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Wedding photography is one of the areas that benefits most from using presets. If you’re expected to turn hundreds of photos over to the bride and groom, you want them to look like they’ve all been processed in the same caring, attentive way. You could do that by hand, but with presets you can do it faster and, often, more consistently.
Building your own collection of presets that work in different environments takes time so, if you’re just getting started, downloading a few preset packs from the Envato Market is the perfect way to speed things up.
Remember, all these presets are just a base for you to work from. Don’t believe any hype about one-click looks. You need to modify everything so they work with your images.
With that said, lets look at twenty-five great Lightroom preset packs for wedding photographers available on the Envato Market.
We'll test the presets below, but to get us started here's our reference image. It's properly exposed and suitable for use with an action: not overly-contrasty, and contains good detail in the shadows and the highlights.
12 Pro Wedding Presets offers great value for money. For just six dollars, you get twelve presets to use in your workflow. The majority of the presets saturate and warm your images so they work best on images that are a little drab to start with; great if you're in the rainy UK, if you’re shooting Caribbean weddings they’ll push things too far.
If you’re going to buy one pack of wedding presets, 50 Premium Wedding Lightroom Presets is one of your best bets. Although there’s plenty of different options in the massive pack, where it really excels are with the classic wedding look. The great sepia preset above, for example, is the kind of thing you can use time and time again.
Just like the previous pack, 50 Premium Matte Lightroom Presets is a great buy. From the same creator, you get another 50 presets to choose from. This time, they all have a faded, matte look. While not as versatile as the previous presets, if you’re going for a vintage look they’re perfect.
PRO 300 plus Professional Adobe Lightroom Presets isn’t just designed for wedding photographers, but all photographers. Rather than being a collection of 300 different looks, this preset pack contains building blocks you can put together to create your own. There are different presets that raise exposure, decrease saturation and colour tone the image. You combine them to get the effect you want.
25 Pro Wedding Presets ($14)
25 Pro Wedding Presets is one of the most interesting packs on this list. None of the presets in the pack are super-traditional wedding looks—which is what makes them work. If you want to give your clients something a little different, these might be the ones to use.
Cinematic Film Look Lightroom Presets Volume One ($7), Volume Two ($22), Volume Three ($25) and Volume Four ($8)
Everyone loves Hollywood rom-coms, so what’s better than having a few wedding photos that look like you’re in one? The four packs of cinematic looks are perfect for doing that.
The first volume contains 15 presets, the second volume contains 30 presets, the third volume contains 35 presets and the fourth volume contains 15 presets, for a grand total of 95 different cinematic looks.
Of the 95 looks, only some will work for weddings. Many of them push things too far; you’re shooting a wedding not a war film. Even still, the ones you can use are great.
9 Pro Wedding Presets Volume One ($5), Volume Two ($7), Volume Three ($7), Volume Four ($7), Volume Five ($4) and Volume Six ($7)
The 54 presets across six volumes in the Pro Wedding Presets pack are great. You get dozens of looks to apply to your images. Even better, because each pack is separate and affordable, I recommend you buy them one at a time. That way you can familiarise yourself with the presets in each pack before getting next.
The only problem with the Pro Wedding Presets packs is the preset names. Every preset is a number between 1 and 9. That’s it. When you’re importing them, you need to be careful not to overwrite your previous presets. If you use these, you should group them by type and rename them.
While Lightroom 5 Portrait/Model Presets is meant for general photographers, they’re really useful for wedding photographers. A huge part of wedding photography overlaps with portraiture.
Within this pack’s 50 presets, there are loads that are perfect for close up shots of the couple and their guests.
The 14 Wedding Lightroom Presets pack seems to be one of the most well considered. As well as presets for the bride and groom, they also have presets for bringing out the best in some of the other typical shots: close ups of rings and flowers, balloons floating in the sky, and the like. A wedding might be about two people but there’s more to shooting one than that and this pack acknowledges it.
10 Wedding Pro Presets is another great pack. There’s nothing dramatic about it: it’s just 10 easy to use, high quality presets. If you’re looking to try a few new looks without blowing too much money, it’s a good choice.
When I first saw 19 Pro HQ Wedding Presets I was taken aback. 19 is a really odd number of presets, but then I realised it was a good sign. The creators had made 19 great wedding presets and, rather than add a bad preset they’re not proud of to make it to a round number, they left it at that. This pack isn’t 20 presets, it’s 19 and all the better for it.
Wedding Photo Presets contains 10 presets, all of which are mainly focussed on enhancing the skin tones of the happy couple and their guests. For photos of people, these presets are great. Be careful what the subjects are wearing as some of these presets cause a large colour shift.
Lightroom 5 Wedding Presets is a decent mix of 10 presets. There’s presets in the pack that are suitable for almost any image. If you’re a pro looking to add another look to your portfolio, you’ll find one in here you’ll like.
16 Pro Wedding Presets is perfect for processing any wedding photos you shoot in the woods. Most of these presets really enhance the greens in your images. Don’t use them on a beach shoot!
12 Pro Wedding Presets is another broad collection. If you’re just looking to try a few new looks then this is a great pack to buy; if you’re looking for a complete wedding preset pack then it probably isn’t.
Warm Wedding Preset ($3)
Sometimes you only need one good preset. If you’re shooting a wedding on a grey, cloudy day then Warm Wedding Preset could be it.
One important thing to remember with presets is they don’t work with every image. For example, although the Warm Wedding Preset is great, the result of using it on my sample image is nothing special. Make sure you use the right presets for your images.
It’s only in the last few years that wedding photographers have started using digital cameras; for decades they used real film. Most wedding albums that people grew up seeing were all shot using classic film stocks. If the bride wants here wedding photos to resemble her mother’s, then you need to emulate film when you’re processing.
50 Premium Film Emulation Lightroom Presets is a great way to do it; there’s dozens of great film emulations in the pack.
With all the hundreds of presets available on the Envato Market, you don’t need to worry about building your own—at least initially. For wedding photographers who are just starting out, it’s a great way to develop a collection of looks to use until they find their own. They’ll never be as personal as presets you create yourself but they’re a lot quicker to acquire.
I’ve only featured some of the preset packs I liked from the Envato Market. There are many more out there to choose from.