If you are a wedding photographer, you have undoubtedly heard about Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions and have probably considered giving them a go. There are definitely many options that you can choose from, one more beautiful than the other, but how much should you spend? Should you stick to free wedding Lightroom presets or invest in paid collections? Many photographers try to download as many free actions as possible and stick to those but this is not always enough. Sometimes, investing in wedding Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets is a good idea. The choice depends on your level of experience as a photographer and the profit you make out of your job.
Free presets – pros and cons
It goes without saying that the main benefit of free wedding Lightroom presets is that they do not cost anything at all. Therefore, they are a great starting point if you have not used presets before and want to know if you like them before investing considerable amounts of money. Also, beginner photographers should definitely download some free collections. Not only do they save a lot of time, but also enhance the way your photos look with a single click. However, free presets are not without their flaws. Granted, you can find many beautiful collections free of charge, but they do not compare to the premium ones. If you are looking for stunning effects, you will not find them in free actions. Besides, freebies will only be suitable up to a certain point in your career. Professional photographers should invest in tools that enhance the quality of their work and give it a distinctive feel. Using only free actions and presets could make you lose ground in the face of other photographers who spend more on these.
Paid presets – pros and cons
Most of the time, it does not even take an expert to tell the difference between free and paid presets. Quality really comes at a cost and paying for presets is worth it if you want your images to have a distinct, premium feel. If clients notice that your photos have something extra that other photos lack, then this may convince them to hire you for their wedding. The downside to paid presets and actions is that they can be quite expensive and it is not uncommon for sellers to ask $200 on a collection. You can pay less if you hunt for bargains, but you still have to be willing to spend some money if you want your images to have a premium look. There are few risks that come with purchasing actions, because you can see before and after photos and easily check a seller’s reliability.
All in all, it all comes down to the level of the wedding photography. If you have just started working in this field and do not want to spend a lot of money on something that may or may not become your career, then it’s safer to stick to freebies. However, if you are a pro and invest a lot of money in the tools of the trade, then there is no question that you should choose paid actions.