Your Favorite Post-Production Tool Might Be Gone by Year's End

VSCO Keys is no more. There is no glorious explanation, no plans for a big, better, more badass version.

Today, mass emails filled the inboxes of photographers everywhere letting us all know that the maker of some of the most popular photography mobile software and editing presets was calling it quits with the beloved Lightroom shortcut plugin.

Software company VSCO launched Keys in 2012. It’s basically a keyboard mapping program for Lightroom that gives one-push access to common Lightroom functions like exposure, color temperature, highlight, clarity and custom presets.

I’m heartbroken. I’m playing "Taps" while I edit this evening. VSCO Keys was a killer app at a great price. For the wedding or event photographer, the speed that it added to your workflow left you wondering how you ever edited 700 images without it. And now, I’m worried how I will edit with the same efficiency going forward?

Popular Lightroom plugin VSCO Keys will be no more soon.

VSCO’s “Dear John” letter to us all read: “We know that VSCO Keys is a product greatly loved by many members of our creative community and we recognize that it has been a helpful aid in the editing process. As we continue to move forward in other ventures, we have made the hard decision to discontinue the sale of VSCO Keys.”

It’s not all crying into your pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked, though (which I am definitely doing). VSCO has announced that they will continue to support the product and allow users to make edits to their custom profiles until November 2, 2015. Online support will remain in place until December 2, 2015.

Also, to butter us up further, those who have purchased VSCO Keys in the past will be levied a $20 credit on our VSCO account. Not too bad, right?

Let me know how you are handling your Lightroom workflow as far as shortcuts go! See you in the comments.

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Adam Peariso's picture

::Reading the headline but not the article::

But Aperture was already discontinued months ago?

Austin Rogers's picture

Ha! My version: ::Reading the headline but not the article::

Crayons aren't being made any more?

Cornelius van Schaarn's picture

Mother Fucker.

Paulo Macedo's picture

My thoughts too...

Kyle Ford's picture

I'm so upset. I had retrained myself to integrate these into my workflow. I use them on every single shoot I push through LR. VSCO, I sure hope you're pulling out something even more amazing to replace it.....

Eric Pare's picture

When I saw the headline, I thought about you! hehe

Kyle Ford's picture

Oh thanks... haha I'm gonna die without these

Caleb Kerr's picture

Usually highly useful and popular tools aren't randomly discontinued. I've never met anyone who uses VSCO keys, but maybe I'm the odd man out.

Jimmy Schaefer's picture

Its about time, now maybe when i look online and see this saturated market I wont see 99.9% of images with VSCO filters all over the f-ing place.

Jason Vinson's picture

It's VSCO keys, not the presets

Ett Venter's picture

Read the article next time.

Jason Vinson's picture

So can you not run this without the support of VSCO? Or are they just not updating it anymore for future versions?

Adam Sparkes's picture

Yes to all. It'll probably work for a few versions, but as of December they won't be doing anything to ensure that it does or be supporting you to do so yourself. The clock is ticking.

Michael Steinbach's picture

Not exactly, if you upgrade to OS X El Capitan or windows 10 it will probably not work, as stated in the note on their website.

Adam Sparkes's picture

Correct. I meant it would probably survive a LR update, but the OS is a different beast.

Ett Venter's picture

Yep, I'm just as heartbroken. VSCO Keys is pretty much the cornerstone in my workflow. It's the tool that allows me to edit a full wedding in 3-4 hours.

Honestly, I'm left wondering "so what am I going to do?".

I think I might go the MIDI controller route, but damn, I wish VSCO weren't doing this...

Justin Haugen's picture

MIDI controller support with Paddy has been minimal since LR 5.

I'm thinking I'll try out the modular knob system from Palette

Jeff Chow's picture

I'm working to fill the gap with a touchscreen interface for Lightroom. We're starting with the sorting process then moving onto the develop module with a whole new way of editing images. I shot professionally for Backpacker Magazine for 8 years and I know no one likes moving tiny sliders all the time. You can sign up to be notified when it goes on sale at

Alun Carr's picture

Have you tried using Keyboard Maestro from Stairways Software?

Doc Pixel's picture

I was just going to post the same thing :)

What's nice about KM is that you can use it with any program on your Mac including Bridge, Camera Raw, Photoshop, CameraOne, Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, the Finder, etc. Plus you can string multiple key, mouse, menu and scripts together... across programs(!) into one keyboard shortcut.

Far more powerful than one system resource for one app IMO.

Adam Sparkes's picture

Leave us a link, guys!

Doc Pixel's picture

Be sure to watch the video. Also to be quite honest here, there is a slight learning curve to using this software. You should take a few moments at least to go through the quick tutorial, the few demo shortcuts, and then build on that.

