Many Lightroom users are familiar with the Star Rating system for rating and filtering your photos to eventually find your selects and picks for developing but Lightroom also gives you another set of labels called the Color Label. These are another set of labels to use in your studio workflow and can be customized. I like to use the Star Ratings for finding my selects then reserve the Color Labels for labeling my photos as reminders that certain photos need to be printed, retouched, or color corrected. This can be particularly helpful if you have more than one person working on the photos in a studio setting. When dividing tasks in the Studio one can easily see which photos need to be color corrected or printed for a client.
To apply a Color Label to a photo, select one or more photos and go to the menu Photo>Set Color Label, then choose one of the five available colors. You can also set the Color Label to a photo by selecting it in the filmstrip at the bottom while in the Loupe view or Develop and Map modules. You can also set the Color Label in the other modules by right-clicking on the photo in the Filmstrip.
A great feature in Lightroom is to create your own custom Color Label Set. This allows you to customize the descriptions for each of the Color Labels to fit your particular situation or to have different sets for different purposes. To open and edit the Color Label Sets you must be in the Library module, then go to the menu Metadata>Color Label Set>Edit...
Once you have the Edit Color Label Set window open you can click in each field and type your own descriptions. After you have modified the fields, either select the Change button to modify the set or click on the drop down menu and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset.... Type in a name for your new preset and choose the Create button.
Now you will have your own Color Label Set in the menu and you can switch to any of your sets by going to the menu Metadata>Color Label Set and choosing the set you would like to use. Note however, if you change Color Label Sets the pictures you labeled with one set does not show up in color if you switch to a different set. You won't lose the label, it just shows up white until you switch to the set that was active when you labeled the photo. If you have multiple computers in your studio or workflow be sure to create the same set on all computers. This will insure they match when opening catalogs on the other machines.
A quick note to Adobe Bridge users, you can change the label names for the Color Labels but you can only have one set. If you use Bridge and Lightroom together be sure to have your Color Labels match as well or they won't be recognized. To change the labels go to the menu Adobe Bridge>Preferences>Labels.