There are zillions of free Lightroom presets floating around the internet, so why is it that so many photography enthusiasts buy presets from professional photographers?
I think the short answer is that if you find someone who is making the photos that you want to be making and they are willing to share their editing secrets you would be nuts not 'pick up what they are putting down' - professionally authored presets are a shortcut to great images!
Years Of Experience Applied To Your Images - Instantly
Think about it, for a small sum you get instant access to years of accumulated photo editing experience and a window into a master photographer's creative techniques. With the click of a button these settings can be applied to your own images, if one preset doesn't work for that particular image you can try others, it's that simple. Professional results with the click of a button!
Transformed with one click! The Moeraki Boulders edited with Blazing Amazing from the Sunrise / Sunset Rescue Pack
Presets Are Cheap As Chips By Photography Standards
Most photographers are gear freaks when they start out - I know this first hand! My husband & I used to work ourselves into irrational frenzies over camera gear - convinced that ploughing thousands of dollars into cameras, lenses and snazzy tripods would transform our photography. But the best money we ever spent was on information - in 1998 I signed us both up for a workshop with legendary photographer Art Wolfe and our photography was transformed, almost overnight.
But most of us balk at the idea of paying for information. It is an undeniable fact that buying information is extremely unsexy when compared to un-boxing a new camera or adding a shiny new doo-dad to your camera bag. But the digital photography workflow is not finished until a photo has been edited. Presets are dirt-cheap way to fill your Lightroom catalogue with another photographer's editing expertise, putting your images on the fast track to Awesome-ville.com! Which brings me to my next point...
Professionally Authored Presets Are Learning Tools
Many apps will alter your photos in a pleasing way, but you have no idea what has happened behind the scenes - Lightroom presets don't play that game, nothing's hidden from you! If you purchase presets that have been crafted by a pro you can see all the settings used for each preset and you can learn exactly what settings were used - I wish I had been able to do this fifteen years ago when I was first editing photos in Photoshop!
Pro Presets Are Curated
The presets that I sell here on Love Lightroom Presets are carefully grouped together into packs either to solve very specific photography problems or achieve variations on a creative theme. Do you have time on your hands to trawl the internet looking for free presets, individually install them to Lightroom, cull the rubbish ones then organise them by theme? I know I don't! Professionally curated preset packs are a great way to source, purchase and organise presets and it helps keep your presets panel looking sane!
Purchasing Presets Supports Creativity
Ever notice that 'information wants to be free' is a term generously promoted by tech billionaires - billionaires whose companies profit wildly from the propagating the myth that everything should be free on the internet. Until someone successfully promotes the concept that 'food wants to be free' I, and my fellow professional photographers, will continue to need to be paid for our work - doing so keeps us motivated to create and share our knowledge with photographers like yourself.
Enjoy your photographic journey - just remember that it doesn't have to be a long and painful one!