Photography Presets

If you speak with any seasoned photographer, they will tell you there is undoubtedly 2 sides to all photography.

  • 1st – Production – Taking photos of your subject
  • 2nd – Post-Production – Editing your photos

Each can be fun, but each can be very difficult to master especially if you don’t know where to start. This article on working with models on TFP shoots is a great way to find subjects for free and start working with teams of creative people. With that said, what about editing?

Photography Presets

Left – Original / Right – LOAF C4 PRESET

Editing programs

When I first started photography I was lucky that I had a foundation of learning with Adobe Photoshop. I’ve been using it for my professional design career, but never for photo editing. I never knew the potential Photoshop provided when editing photos until I dived into photography.

There are two photo editing programs that are available from Adobe. Photoshop and Lightroom. Each provides unique capabilities that I may explain in another post, but right now let’s concentrate on the presets. Also, there are many other editing programs available for MAC and Windows machines, but again, I want to concentrate on the presets for this article.

So, what are Photography Presets?

When you edit a photo in Lightroom or Adobe ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) you are using sliders to edit your photos and adjust different settings. These sliders cover everything from color temperature, exposure, hue saturation and more. The great thing is, when you start editing and developing your own style, you can save your settings into photography presets.

Photography presets are files from Lightroom or Adobe ACR that are used to recall specific editing preferences and settings for your photos. These settings can be applied to single or multiple photos to help maintain consistency in your post-production work.

Why you should use presets

  • Consistency – To reiterate, one of the best things about using photography presets is creating consistency in your work. Check out Instagram and look up some of your favorite photographers. There is a really good chance they use custom saved presets in order to help speed up their workflow and create consistency in their work. The photos have a unique style and this is part of the brand they created.
  • Speed – You can easily upload 100 images and apply the same preset to every photo and you
  • Style – create your own style or mimic other people’s styles with presets. Film presets are very popular these days along with HDR and more.

Should you buy other people’s presets

There is no reason you can’t use photography presets from other photographers. Selling presets is a big business and can help you create a style of your own. Just make sure to use these purchased presets as a foundation. You’ll want to make some tweaks to the preset settings after you have applied to your photo so you can create your own style.

You can also use these purchased presets to learn how photographers edit photos in post-production. Apply a custom preset to your photo and see review the settings. See how the photographer has played with tones and colors in the photos.

Create your own presets

Once you become comfortable with your style, you might find there will be others that would love to mimic your style. Creating your own presets is a way to monetize your photography skills and generate another form of income. You can find tutorials online for creating your own presets.

Learning as you grow

You will come across thousands of photography presets on your photography journey. Don’t let them become a distraction and allow yourself some flexibility as you grow as a photography. Best wishes, and happy shooting!

Some of my favorite Photography Presets

Some of my favorite presets are more film style. They are made to mimic old film camera emulsions. This particular style is not for everyone, but it is one of my favorites since I started photography.  Here are a list of some of my favorite film photography presets.

My Camera Gear:

Sony A7 –
Meike Grip Sony a7 –
Sony a7ii –
Meike Grip Sony a7ii –
Sony 55mm –
Sony 85mm 1.4 Gmaster –
Sony 35mm 1.4 –
Sony 90mm 2.8 –
Sony 24-70 Gmaster –
Batis 85mm 1.8 –
Godox Flash w/Transmitter –

More articles to consider:


About the Author:

My name is Jason, and I am a Sr. Creative Professional located in north Dallas, TX. I collaborate with creatives from all over the DFW and surrounding areas. This blog is dedicated to capturing some of these great model test shoots and collaborations, and I hope it helps you find inspiration for your own work.
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