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Are Lightroom Presets Worth It?

I recently read a great post by Lauren of loulabellerose talking all about whether using a preset makes you a fraud and it got me thinking about my experience using presets.

So, I have been using Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos for probably about a year now and, since downloading the app, I haven't looked back. I had previously been using the basic editing tools on Instagram to edit my pics so I loved having a bit more to play around with on Lightroom - like editing colour tones and highlighting specific shades. It was around autumntime when I first got it so I used the 'warm contrast' and 'warm shadows' default presets a lot. As the months passed, I opted just to use the 'bright' preset and up the saturation a little. I loved the results but I felt like I wanted something a little more to really make my Instagram pop.

That is when I started looking at presets on Etsy to buy. And I was shocked how cheap you can actually pick them up for. In a bit of a spur of the moment purchase, I bought a set of 4 presets called Soft Bright off of Etsy after about 20 minutes searching through and reading reviews. This was about 2 months ago so I was going for a vibrant summer feel.

And I was really happy with my purchase!

I paid just over £3 for the set of four mobile presets and they soon landed in my inbox ready to be downloaded. And, honestly, I haven't looked back since. I love the ease with which I can edit photos. I love how my Instagram grid feels a little more uniform. And I just love how the presets make the pictures look edited without looking too much or unrealistic. It is quite a subtle effect but it works well with most picture types.

My only qualm with presets would be that they don't always seem to be trialled on pictures of people with varying skin tones. So this preset works quite nicely on pictures of me as it just makes me look a little less ghostly and ever so slightly bronzed but, when I use it on a picture of Ava, it makes her look quite red so I always have to go back into colours and reduce the redness.

All in all though, I am really happy with my preset and if you're like me and aren't a complete whizz when it comes to tech stuff, they really can be a lifesaver. However, if you have the skills, I'd suggest you first get a feel for Lightroom and attempt creating your own preset before considering purchasing one because creating your own editing style will set you out from the crowd and make your pictures look more unique. And you can tailor it to suit your style of photography and pick the colour scheme you want to focus on in your theme.

Would you ever consider buying a Lightroom preset? 
Or do you edit your own pictures?

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