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Top 5 Tips for Creating Presets the Right Way

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How many hours do you spend in your post-wedding workflow? Your time is so valuable that you need to make sure you use every minute to its fullest. Creating and using Lightroom presets to add your Signature Style to images is a fast way for you to maintain consistency and quickly deliver your images to clients. But, if you spend too much time creating presets, you are missing out on important parts of your business that require your attention.

In our Surefire Methods to Creating Presets the Right Way Webinar, Cole Joseph shared how to create custom presets for your business to match your Signature Style, and how to use them to simplify your process in Lightroom. Here are the top 5 tips from Coles recent webinar for you to implement into your workflow today.

1. Create Unique Presets for Images

Just like you can save time when you outsource various parts of your workflow, Lightroom presets help you eliminate time from your post-wedding workflow by allowing you to quickly apply artistic edits after your images are color corrected. Although you can purchase presets for your business, creating them means you have complete control over the style you place on your images. 

Lightroom presets help you provide exceptional service because you can add your style faster, meaning you will have a quick photo turnaround time. Plus, when you create and use presets, you save time which equals more money for your business. The more time you can save in your post-wedding workflow, the easier it will be to work on other projects to increase your profit.

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2. Discover Your Favorite Settings

Since a post production photography company can take care of the science part of your images, you can spend your time with the artistic edits that create your Signature Style. Discover what settings you use the most in Lightroom and develop presets from those. If you want your images to have a lot of clarity, or you desire an old film look, adjust the sliders in the Develop module until you find what works for you. When you find styles you enjoy and use often, make those your presets!

Related: Do you know when to use Lightroom vs. Photoshop? Your workflow speed may depend on your choice!

3. Develop Individual Presets

Once you discover your favorite settings to use on your images, develop individual presets for the style. The reason you should develop separate presets is so you know exactly what settings you will apply to the images. If you create a preset that has too many settings, you risk spending too much time adjusting certain images if the style does not fit them. Individual presets allow you to quickly apply the style as needed.

If you apply a preset to your image and decide you do not like it, there are a few ways to undo the action. You can press Control+Z on your keyword to undo the previous step, or you can double click on the slider to revert it back to zero. Also, if you click on the wrong preset and lose your original edits, you can go to Historyand click on the edit you originally had.

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4. Use Additional Shortcuts

When you can quickly create presets with additional shortcuts, you contribute to eliminating time from your post-wedding workflow. Cole recommends once you receive your images back from a wedding photography editing service like ShootDotEdit, apply your Signature Style in a modular system. Start with the tone curve and work your way down. Develop a style that matches your brand, create presets based on that style, and apply the style in batches. Once you do that, you can go back through and pick some you want to convert to black and white or add quick edits.

Cole has a unique trick to create a black and white style that you can easily apply to images. In the Develop Module, choose the black & white setting to convert the image. Click on the target selector, then click on image and drag it up and down so it only adjust certain parts of the photo that match the color tones on the right panel. Once you create a style you desire, you can then make it a preset to apply to your other images.

Related: How can you quickly apply presets to your color corrected images?

5. Avoid Too Many Presets

When you have an excessive amount of presets, you risk spending too much time trying to determine which would look best on each image. Try to narrow down your preset collection to 20 of the ones you use all the time. No matter how you create them, make sure you avoid getting lured into the thought that more is better. The number one way to lose time and money is to not have an efficient process and workflow. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed by all of the presets that you could potentially use (but probably never will).

Your Signature Style is crucial to the success of your images, and knowing how to quickly apply it to your color corrected images is a must. Discover additional ways to use presets to speed up your workflow when you download The Wedding Photographers Guide to Using Presets!

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