My teen-aged son approached me a while ago telling me that I had to start making presets and then start changing my Instagram so it is visibly consistent. What? I dismissed the idea - thanks but no thanks. After 35 years of doing photography you learn that the only consistency in a series of photographs is that there is no consistency. Light is always changing, no two people have the same skin tone and colors morph right before your very eyes. The camera is a tool that captures a moment and no two moments are ever the same.
I have spend decades - literally - striving to achieve the perfect skin tone and vibrant, larger than life colors in the camera. Post processing is just a bonus. You see, you just can’t unlearn something. I can’t intentionally try to take a poorly exposed picture - it is just impossible. I HAVE taken them though and have also stopped deleting them because nowadays every mistake can be salvaged.
So of course, my defenses were up when my 16 year old told me that I needed to use presets. To me, the idea of taking a beautiful image and assaulting it with desaturation, adding grain (the very grain that I had painstakingly tried to avoid) and throwing some unnatural colors on it offended me. I LIVED through Polaroid and 110 film and look back at photographs from my youth and cringe. But I also don’t want to become a dinosaur either and realize that the age gap between me and my clients is getting larger by the minute. So I acquiesced and took a whole wedding that I shot and put a preset that I snarkily called “The Millennial Blowout” onto each and every picture. To my surprise, I actually liked it. Who knew?
This is where the bonus of living with teenagers comes in. I have designed a bunch of presets to their specifications using my years of experience of what to and what not to do. I have 4 testers to try them out. I hate to admit it, but I think I am hooked.
These presets will be available in the very near future. I just have to figure out how to do that. :) Perhaps I can hire one of my kids to teach me how. Stay tuned . . .