Lightroom "Before and Afters"


Usually when someone sees a great photo on the socials, the first question or statement that a photographer usually hears is, "What lens did you use?" or "Wow, you must have a really great camera."

Now don't get me wrong, the tool is very important along with lighting, composition and subject that is in your frame.  But another huge piece of a photographer's style is the way he or she EDITS the photo. And usually editing is what takes a huge chunk of time in the creative process. Whether it's film shooters in the darkroom or digital shooters in Photoshop, both processes are hugely important to the overall aesthetics of your photograph. 

I love shooting but sometimes editing is the toughest and most time consuming part to complete. So there are times when I need to batch edit or just put some simple enhancements to a photo. And the easiest program to do these types of quick edits, for me,  is Adobe Lightroom.  

Adobe Lightroom

There are lots of ways you can edit your photos.  But I can't recommend Adobe's products.  You can download Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99 a month.  If you want to enhance your photos download them both in what Adobe calls the Adobe Creative Cloud, I highly recommend it. Highly.  Seriously.  

Lightroom Actions & Presets

 Actions are a quick and easy "fix" to your photos. But here's the deal. Actions do not fix bad light, bad exposure or bad composition.  You've got to master that.  Actions are a way to enhance a well taken photo.  There are hundreds of companies and artists out there that sell actions.  Florabella, VSCO, Mastin Labs, Pretty Presets, Totally Rad are just a few.  All of them do a great job, but today I'll show you the before and afters of VSCO film presets, probably the preset actions that I use the most to simulate an analog film style for lifestyle shots.  You can download them here.  

Before and After


With Lilly, I used a Leica M240 and a manual focus 50mm 1.2 lens.  I had a large window to my right that put off perfect light. 

BEFORE: Leica M240 with 50mm1.2 .   

AFTER: VSCO Film Preset Fuji FP-100C

AFTER: VSCO Film Preset Fuji Neopan 1600

AFTER: VSCO Film Preset Kodak Portra 400 UC

AFTER: VSCO Film Preset Kodak TriX


This is one of the overshot locations in the Salt Lake City area but also one of my absolute favorites. Especially at golden hour when the sun is setting behind the mountain and puts off a beautiful soft light. Honestly, the "Before" image that my daughter took of Philip and I is beautiful as is because of the soft blues and pinks.  But lets see what happens when we put a little enhancement to it. 

BEFORE: Nikon D300 with Nikkor 18-200mm lens

AFTER: VSCO Film Presets 400H Vibrant

AFTER: VSCO Film Preset Provia 400X HC

AFTER: VSCO Film Presets Nopan 1600


BEFORE: Nikon D750 with 50mm1.4 lens

AFTER: VSCO Film Presets 400H


BEFORE: Fuji XPro 2 and .95 Zenit lens

AFTER: Cropped and VSCO Film Preset 400H

You can see how simple edits can totally change the look and feel of the photo.  And here's the greatest part, YOU get to decide what style you like! Forget the rules, just create. 

Have questions? I'm an open book and here to help my lovelies.