Best Practices for LR Presets

Many photographers will say “I don’t use presets” but what they’re really trying to convey is that they have developed their own UNIQUE style, something that just can’t be bought anywhere. They don’t want clients or other photographers to think they’ve bought one of the many presets out there and simply apply it and step […]

Many photographers will say “I don’t use presets” but what they’re really trying to convey is that they have developed their own UNIQUE style, something that just can’t be bought anywhere. They don’t want clients or other photographers to think they’ve bought one of the many presets out there and simply apply it and step away.

We totally get that, and honestly believe no two photographers would edit a photo the same way no matter what. Editing to us is like a thumbprint; nobody has the exact same thumb print as you!

So having YOUR OWN preset is essential.

So now that we’ve covered that, let’s cover some tips for establishing your preset!

If you were to go and look at a couple of your last sessions or weddings you’ve edited, you’ll probably come across a few tweaks that you CONSISTENLY make, to almost, if not all of your images. Those adjustments, put together are your unique preset! It’s the things you do over and over and over again to your images. I call this your baseline preset because it’s where you start with every image! It’s going to get each of your images into the right ballpark for you to complete the edit.

Knowing the things you consider baseline for your unique style will be crucial in the beginning stages with a new private editor and will help both of you start with a strong foundation!

Here’s one more best practice tip for presets and this one is HUGE!

If you’ve created your unique preset off of one of the film type presets AND it adjusts the profile under camera calibration (in develop mode.) Then when you’re starting to work with your private editor, the two of you need to make sure that editor ALSO has purchased those presets. Otherwise their LR will totally guess and fail terribly at it’s guess of which profile to use. This causes a change in how the preset works.

This is one of those hidden tricks that can leave an editor and photographer stumped because many people have no idea that the preset they were using a) adjusted the camera profile and b) that having the unique preset alone isn’t enough.

We highly recommend either discussing where you developed your preset from or adjust the profile back to adobe standard and tweaking your baseline preset to work best with that profile. Using adobe standard is the most universal profile you can choose.

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