How to Create a Lightroom Preset
I need to tell you about a new part of our workflow that is currently making a huge difference in business. Not only is it saving Jenna (our editor) time, but it is helping her to create galleries with the coloring and exposure that is recognized as part of this brand. Today, I am telling you about presets. When I first started photography, I purchased presets for Photoshop and used them only one time. This is because I discovered the ease of Lightroom soon after and quickly made the switch. I didn't purchase presets for LR because I didn't see the need. Plus, I am incredibly picky about the lighting and coloring and never saw presets that were just spot on!
This was true until last week. I decided to edit one of the weddings and create presets as I went. It doesn't take much time to do and it cut Jenna's editing time by more than half! And that was just as she was getting used to using presets.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Raw files are the way you should always be photographing the world. They store more information in the image than jpegs do and this allows you more flexibility when editing (source). Raw files are also very large! Because of this, I don't shoot the largest raw file available on the Mark III. I shoot the medium sized raw file.
In short, shoot in raw to get the most from your presets.
Managing and organizing your presets
Organize your presets however you want! Just make sure that you will know which one you should apply to each image later on. I am going to show you what this looks like for me below!
HOW TO MAKE PRESETS
1) Edit a photo in lightroom
Load a photo and make your edits! Be detailed with each edit and it will save you a lot of time when it comes time to use these presets!
2) Click the + button
Go to "Develop" (located in the top right navigation menu) and expand the presets window on the left. Click the + button.
Select the settings that you want to use for this preset
You can select all of the settings for this preset or just a few!
Name the preset
Name your presets something helpful. Instead of something random or cutesy, try naming your presets with the following formula: "Condition - Location." For me, this looks like naming my presets the following: Partly Cloudy - Shade. Also, Sunny - Backlit.
Once you click "create" you will be able to find your custom preset in the "presets" menu on the left.
Using presets is going to save you a lot of time in editing. And you know that you don't want to spend all of wedding season editing photos. Go use that time to grow your business further, go on a walk, and spend time with the ones you love!