Ok, so I’m going to let you look behind the curtain, so to speak, and let you in on one of my secrets to how I keep my Clients happy with their portraits; I’ve relied on Lightroom presets for portraits for a while now. You may wonder where the value is in using presets in post-production, let me explain.
How many times have you come back after a paid portrait photo shoot, like a wedding, only to find out that the light was not quite what you hoped it would be? Even when you checked your shots using the best loupe you could get your hands on? For me, this has happened on a few occasions, and that is typically when I am looking at the images on a much bigger screen, back in my office.
As I reflect on my behavior, it’s amazing how much more picky I can get with my photos in post-production. Out of 1,200 good quality photos, I can ruthlessly cut the final selection down to 10 or 20 at the most! I’ll always find something that is just not quite what I wanted, regardless of the equipment I’m using in the field, or the conditions I’m working under. That includes kids who won’t look at the camera, hold the right pose, and the worst of bridezillas you’ve seen. All you seasoned Portrait Photographers know what I mean, right?
In my experience, the outdoors can be exceptionally more difficult to manage than a studio, for obvious reasons. With that in mind, I firmly believe that you will always need some reliable tools to fall back on for those cases where things aren’t just the way they should be. If you want your photos to pop, I mean, really jump out of the frame and have your audience encaptivated, you’re going to need to make a few tweaks and adjustments from time to time.
This can be a tedious process, and as great a tool as Lightroom is, if you’re new to it, there are so many mistakes you can make. If you’ve been using Lightroom for a while, you’ll know that there really is quite a bit of work in retouching, and this all takes precious time.
Thankfully, I’ve invested in some awesome tools that take a lot of the pressure off, and they even throw a creative spin into the mix that I wouldn’t have deliberately sought. To make my portraits look amazing, I’ve used some specific Lightroom presets for portraits.
The flexibility to apply specific presets to a batch of images and achieve a consistent look and feel is a great way to speed up the Lightroom workflow. I’ve found that this has increased the time savings for me rather than tweaking curves, highlights, and shadows individually. These really do help you to master portrait photography by being able to leverage the settings applied by the Pros.
The image to the left is a sample of the sort of improvements you can expect to see from these presets. The colors are realistically lifted and warmer, and the image has much more clarity. Click on the image and cover the right side so you are only looking at the old data. Then compare what you see on the left to what you see on the right; that’s what turns the head of an audience. That’s money right there!
When I think of how many of those 1,200 shots I had trashed on occasions before using these presets, and how much that cost me as a Photographer in sales, it gives me chills. My go to after a demanding photo shoot are those Lightroom presets for portraits that you can find on MindTrick. The improvements that are able to be achieved with the Portrait Heinrich presets make all the difference to the shots, and I’m happy with that. But, most importantly, my Clients are very happy.