Have you ever scrolled through someone’s Instagram page and wondered, “how on earth is their feed so aesthetically consistent?!” Well they’re probably doing something you’re not, using presets.
What are Presets and Why are They so Popular?
A preset, sometimes referred to as a filter, is a fixed series of settings that are applied to a photo in order to achieve a specific and constant colour scheme or style. They are incredibly useful to pet photographers and pet business owners who want a consistent aesthetic for their social media/website imagery because they give your photos a clean professional ‘look’. Presets are one of the secret keys to establishing a consistent brand aesthetic. They will make your life 10x easier and your photos 10x more appealing.
How they Work
When you apply a preset to a photo it will essentially interpret the colours and tones in the image in a predetermined way, often favouring a particular scenario or lighting condition. For example, if I’m outdoors on a bright day and my colours are washed out I might want to enhance my photo by applying a more vibrant preset, compensating for the under-saturation. This functionality is useful for many reasons but chiefly they are huge time savers because, instead of having to make all the changes one by one, they are applied all at once in a single click. Meaning you get the exact look you want, every time, with just a touch of a button.
How are they Made?
In Adobe Lightroom, once you edit your photo by adjusting the highlights, colours etc. you can save your settings as a preset and then apply these changes to any and all future images with the click of a button. Don’t have Adobe Lightroom? No problem. The vast majority of people using presets don’t actually make their own because there are so many of them available online.
The absolute best thing about presets is the sheer variety. There are SO many available that it won’t be difficult finding the perfect one for your brand. Need a dark moody tone? There’s a preset for that. Need a bright happy tone with lots of colour? There’s a preset for that too. There’s even presets that emulate discontinued film stocks from the era of analogue photography. Just because most presets are made in Photoshop or Lightroom does not mean you need Photoshop and Lightroom in order to use them. Actually, in most cases, you don’t even need a computer or DSLR to get the most out of your presets.
How can I use Presets on my Phone?
There are many apps and websites that sell presets specifically and exclusively for cell phone photography. The most prominent of these retail preset suppliers is Visual Supply Company (VSCO). Since VSCO started selling presets in 2011 they have been the benchmark for high quality digital presets. So many professional photographers have based their careers around the striking colours and eye catching texture of VSCO’s presets that it makes you wonder what the world of digital photography would even look like without them.
How VSCO Works
VSCO mobile presets are available for Android and iOS via their free mobile app. In the app they offer several free presets as well as presets that can be purchased from the in-app store. These presets can be instantly applied to any photo uploaded to the app in an interface that is similar in functionality to Instagram’s filter application process.
If you are a pet photographer who uses a professional camera instead of a cell phone, VSCO has you covered too. Their more high-end desktop presets are available for purchase from their online store and can be downloaded and applied to your digital images through Adobe Lightroom. But, in order to focus more on their mobile presets, VSCO is discontinuing their desktop presets in March 2019. So if you have a DSLR or are planning on buying one soon, you might want to check these out before they’re gone!
How to Get the Most Out of Presets?
So obviously if you are looking for a consistent style throughout your photo library you should use the same preset regardless of whether it is being posted on your website or printed onto a business card. But there is one place where presets really tend to make a big difference, Instagram. When posting on Instagram stylistic consistency is really important because without it your feed will look like a jumbled mess. Everyone has scrolled through a business feed on Instagram and cringed when they notice an out-of-place photo, or two, or ten. This kind of oversight can be brand damaging and overtime it can make your business seem unprofessional. A clean, consistent Instagram feed can be the difference between looking like a hobbyist and looking like a seasoned pro, so why not do your best to make your social media presence as powerful as possible?
Overtime, as you post more and more photos using the same preset, your feed will go from looking like a mishmash of half thought out posts to a confident well planned catalogue of eye catching content.
In 2019 try to make a conscience effort to make every post count and you will be well on your way to having the professional social media presence you’ve always wanted. Make sure to tag us in your posts using #ProPetPhotoBlog so we can see your awesome content.