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Top 5 Tips to Use Presets with your Color Corrections

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Regardless of how many weddings you shoot per year, your post production workflow can be the most time-consuming part of your job. As a business owner, it is important to master your post-wedding workflow to ensure it is not taking up too much of your time. Using presets in Lightroom can help you speed up your workflow and deliver breathtaking images.

In his fifth webinar with ShootDotEdit, Jared Platt shared how to strategically create and use presets in your post-wedding workflow. Decrease your post-wedding workflow time when you implement these top five tips using presets with your color corrected images.

1. Develop Multiple Presets

After your images are color corrected and have a consistent look, it can be helpful for you to add a few of your own edits to showcase your personal style. Though it may take a bit of time upfront, creating separate presets can help you achieve your desired look in the least amount of time. For instance, you may want one image to include an increase in saturation, a reduction in clarity, and a vignette. But, there may also be times when you want to use one effect. If this is the case, you are making extra work for yourself when you try to undo one of the effects in the preset. When you create separate, specific presets, you will not need to go back and make changes that cause you to make additional changes.

Related: Find out how to add your artistic flair to your color corrected images

In Lightroom, there are many options for you to work with to create your own artistic style. From clarity, saturation, tone curves, split toning, sharpness, and other effects, you can choose the best options for you and your images. Remember, your images should reflect the style your clients liked when they booked you. Therefore, any choice you make should reflect what they envisioned for their photos.

2. Apply Presets After Color Correction

As a photographer, it is important to spend your time on the style of your images rather than the science. There is so much effort that goes into the science of creating consistent images that it takes your time away from what tasks you should be focusing on. The science of color correction will help you get your images to look consistent using the basic sliders in Lightroom, such as Exposure, Temperature, and Contrast. These are sliders that should not be included in your presets. The reason for this is not all of your images need the same exposure adjustments throughout the wedding. With the style (the presets), you can take advantage of adding more vibrance, clarity, and other effects to your images. These are elements that are not specific to color correction and help you achieve your personal style.

Remember that it is important to wait until after your images are color corrected to add presets. If you add style to your images before they are color corrected, you may lose some of your artistic edits, depending on the sliders used within your presets.

3. Create your Favorite Presets

When you work on your images after they are color corrected, do you use the same features in Lightroom to add your own unique style? For example, are you consistently increasing the saturation or reducing the clarity on your images? These are what your presets should be made of! By analyzing what you are adjusting on your images once the basic color correction is complete you can create presets that will quickly apply your personal style to the images. This will help to reduce your overall post production time.

Start by clicking on an image that you want to use a specific preset on. In the Develop module, adjust the image to create your desired look. Once you decide that those are the sliders that help you achieve your personal style, save the settings as a preset. Click on the Preset panel on the left side of the Develop module. Only check off the settings that you want to be a part of your preset. Be sure to leave settings unchecked that would override your color correction work! Once you choose your ideal settings for the preset, choose a specific name that describes exactly what the preset will do. This preset will now live on your panel and will help you quickly apply signature edits to your images.

4. Use Folders for Organization

Organize your presets by placing them in folders that are based on their use. If you know you use certain presets more than others, you can place those together in a folder. As you place your favorite presets in a folder, make sure you name it so you can find it immediately. On the left toolbar in the Develop module, name your folder so you can see it at the top of the list. Additionally, categorize your presets based on usage. The more you use them, the higher they should be on your list on the left toolbar in Lightroom.

Related: If your business is not organized, you risk falling behind and missing out on new opportunities

5. Apply Presets to Groups of Images

The idea behind using presets is to reduce the amount of time you spend on your post-wedding workflow. Continue to decrease time in front of your computer by working on groups of images at a time. Once your images are color corrected, highlight the image where you want to use a certain preset. Click on the preset to place it on your image. This action will apply to all of your highlighted images.

Related: Learn how to quickly create a Signature Style for your images with Lightroom Presets

An even faster way to work on a group of images is to utilize the spray can option in Lightroom. In the Library module, click “Command + T” which will open the toolbar for you to grab the spray can. To fill your spray can with a certain preset, go to “Options > Settings,” and choose what style you want to add. Click on the individual images (or a group of images) you want to work on, and the preset will be added. Once you are finished placing a style to your images, you can fill the spray can with another preset and work on other images.

BONUS: Outsource your Color Correction

If you spend your time editing your images after each wedding, your workflow time would increase drastically. That means instead of spending time quickly adding your artistic edits, you have to push everything aside to work on the science of your images. Outsourcing your images to a photo editing company, such as ShootDotEdit, means you can take charge of the other important aspects of your business.

Related: Are you familiar with the 90/10 model of outsourcing?

When you outsource your images, the wedding photo editing service takes care of the science of your images. This means each of your images will be worked on at once to create consistency and allow you to return them to your clients in a timely manner. In order for you to work with presets and create a style of your own, it is necessary for you to let someone else do the heavy lifting.

When you have presets readily available to add to your images, you are giving yourself more time to represent your Signature Style. Additionally, your post-wedding workflow will be cut down tremendously, allowing you to go out to meet and book more ideal clients! Learn more about outsourcing your images to decrease your workflow time with our free Integrate ShootDotEdit into your Workflow Guide!

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