They say a photo is only as good as how you take it and no preset (or filter, if you prefer to call it that) could change it, but you can't deny the game-changing power of presets nowadays. I exclusively shoot RAW on auto mode using my camera and am clueless about shooting on manual (I know, don't @ me OK?) so I am aware that my photos cannot compare with that editorial-style of other bloggers out there.

But one thing for sure: my images definitely look better with a good preset applied on them.






    I find the process of editing photos frustrating because no one preset can look equally as good in every set of photos, yet enjoyable because it is satisfying to see a preset transform my meagre photo into something that's good enough to share here on Affordorable.

    I used to edit my photos with VSCO Cam (yes, the app we use on our phone and tablet) but I now rely on Lightroom 4 to do my editing. I'm a complete amateur when it comes to photography so I'm not the best person to talk about "improving your photography" — but this post is not about improving anything.

    It will be about the presets I think are worth checking out, most of which I've used and loved, so here it goes:

    VSCO Film

    As I played around with different presets from different VSCO Film packs (not the same as their mobile version fyi), I came to a conclusion: there will be presets that you love and dislike in every pack. If you want to invest in a VSCO Film pack, the best thing to do is to read LOADS of reviews on different packs to determine what kind of photography style you want to achieve.


    Edited with Portra 400⁺³ + from VSCO Film 06 Push & Pull


    Edited with one of the Agfa Vista 400 family from VSCO Film 05






      Edited with Fuji 800Z ++ from VSCO Film 01

      One thing to remember: your pictures most probably will not end up looking as professional as the photos in the reviews but they will give you an idea of the style of photography the presets will give to your photos.

      Visit VSCO Film site

      Lou & Marks

      They have a variety of pretty presets that can be used in both Lightroom desktop and mobile that are sold at relatively affordable prices, which is useful if you're a real stickler about standardising your blog and Instagram photos. (Note: Although, you can actually transport Lightroom desktop presets into your Lightroom mobile, but it's a bit of extra work.)

      I purchased the Wonderland pack which results in that strong yellow skin tone + turquoise-hued sky + very warm orangey reds + pale greens you see on many Instagram feeds nowadays. The downside of Wonderland presets is they look too edited and need a LOT of tweaking, hence, very hard to work with compared to the VSCO ones.

      I also recently bought their Vintage pack but have yet to use it for Affordorable.

        Both edited using Wonderland presets

        Visit Lou & Marks site

        (Special mention) Tribe Archipelago

        I started following the blog Selective Potential by Tieka on Bloglovin' a few months ago because she has such beautiful, eye-soothing photos. Unlike most bloggers, Tieka shares what camera she uses and the preset she uses: Tribe Archipelago's. I wish I was able to try out the presets myself but they're just too pricey for my budget! (Never say never, though.)

        Tribe Archipelago doesn't belong on the list of presets I use, obviously, but I just have to mention TA because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have discovered the preset I'm currently using.

        Visit Tribe Archipelago site


        Signature Edits (Currently using)

        Signature Edits appeared when I Googled reviews for Tribe Archipelago (I have a thing for looking at before-and-after photos in preset reviews); their website had done a comparison between presets of their own vs. VSCO Film vs. Tribe Archipelago vs. Mastin Labs. Unlike other preset companies online, they actually let you try out two of their presets at no cost.






        Edited with Genesis pack

          Edited with 01 MV Warm from Moody Vibes

          I have their Genesis pack but as of now, I use the free 01 MV Warm preset from their Moody pack on all my blog photos as well as my Instagram photos. (Note: The "After" photo you see at the very top was also edited with this preset.)

          Signature Edits claim their presets are designed as "one click edits" which basically means all you need to do is apply the preset and, well, you'd be done. Even though I like their presets, I'm here to tell you that one click just won't cut it — at least, not for me. Just like Lou & Marks' Wonderland, I have to be patient in tweaking my photos after applying their preset.

          Visit Signature Edits site

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          The downside of searching for the "right" preset is you can get sucked into the presets vortex and spend unnecessarily. However, fear not as there are plenty of free presets on the net, too.

          Like I said, my photos are not taken by a professional photographer (a.k.a. my engineer husband) nor edited by a professional editor (a.k.a. yours truly) but the amateur in me hopes this post can prove useful to some of you bloggers out there.

          I'm constantly on the hunt for interesting presets so if you're a blogger like me who uses Lightroom to edit your photos, I sincerely hope you won't mind sharing what presets you use in the comments section as I would love to try them out!

          Thanks for reading, guys ♡


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