Your Questions About Presets Answered
Presets seem to be the new thing on Instagram lately. If you’re part of the social media culture, you’ve probably noticed everyone and their mother is making and selling their own presets.
They used to be something only photographers purchased and created. But now that we live in a time where we can learn anything that intrests us by simply Googling it up and watching YouTube tutorials, we can be pros at anything.
A lot of people still have tons of questions about this new and exciting toy. As a photographer of 10 years, I made a list of frequently asked questions that can hopefully help you understand what presets are and how they work 🙂
What Are Presets?
Presets are something photographers have been using to speed up their editing process for decades. They are created in Photoshop and/or Lightroom. Instead of changing all the sliders manually on every single photo, you just save your style of editing, upload your new photos, and just click away on the one that best fists that shot.
In instagram terms, it can be called a “filter”. Although “Presets” are the terms used in Adobe photo editing programs. They have much more options with editing rather than just a few options that you can change with filters.
Why Have They Become So Popular?
We live in a time where people are branded by their style. They make a lot of money on Instagram because people follow them for this reason. Influencers/Bloggers are like the jack of all trades. We’ve become the hair stylist, make up artist, fashion stylist, director of photography, photographer, post-production editor, content creator, and creator, and social media manager.
Everyone has their own style, the ones that are more picky with their photos (like myself) end up making their own presets.
A bloggers job is to share information, tips and tricks on certain topics. A lot of people follow them for inspiration and information. They’re drawn to this relatable, lifestyle photography and realize their photos can look like this too. So bloggers started selling the presets they’ve been making since their followers have been asking and that’s how it took off.
Some people think that people just make presets as a career. But more often than not bloggers have already been using their own for a while. More and more people just started asking “what filter do you use”? So they started selling their edits out of popular demand.
How Do Presets Work?
Wether you’re editing from Lightroom Mobile or Desktop, it’s rarely ever a one click edit.
Most of the time a preset is used as a base to your edits or just needs to be tweaked a bit to work with your photo.
If you’re someone who always takes photos in the same color clothes, same location and same lighting, then yes a preset can work for you without any additional editing at all.
But for most people, we shoot as we go by whatever we’re inspired by and lighting can be tricky.
Sometimes two different presets can look like the same edit on one photo, then apply them on a different photo with just one added color or a little darker lighting and they look completley different.
Unfortunatley, those not in the photography industry think that presets are a “one size fits all” editing style. You need to play around with the colors and lighting depending on your photo to get the look you want. Presets just help you get there faster.
But don’t worry! Lightroom can look overwhelming but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough 🙂
Mobile vs. Desktop?
If you take photos just for fun and want something cool to edit with, then Lightroom mobile is the way to go. The app is free and you don’t need to subscribe to Lightroom.
If you shoot and edit in RAW as a professional or you want to be a professional then Desktop is 100% needed for you. You can only edit RAW photos on Desktop unless you have subscribed to Lightroom already then you can edit RAW photos on your phone.
Desktop in general is much easier to work with and I would always recommend it. I use my desktop presets 90% more than my mobile ones. Presets in general work a lot better with RAW images. You can also preview the way your photo will look with the preset without having to “copy/paste” like you do in mobile. And a bigger screen is always easier to edit on.
RAW vs. JPEG?
Most cameras (not phones) now can take photos in RAW.
RAW means the photo is “untouched”. It is a big file because it contains everything your camera took with the highest quality. When you edit a RAW photo in Lightroom you get the most out of the presets because everything in the photo can be edited in depth and at its best quality.
JPEG means the photo got compressed to save space (your phone only takes photos in JPEG).
Professional photographers and influencers only shoot in high res (RAW) so that brands or clients can edit and use these photos in large prints or screens (such as a header image for a website).
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re using presets just for fun, you don’t need to worry about investing in a camera and paying for lightroom. A phone works just great!
VSCO vs. Lightroom?
Everyone has been and still do use VSCO.
The difference is that VSCO is “filters” where you are limited to what you can tweak with these edits.
Lightroom is used by professionals, as mentioned earlier, where you can edit RAW photos and much more in depth editing and quality.
Why Do Some People Sell Presets Individually or In Packages But You Don’t?
I’ve been in the photography industry for 10 years and spent a lot of money on presets or used presets that my friends have given me to try out. Some presets would work for a few photos but in the end it still wasn’t what I was looking for.
When photographers/bloggers sell presets in seperate packages, you can never really know which ones are the right edits for your photos until you try them all.
You can find yourself (I had to learn this hard way) buying the “wrong” package or preset and end up not using it or spending more money until you find the right style. Unfortunatley I’ve done that countless of times.
Most presets sell for $65 per single preset. I sell 113 for the same price because I know how it all works and I genuinely want people to enjoy taking photos hassle free.
Why do I have so many? Different lighting situations & colors: indoor, outdoor, sunset, sunrise, midday. Saturated, unsaturated the list goes on. You can find the style that fits you without spending a forutne. And you can always switch it up or find the edit that other presets can’t work with.
Most bloggers sell their presets for their specific look.
I sell mine to help you find your specific look.
I hope this helped!
Feel free to check out more examples of presets here