Why I Don't Edit with Film Presets

This post should actually read "Why I don't edit with film presets ANYMORE" because editing with film presets was something I LOVED doing in my first year of business... and I cringe a little at the thought. 

Now before anyone gets defensive, this is absolutely a personal preference. I don't believe editing to look like film is all bad. Actually, it's not bad at all. What I'm fighting here isn't editing to look like film... it's NEEDING to look like film for the wrong reasons. 

Really, I'm talking to those of you out there that feel alone in a world of film presets and need some encouragement to chase your own style. 

Here are few reasons I jumped off the film band-wagon and hitched my own ride:

Bright, vibrant, colorful images are striking and are personal favorites. Film is beautiful, but it often lacks saturation and mutes vibrant colors. This just isn't for me... it's not for a lot of people!

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Film doesn't equal high-end. I think there is a false perception out there that film equals luxury. Unfortunately, I've seen many photographers switch their editing style to film to look more high-end when a more valuable investment would have been in their brand, their client experience, or in education. Switching to film-style editing doesn't bump you up a price bracket, value does. 

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Those presets are often just a crutch. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't own my style when I was first starting out. I bought a set of film presets for $99 because I thought they would make my images look "cool" and "high-end." I didn't know how to make the images look the way I wanted, so I decided to make them look the way someone wanted. 

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Editing doesn't create powerful images. This is more a rant about editing in general, but people have the perception that a preset (of any kind) will take an ordinary image and make it a powerful one. Powerful images are ones that capture true, strong emotion and don't rely on a 2 second film preset or a second (let alone 2 hours!) in Photoshop. 

Film on the left, my edit on the right

Film on the left, my edit on the right

What now? Play around in Lightroom. Find your style. Own it. Be happy and connect with those that love you and your style. Share your tips and tricks. Enjoy helping others find their style. :)