A wedding photographer’s job is just getting started when the wedding ends. With hundreds or even thousands of shots captured at a wedding, there needs to be a way to edit all those pictures in a quality way. Sleeklens asked me to review their Forever Thine Wedding Workflow package, which offers 112 Lightroom Presets and 23 Brushes for $39.00. It’s an enticing package for anyone looking to save time and increase the quality of the finished shot.
The package downloads as a .zip file and installation is easy:
Included in the download are all the brushes and presets, two installation guides, terms of service, and the recipe list. The recipe list contains examples of some of the edits that are possible with Forever Thine. If you like the look of a particular shot, the “recipe” is displayed so you can try to replicate it using the workflows.
Interestingly, the pdf document tells users how to install the brushes, but when it comes to installing the presets for some reason Sleeklens feels the need to make us watch a 4 minute YouTube video. Since installing brushes and presets involve basically the same thing, the video feels like a bit of an unnecessary time waster (even though it is only 4 minutes.)
Once the brushes and presets are copied into their respective Lightroom folders, they’re ready for use the next time Lightroom starts.
Forever Thine Presets
Presets give us a quick, powerful way to adjust everything about the look of an image. When you click on a preset, the image instantly changes to whatever settings are included for that preset.
Presets are cumulative, meaning you can apply more than one to a picture so long as the adjustments don’t overlap. Sleeklens has already numbered the presets 1-11 for us, and following this order allows adjustments to be made cumulatively. While some judgement is required (you wouldn’t color correct a black and white photo, would you?), generally following the Forever Thine order avoids unduly changing previous adjustments.
- Color Correct
- Wedding Film
- Wedding Fashion
- Wedding Matte
- Wedding Vintage
- Wedding Black & White
There are also some level 0 All in One adjustments which can be used as stand alone, one click edits. All 112 presets are found within these 12 levels, presenting enough options to attain just about any wedding look. There are also enough options here to warrant spending some time getting to know them before attempting to use them under the time pressure of a client or project.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s possible using these presets. Here’s an original shot from a wedding I did years ago:
It was a beautiful moment when the bride and groom were able to escape the festivities of the night and spend some time together. While the moment was serene, I had my camera set to manual for indoor reception shooting, and hadn’t yet had a chance to readjust my settings for the change in venue. The photo needs some work, so let’s see what we can do with the Forever Thine presets:
To achieve this, I used At The Chapel, Exposure + 1, Fix Red Skintone, and Fix Red Tone. I then added another +0.4 exposure with the standard lightroom slider along with some noise reduction, and I was done. This took about 15 seconds to edit to my liking.
In addition to the 112 presets, 23 brushes are available to use with the Forever Thine Workflow package. The brushes can do things like soften skin, whiten teeth, brighten a wedding dress, and add golden sunlight among others. When I get to the point of brushing a photo, I’m usually fairly involved and committed to achieving the best possible look for that photo. I don’t think there is any one size fits all brush, even when it comes to what may seem like an easy edit like brightening a wedding dress. In that sense, I view the Forever Thine brushes as great headstarts into a completed photo, not as stand alone one sized fits all brushes.
Having spent some time with these this week, my usual brush workflow involves starting with a Forever Thine brush, making the prepackaged adjustments, then fine tuning the adjustments to my specific needs by using the manual Lightroom sliders. This may seem redundant, but each image is different and this extra manual adjustment is usually necessary to achieve the best possible look to my eye.
Using the same photo, here’s what can be accomplished with Forever Thine brushes along with some slight manual tweaking:
The adjustments are small, but if you look closely you’ll see more brightness in the bride’s dress, and more emphasis on the couple helping them stand out from the background. These are the small kinds of adjustments possible with brushes, and used judiciously they can propel a good image into something to really be proud of and happy with.
Compare this last image again with the original, unedited one, and you can see the kind of powerful edits that can be made with presets and brushes.
As a photographer my #1 goal has always been quality. I shoot a variety of subjects but I’ve always found weddings to be by far the most time consuming when it comes to editing. If I can maintain or increase the quality of my finished pictures while saving time, for me that is a no brainer.
Each photo is different and requires different editing techniques to achieve the desired results. From different light, to different subject matter, different exposure settings and so on, there is never a once size fits all solution and I don’t view Forever Thine as a panacea for time crunched wedding photographers. I do believe that these Workflows are a great and welcome addition to my overall editing solution, and they will save me time as I move forward in my photo career.
For more on Forever Thine and Sleeklens:
Disclaimer: A copy of the Forever Thine Wedding Workflows package was provided for me to keep in order for me to do this review.