Undoubtedly, presets make photograph editing so easy and quicker than editing manually. They have clear advantages because you only need to add the preset and make a few adjustments to your photographs. However, using presets in professional photography is still questionable.

Professional photographers use presets to save time when editing photos. Manual editing of photographs is time-consuming and affects a photographer’s workflow. If you’re a professional photographer, you can create presets depending on your photography style or buy ready-made presets.

Read on to understand what presets are and if they’re necessary for photography. You’ll also get to know the pros and cons of presets and the aspects that mark differences between different presets.

Are Presets Necessary in Photography?

Presets aren’t necessary for photography. Presets are a great way to save time when editing your photographs while also helping you build a unique style for your work. However, they’re not mandatory. So, if you prefer to edit your photos manually, you don’t need the presets.

If you prefer to Photoshop your work, then presets won’t add any value to your photographs.

Presets come with different control features to help you edit your work. These include:

  • Exposure
  • Brightness
  • Contrast

They also have sliders to change colors, remove or add shadows to your photographs, or add vignettes.

You can either go for basic presets for adjustments on your photographs or the pro versions. Pro versions have selective adjustments and creative effects.

Additionally, you can customize your presets to suit your photography style. However, there aren’t magic wands that do all the editing for you. You still need to add a few tweaks to your photographs, depending on the particularity of each picture.

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Advantages of Using Presets in Professional Photography

As a professional photographer, your priority is to give your clients the best quality photos. You need to edit them thoroughly and give each batch a unique style that speaks to each specific client. Presets can help you achieve this fast and easily.

Here are some of the advantages of using presets in professional photography:

Presets Save You Time

The main advantage of using presets in photography is the time-saving feature. With just a few clicks, you have a well-edited photo that only requires a few more tweaks before you can present it to your client.

When working with batches of work, you can use a different preset for each batch. This helps you avoid repetition and add a unique touch to each client’s work.

Presets Aid in Developing Your Editing Style

With the right presets in your corner, you can create an easily recognizable brand for yourself. You need to test different presets and find the one that mimics your style and niche.

You can use the selected preset for all your work. You just need to make a few adjustments to represent different moods in your pictures.

Your portfolio will become easily recognizable because all of your pictures have the same feel.

Presets Are Easy To Use

Developing and editing photos can be stressful with all the available options. You might have to sift through so many themes that it gets confusing.

Presets take away this predicament because they’re already designed to fit your photographs. They give you a great starting point to start editing.

You only need to choose a preset and apply it to your photographs. You’ll only need to make a few adjustments to customize each photograph.

Presets Are a Great Learning Tool

No matter how much experience you have in professional photography, there’s always room to learn something new.

Presets give you a learning opportunity to maneuver the different settings to give your photographs a personalized touch. They also teach you how different editing settings work.

If you’re a fast learner, you can create your unique style easily.

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Presets Simplify Your Workflow

With presets, you can edit large batches of work faster than manually. You can apply the same settings for each different batch to give it a unique look.

If you’re working on different projects, you can use different settings and adjust them depending on the client’s taste.

Therefore, presets allow you to have a simplified workflow and achieve more in a short time.

Presets Achieve Complex Results

Have you ever looked at a fellow photographer’s work and admired their prowess? Different photographers use presets to find something unique to create their brand name and let their work speak for them.

You’d also be in this category of professional photographers.

With a preset and a few clicks, you can transform your work into a sought art. Presets help you to achieve perfection in a few minutes.

Presets Create a Consistent Brand

As a professional photographer, you need to create a brand you identify with and clients are drawn to. To achieve this, you need to be consistent in the kind of work you produce for your clients.

Presets allow you a consistency that is hard to achieve with manual edits. You’ll use the same setting for different photos and create a brand for yourself.

Additionally, presets give your work a touch of professionalism with an easily recognizable style. The level of professionalism you get with presets is hard to achieve by editing your photographs manually.

Presets Generate Inspiration

Presets come in different varieties and give you a break from monotony when editing your pictures. There’s only so much that you can create with your mind, and presets give you the extra boat to make your photos unique.

They also give you ideas on using the different settings to create shades and varieties in your photos.

Presets are easy to use, and you can play around with the different varieties to get inspiration for your work.

Presets Customize Your Work

The good thing with presets is that you don’t have to use them as they come. If you prefer a darker shade or sharper contrast in your images, you can adjust the settings until you get your perfect images.

