August 30, 2023 | 1538 Views

Do Professional Photographers Use Lightroom Presets? How Art & Technology Converge to Create Magic

Some photographers consider it a point of pride to avoid using any kind of shortcuts in their work. We understand it – but it can be helpful to learn to let go of that idea the more you shoot. Even if it feels like “cheating,” the reality of Lightroom presets is that they are tools designed to supplement your efforts. Rather than making you lazy or doing the work for you, tools like Lightroom presets can make your editing process faster and help you get a better-finished photo while doing the same amount of work.

Starting as a photographer and trying to make a name for yourself can be tough. You might find yourself feeling hesitant about a lot of things. “If I use presets, I’m not really putting in the time and effort to be taken seriously!”

At ON1, we understand where that line of thinking comes from. But there’s a reason why, as creators continue shooting and gain experience, that sentiment tends to go away. In this article, we’ll answer the question: Do professional photographers use Lightroom presets? We will also give you solutions and suggestions for presets to add to your workflow!

Article Contents:

What Are Lightroom Presets?

Adobe Lightroom presets are like pre-made magic for your photos. They’re predetermined settings you can use with any of your photos to give them a specific look or style. This collection of minor adjustments and tweaks improves certain aspects of your photos, like colors, brightness, contrast, etc. Anyone can make presets and share them online or download them for free from reputable sources.

Do Photographers Use Presets?

Absolutely without a doubt, yes. Professional photographers use presets of all types. Regardless of your initial ideas on the topic, presets are ultimately just another tool in every photographer’s arsenal. Presets can transform a good photo into an absolute masterpiece if used correctly.

Part of being a good editor is honing your skills to use presets correctly and at the right time. Professional photographers understand this, which is why they’ve dedicated the time to understand how to best use presets in their work.

Why Do Professional Photographers Use Presets?

Understanding why professional photographers use presets instead of manually adjusting their photos is pretty simple. Developers don’t need to make a new computer language every time they write a new app, dancers don’t need to create new steps every time they choreograph a new piece, and you don’t need to adjust every single Lightroom setting for every photo you edit. Instead, it’s important to learn how to make Lightroom presets work for you. That way, you’ll get the most out of your editing sessions.

Here are three essential reasons why Lightroom presets are invaluable to photographers.

1. Lightroom Presets Increase Your Efficiency

Lightroom presets are helpful in a lot of different situations, but they are absolutely critical when you need to edit large batches of photos. If you’ve shot thousands of photos during an event or shoot, using presets will seriously speed up the editing process. This can help free up more time to select the best photos from your session and work on any tweaks to take the finished look from great to perfect.

Presets are also perfect when trying a handful of different looks to find the best settings for your shoot. That way, you won’t have to create each new look from scratch. Making time-consuming individual adjustments for a specific style, only to toss it out later, can be extremely disheartening. Presets can be a real lifesaver.

2. Lightroom Presets Improve Your Consistency

Edits done by hand are near impossible to replicate exactly. And inconsistencies aren’t exactly charming when it comes to professionally shot photos. A client receiving a large number of shots will expect them to look alike – consistent editing across an entire session looks far more professional than what you’d end up with if you edit each photo in a different way.

Applying the same Lightroom preset to your entire batch of photos gives them the uniformity you’d never be able to replicate by editing them manually. Using the same or similar presets in your work can even give you the advantage of making your photos recognizable at a glance. Finding a distinctive look can be a big step in growing your brand.

3. Lightroom Presets Help Your Subtlety

One of the best things about good Lightroom presets is that they can change the tone or mood of your photos with some subtlety. This can be challenging to do manually, especially if you’re just starting out. Making adjustments that feel minor can come across as glaringly obvious in the final photo.

The truth is that sometimes, the best edits are the ones you don’t notice. At the very least, editing shouldn’t be the only thing that jumps out at a person. Lightroom presets can accentuate aspects of an image or change the emotion it presents to the viewer, without making the editing the centerpiece of the image itself.

Transform Your Photos With Free Lightroom Presets From ON1

n the hands of a skilled photographer, Lightroom presets consistently offer a simpler and superior alternative to manual adjustments. If you’re ready to give Lightroom presets a shot for yourself, ON1 has you covered. We’ve got an entire collection of free Lightroom presets and LUTs you can try out to see how the magic works. Covering everything from portraits to landscapes and beyond, our Lightroom presets are ideal for making your photos truly shine.

Frequently Asked Questions: Lightroom Presets

If you have any questions or want to learn more about Lightroom presets, check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.

What Presets Do Professional Photographers Use?

Professional photographers often use a variety of presets to enhance their work and streamline their editing process. The specific presets they use can vary widely depending on their style, the type of photography they specialize in and their personal preferences.

How Do I Install and Use Lightroom Presets?

Installing presets is very straightforward. You import them into Lightroom, and they become available in the Develop module. To apply a preset, select your photo, choose the desired preset and watch the magic happen. You can further fine-tune the settings if needed.

Do Lightroom Presets Work With All Types of Photography?

Absolutely! Lightroom presets can be used with various types of photography, from portraits to landscapes and even architectural shots. However, some presets might be better suited for specific genres. Choosing presets that align with your intended style and subject matter is essential.