Everyone in the photography community has an opinion about this. Some love the consistent feed that presets provide, while others prefer to tweak the photos manually. Either way, let me tell you this. At the end of the day, the most important part is to figure out what works best for you personally. I wrote this article hoping that I could answer at least some of your questions regarding Lightroom presets. So let’s discuss what are the pros and cons of using lightroom presets so that you can decide for yourself what works best for your photography.
What are the PROS of using presets?
Let me tell you a few positive reasons for using lightroom presets first.
1) Desktop and mobile presets to save you editing time
Most professional lightroom filters take care of lens corrections, noise reduction, sharpening, white balance, and tone adjustments. Not only does it save your time tremendously but it also helps you enjoy higher quality images immediately.
2) Lightroom presets provide a consistent Instagram feed
The possible color treatments are endless: from gentle split tones to high or low saturation levels. There are so many different coloring options that soon enough every single one of your images look different. That is completely fine and you most probably are just looking for your own style. However, there’s no secret that by applying presets you can immediately create a consistent look in your Instagram feed.
3) Achieve high-quality images with just one click
Let’s be honest, not everyone wants to learn every little secret about Lightroom. The learning process takes time and you actually have to be a photography enthusiast in order to survive the learning curve. With presets, you can achieve way better quality photos from day one.
From my personal experience, even though I liked learning about editing, the results of my own edits were quite disappointing in the beginning. You know that feeling when something is wrong but you aren’t sure what exactly. When you use a preset, you can see how it has been made. This way the learning process becomes a lot faster and more fun.
What are the CONS of using presets?
While using lightroom presets you might slow down your editing learning process because you will not find the need to watch all those youtube videos that explain everything about lightroom capabilities. This is not a problem for those who want to focus more on creating more content. However, if your dream is to become a professional wedding photographer, you will need to learn about editing as much as possible.
Do I Need to Use Different Presets for My Photography?
Yes. I would be lying if I told you that one specific preset fits all possible images. Let me give you a quick example. Let’s say you shot an image with a pretty well light up place. In this case, you will not need to use that much sharpening and noise reduction. However, if your photo has been taken during the evening, there might be a better need for noise reduction.
This is why you usually receive a Lightroom presets bundle. So that you can create a similar feeling to your photos even though the shooting conditions are different.
What should I look in a preset?
Choosing presets can help you find inspiration for your photography so look for images that make you love taking pictures even more. Look for a style that fits your brand. For example, more saturated and vibrant photos usually work better for Instagram photography where you want to create an eye-catching effect. However, these images might not be the best for wedding photos, where the newly-weds are looking for as much authenticity as possible. Also, the magazine look has its own rules of deeper green colors and darker tones. So while choosing a preset you should look for a specific mood that represents your business or personal brand in the best way.
BONUS TIP: Look for presets that take care of lens correction, sharpening, noise reduction, and white and black balance adjustments. These small changes create big differences in photography.
Need Inspiration for Your Instagram Feed?
Check out a few of the latest trends that have reached the Instagram influencers.
Minimal Presets Instagram feed
These lightroom presets focus on a few major colors and clean all the other noise out. If you are looking for a light and airy Instagram grid, Minimal Presets will make you proud.
Traveler’s presets feed
Capture that aqua blue water, beautifully tanned skin, and sandy beaches with Traveler’s presets. Pink undertones and colors that enhance your photography and bring the best features from your travel photography.
Avocado presets feed
One of my personal favorites simply because I love the darker green tones in my photography. Avocado lightroom presets create a high fashion & magazine look. It’s my favorite for a reason. I like the moody green look in my images.