You can also change the setting to fit the style and mood of every photo. You just need to understand what your audience expects with each batch and customize the presets to achieve it.

Presets Offer Free Tools

Most presets are free or have a free trial before spending money buying them. If you subscribe to a presets service, you can use the free templates or take the free trial to help you decide if they’re what you need.

The free versions are no less compatible with your needs. They may have a few limitations of use, but if you’re new to using presets, they’re a great way to learn.

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You Can Create Presets To Make Extra Money

If you love using presets to edit your photos, why not create your original presets and sell them for other photographers to use. This way, you’ll develop your art and allow other people to benefit from it.

You can sell your presets on online platforms such as Etsy. It’s a great way to make extra income and grow your profession. It can also help grow your brand and make a name for yourself in the market.

Disadvantages of Using Presets in Professional Photography

While presets may seem ideal for your photo editing needs, they do have some drawbacks. The main disadvantage is that you may become too dependent on presets that you no longer want the hassle of manual editing.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t use presets in professional photography:

Presets Can Make You Lazy

Photo editing presets do all of the hard work for you. You only need to make a few adjustments to your work to customize it. While this might be good for improving your workflow, it can make you sloppy with time.

You’ll become too reliant on the ready-made presets and forget how to make your work unique with your efforts.

If you’re a hobby photographer, this isn’t much of a problem because you won’t be working on many photos. However, for a professional photographer, this can strip you of your originality.

Therefore, you could end up losing your unique voice as an artist.

Presets Are Not 100% Effective

While photo editing presets do most of the work for you, you’ll still need to make more adjustments to your photographs. Every photograph has a unique aspect that you’d develop to capture your audience.

If you rely on photo presets to do all the editing, you’ll have bland and all too familiar images. You’ll not create a brand for yourself, and with time, your photographs will not connect with unique clients.

Photo editing presets aren’t a one-stop solution for your editing needs.

Presets Might Hold You Back

Using a predesigned photo preset to edit your photographs can become addictive. Photography is about versatility, and you may need to grow from one style to another.

However, if you become too accustomed to one preset, or one style, it can be hard to grow out of it. This would mean you’ll be stuck on one brand while your clients and audience demand more versatility.

How Photo Editing Presets Differ From Each Other

You have a wide range of photo editing presets to choose from in the market. However, it’s easy to get confused when trying to understand which one works best for your needs.

The main differences in photo editing presets is their style and quality. We’ll discuss these differences, as well as others, below.

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Presets Differ in Style

Style attracts your clients and is subjective to your taste as a professional photographer. Some of the available styles include:

  • Worn vintage look
  • Clean archival looks
  • Bright and airy
  • Dark and moody

Your style depends on the emotions you want to convey in your images and the brand you want to establish for your business.

Before settling for any preset, explore your tastes and those of your audience. Understand what draws them to your photography, then settle for a preset that helps you develop that style.

Presets Differ in Quality

You can determine a preset quality by the photos it produces. Unfortunately, the quality isn’t always immediately apparent. You have to test different presets before settling for one that brings out the best quality of your photos.

Quality marks the most important difference in the presets you try out. You can only work with a preset that brings out the aesthetics and moods you want in all your photos.

To test the quality of a present, you’ll have to edit a wide range of good quality photos and assess the end products.

If your photos are well done, a good preset should bring the best out of them.

Presets Differ in Affordability

As a professional photographer, you’re in business and must make a profit from the photos you create and sell. You can’t afford presets that take up most of your profit. While you need quality presets, you should always work with a budget.

When shopping for presets, you can try out different varieties within your budget. Fortunately, you could be lucky enough to get free presets that work perfectly for your images.

You can also start working with presets that have free trials, earn a profit, and graduate to the paid versions of the same packages.

Presets Differ in Ease of Use

Presets are supposed to make your editing work easier. However, some presets in the market are complicated and can give you more problems than solutions when working.

Fortunately, you can try out the different presets before buying them. You’ll learn which ones work best for you.

A good preset should be easy to use and achieve great results in the shortest time possible. It should also be easy to make adjustments if you need to tweak your images more.


Photography is an art and should be as original as possible. As a professional photographer, you need to edit your work so it appeals to your audience. You can use a photo editing preset to help you edit your work.

Many professional photographers use presets to give their work a fine finish. However, others don’t approve of the presets and claim that they remove originality from their work.

However, using presets as a professional photographer is great for saving time, having a simple workflow, and creating a consistent brand for yourself.