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janelle joy is a team of private 1-on-1 photo editors to wedding photographers all over the world.

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janelle joy is a team of private 1-on-1 photo editors to wedding photographers all over the world.

Book A Consult


Okay, you’ve purchased a Lightroom preset.  Exciting right!?? Now what?

before and after lightroom edit

How many of you are using a lightroom preset? I would say most of us, right? On top of that, how many of us are using a preset that we purchased at some point in our photography journey?

As a fellow photographer and now private photo editor…Are you like me and many other photographers who see a preset, fall in love, and can’t wait to see it transform your own photos?  So, you immediately purchase this preset in hopes that it will give you this magical transformation and bam, it wasn’t what you were hoping for.  OR you like it but DON’T LOVE IT like you were hoping you would. OR Maybe it works, but only some of the time.

What if I told you that you are not alone!  I’m a part of several FB preset groups such as Mastin, Noble, Kindred, etc. and I see people post time and time again, “I’m using a lightroom preset and I’m not getting the look I was hoping for.”  or I hear, “How do I fix this in my photo?” How do I make ____(insert editing question) work with this preset?” Does this look ok?” “I really want to love this preset, but it’s just not what I hoped for and now I’m afraid I’m out the $$$ I spent.”

Does any of this resonate with you?

Well, I’m here today to tell you that I don’t want you to have that buyers remorse because guess what, you absolutely can make a preset work for you!  Don’t throw in the towel just yet! I’m here to give you some perspective as a private photo editor and using a lightroom preset to your advantage.

The truth is, no preset is going to get you 100% of the way there all on it’s own.  It can however, give you a great foundation to build on. You just have to give it some of your magic touch.  What is that magic touch? It is adding your OWN prefered preferences to your edits and making it all your own and uniquely yours.  Don’t we ultimately want our images to be unique to us? A style we are known and sought out for?

Editing with preset in lightroom

I always tell my clients a good preset, or base preset if you will,  will get you about 80% of the way there and you will just need to make the fine tuning to finish the final edit and be ready to send to your clients.

So how do we get that base preset?  Let’s break this down a little deeper shall we?

Take this before and after photo for example…

Editing with preset in lightroom Before Image
Editing with preset in lightroom After Image

“I happen to know my style inside and out and I don’t have to spend hours and hours in front of my computer each time I sit down to edit.”

Here is a photo I photographed and edited.  I happen to know my style inside and out and because of that I was able to execute exactly what I was wanting and I LOVE my end result.  I was able to get this end result because I know how I like my colors, WB, exposures, shadows, blacks… all of it, and this is what has given me my consistency and a style I’m known for.  I have past clients who come to me over and over again because of my style. (I don’t technically shoot anymore because Janelle Joy is a full time private photo editing buisness. However, I still take on clients that I have worked with for 10+ years and love to still get behind the camera and do my thing!)  

I don’t have to spend hours and hours in front of my computer each time I sit down to edit. Why?… because I took that time to figure out all of my likes and dislikes and don’t need to rethink the wheel each time I edit. I’m using a lightroom preset I purchased, and made my own, then finish my editing knowing what my final tweaks need to be. I’m no longer reinventing the wheel each time I edit.

(Just want to add, that if you are in that hole of rethinking the wheel, this will be even more important for you to dive deep and figure out all of your likes and dislikes so that you have consistency.  Consistency is a MUST, not always easy but a must, and a topic I will go into more depth in a later blog post…)

Now for more FUN!  Let’s get you editing a little with that beautiful purchased preset of yours…

Editing with preset in lightroom

First, let’s apply your preset.  

What do you do next?

Sit back and study your image….

Take a moment and sit back to really study the image and understand what your likes and dislikes are.  How are the exposures, contrasts, color, WB ect looking? More importantly how do you want them to look?  If you aren’t sure and don’t know the answer to this, then this is where you really need to spend time playing around and really honing in on your style and your likes and dislikes.  Use some of your favorite photographers as inspiration. This is a great starting point of figuring out what inspires and moves you. Don’t try to copy their style, but go deeper and figure out what it is that you LOVE about their images and use this inspiration to understand what you want in your editing.

This takes time, but it’s time well spent and will get you to an editing style you will love and be proud of.

Another thing I would like to mention is you need to understand lightroom.  You need to know how to fix/change a dislike you have within lightroom. It’s so much more thant just using a lightroom preset. For example, if you are struggling with orange skin tones, how do you go about fixing this in lightroom? OR Maybe your image is looking a little flat, how would you go about giving it some punch?  Are you confident enough in your lightroom knowledge to know where to go to fix this? Having that understanding will aid you in all situations whether its a killer photo with amazing light or an indoor photo with crazy dj lighting. Knowing how to work lightroom and understand it’s magic, will get you a final result you love and ultimately speed up your workflow as well.  That’s what I call a win win!

1-on-1 mentoring with Janelle

Editing Mentoring with Janelle Joy

Now if you are sitting here going, WOW, this seems good, but I’m still struggling figuring out my style and or how to execute it in lightroom, I’ve got you!  I offer 1-on-1 mentoring where we can do this together! I’ve helped many photographers whether they are beginners or seasoned and I’m here to help you as well! 

***Due to COVID-19… I know that cash is a little tight for everyone right now! So I am offering a, LIMITED TIME, $75 off your mentoring session with me. Use CODE: 75off at checkout. EXPIRES APRIL 15TH AT MIDNIGHT***

You can book a mentoring session with me here:

For more information about mentoring can be found here:

I absolutely LOVE being able to offer this to photographers and have seen first hand how helpful this has been for each of their unique needs.  Having a private photo editor guide you and help you may just be what you need and get you the end result you have been trying to achieve.  


Bonus:  Once you have your style down and know all of your preferences… you are going to be perfectly set up to outsource your editing with much better success! !

Purchased a Lightroom Preset…. Now What?


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