of your image during the editing process to come back to later. This can be useful if you want to do a before/after of your image, try multiple editing styles, or showcase your editing process.

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What’s the Difference: Lightroom Snapshot vs Virtual Copy

Lightroom CC snapshots allow you to save the state of your photo during the editing process. However, a snapshot is not a real duplicate, so you cannot keep two versions of the photo, as you can with created virtual copies. Even though you can go back to a snapshot, it will be at the cost of the other edits you make after the snapshot is taken. In this way virtual copies and snapshots are different.

If you intend to have several versions of the original image, you should instead choose to create a virtual copy in Lightroom.

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__CONFIG_colors_palette__{“active_palette”:0,”config”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“name”:”Main Accent”,”parent”:-1}},”gradients”:[]},”palettes”:[{“name”:”Default Palette”,”value”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“val”:”var(–tcb-color-4)”,”hsl”:{“h”:46,”s”:0.8692,”l”:0.01}}},”gradients”:[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__

Create A Snapshot Of Your Image In Its Current State

Step 1: Open your Photo in the Develop Module

Find your photo in the Library, select it, and press D to go to the Develop Module.

Step 2: Create Snapshot

With your image edited, go to the snapshots panel located on the left-hand side of your lightroom interface and press the ‘+’.

duplicate a photo with snapshots

A dialog will appear. By default is suggests a name using the current date and time.

Step 3: Name Your Snapshot

Give your snapshot a name and press ‘create’. The snapshot will be saved to come back to later in the snapshots panel.

name shapshot

Create A Snapshot Of Your Image In A Previous State

If you’ve forgotten to take a snapshot of your image in a previous state, and have continued making changes since then – don’t worry, you can still take a snapshot of your image in its previous state.

Step 1: Go To History Panel

  • Go to the history panel, which should be located just below the snapshots panel. 
  • Expand the panel and you should find a history of all the edits you have made to your image so far.
  • Find the point at which you want to take a snapshot, right-click and select create snapshot.
duplicate a photo with snapshots in previous state

Step 2: Name Your Snapshot

Name your snapshot and click ‘create’. Your image snapshot will appear in the snapshots panel in its previous state.

new snapshot duplicate photo in Lightroom

How to Go Back to a Snapshot in Lightroom

Step 1: Open the Snapshot Panel in the Develop Module

If you are not already in the Develop Module, switch to it, and open the Snapshot panel on the left side of the screen.

Step 2: Choose the Snapshot

Now all you have to do is to click on the snapshot to go back to the editing state of the image when you created the snapshot.

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__CONFIG_colors_palette__{“active_palette”:0,”config”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“name”:”Main Accent”,”parent”:-1}},”gradients”:[]},”palettes”:[{“name”:”Default Palette”,”value”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“val”:”var(–tcb-color-4)”,”hsl”:{“h”:46,”s”:0.8692,”l”:0.01}}},”gradients”:[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__

Update Existing Lightroom Classic Snapshots

If you need to update an existing snapshot after Lightroom creates it, you can do so by choosing the snapshot in the Snapshot panel, and right-click on the snapshot name, and choosing update with current settings.

Update snapshot with current settings

Concluding words

Using Lightroom to create snapshots can be an efficient way to saving editing time when you are not sure whether your edits are moving in the right direction. Snapshots allow you to quickly go back to a previous editing state.

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