But then hey! You're all technically inclined photographers and do that automatically with all of your new gear and software, right? ;)

gavin lister's picture

Completely disappointed. A successful company shouldn't abandon a product just to because of other ventures. To me that's chasing profit over loyalty. And $20 credit is a waste of time, that's just saying we will give you a small discount when you buy another product of ours. A $20 cash refund is more acceptable. The least they could have done was to give a better explanation rather than 'thanks for your cash and goodbye coz we want to find other ways to make money'

Aleksey Leonov's picture

And I was going to buy Film filters. Now what stops them to do the same with filters and stop support for future cameras?

Andrew Stain's picture

I can only assume Adobe are integrating their own keyboard mapping into lightroom in a future update so VSCO see no real need to carry on...I blooming hope so anyway, VSCO keys was a game changer for me.

Adam Sparkes's picture

That wouldn't surprise me, at all. Aperture actually had a little Key mapping built in, and it worked very nicely. I was always shocked Adobe didn't add this.

Michael Steinbach's picture

I've been using VSCO Keys for years and will miss it greatly, (see their response to my inquiry below). I am looking at Knobroom and have already started the process by purchasing a Novation Nocturn controller to get going in that direction. But as with any software, the next version of OS X or windows can make your life difficult and render useful tools obsolete.

Edit: knobroom is Mac only

Aug 31, 1:07 PM

Unfortunately our product team made this decision to focus our efforts elsewhere. Many of us loved this product as well, so we definitely understand what a bummer this is.


VSCO Technical Support Specialist

Maurizio Chiocchetti's picture

i suggest the same vsco and midi-control + set the same key of vsco

Lamartiny Santos's picture

I`ve been search tools to speed up my workflow and VSCO Key was amazing. But today i`m using PFixer.LR by PushLabs (, beside que shortcuts control you can assign a MIDI Controller to have a hardware control in your hands (who came from VSCO Key they have a preset with the same shortcut scheme to make the change smoothly). They recommend a Behringer BCF-2000 that has many motorized faders (that come back to the right place when you change photo) and can really speed up whole the process. I bought a Korg NanoKONTROL2 (another MIDI controller with faders, but not motorized). There is another app that just start showing itself on the net and promise, is MIDI2LR, you can read a bit more here:

Maurizio Chiocchetti's picture

I use liine lemur ( ) + PFixer on iPhone/iPad
for control all setting of Lightroom to control almost all functions of lightroom using wifi.
Lemur is programmable so you can make your personal interfaces as you like, I think it can also be used TouchOSC

Penn Zhang's picture

Maybe they wanna develop something similar to VSCO Cam with build in preset photo editing software but on Mac/PC. So they stop developing things for adobe Lightroom. lool

But as a pay plugin, this move is sooooo sad and irresponsible, it really destroys the reputation for this company.

anyway, we have to move on. this one I think is the most close alternative of VSCO Key, and Cheaper for the core.Lr version

Penn Zhang's picture

And VSCO Facebook page just deleted my posts on their Comment and post, so disgusting

Jason Kan's picture

I emailed and asked if they would please murder kittens and make Trump president rather than kill VSCO Their canned response is bellow....

kyle hale ( VSCO)
Sep 1, 10:23 AM

Hi Jason,

We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us with your questions regarding the discontinuation of VSCO Keys. We’re here to answer any questions you might have. We know that VSCO Keys has been an extremely helpful tool in the editing process for many photographers and is extremely vital to your workflow. It has become that for many of the VSCO team members as well and will continue to be. We're so sad to see it go and although we may not be able to give you the completely reasons behind the decision, know that it was a very hard one we had to make.

You will be able to use VSCO Keys indefinitely after December 31, 2015 as it will always be available in your VSCO Account. You will always have access to re-download VSCO Keys in the future at any time through your account.

The online VSCO Keys manager is available until November 2, 2015. We strongly encourage you to create as many VSCO Keys layouts as you like and download them for future use. Here's an article on how to create a layout:

VSCO Keys is not supported on Windows 10 or OS X 10.11 El Capitan. We have been able to test beta versions of El Capitan and have managed to have VSCO Keys up and running smoothly, however depending on the releases of El Capitan we are unable to guarantee its compatibility. We have had some success with Windows 10, but as mentioned we cannot guarantee its compatibility as well.

As a thank you for supporting us over the years we have placed a $20 credit into your VSCO Account. Please know that this is not a refund for the product as you are still keeping VSCO Keys. This VSCO Credit is simply an offering for the inconvenience.

For more information on this please reference this support article:

Thanks again!



Always Moving Forward

gavin lister's picture

“Please know that this is not a refund for the product as you are still keeping VSCO Keys” what use is it if it doesn't work. They clearly state they dont know if it will remain compatible.

I love that last line.."always moving forward"....and leaving you suckers behind!!!

Penn Zhang's picture

looks like this is copy paste reply to everyone

Alex M's picture

another alternative: Lightroom Tutorial with Motibodo