October 12th, 2017 | Photography Education

This fall, Sleeklens reached out to me to review their workflow  Strike a Pose and give an honest opinion on this workflows.

I spent a little time getting to know the presets, playing with each image and each preset to find my favorites, and to see how well the presets worked for my editing style and techniques.

I love full workflow sets, because you can build your edits from the ground up. A lot of Sleeklens' workflows are setup this way, which I personally love.  You can view more of their workflows here. These workflows allow you to create an image unlike any other, because every aspect of the editing process is customizable in easy to use presets.

This workflow came with 25 instant presets, presets that don't require you to build up an edit. These would be like your typical presets. Simple, pretty and most of all, fast.

There were multiple color corrections, white balance presets, contrast etc etc, which all played into the workflow side of this package. The important thing to remember is you build these presets into your image, so applying one preset, doesn't void or cancel out any other preset, like some workflows do.

 

I have done a couple sessions with this workflow, and you can see my comparisons below.

Here is my recipe sheet for the above image.

  • Base-Auto Tone Color
  • Color Correct- Reduce Yellows
  • Tone/Tine Bronze Tone 2
  • Tone/Tine Golden Glow
  • Point Curve: Blue Channel (Added some blues back into the image)
  • Split toning: added some blues into my shadows
  • Skin smoothing brush
  • Enhance Blue Eye brush
  • Increased Clarity through the sliders
  • Exposure Adjustment
  • Polish-Sharpen
  • And finished with a luminance adjustment, because I like the creamier look and I wanted to counter any noise in the image.

 

What I liked about this workflow:
Skin smoothing, Enhance Blue Eye brush, Auto Tone Color

 

What I didn't like about this workflow:
I had to make lots of contrast adjustments, watch that the image didn't get too blue and watch that the image didn't start looking over edited.

I shoot with natural light, as well as a continuous light in my studio for boudoir and newborn sessions (With the occasional family session indoors). So I wanted to try these presets with my lighting setup in my studio as well.

Baby Greta was NOT a happy camper with her session, so a lot of my poses aren't typical, and are like this because she wasn't sleeping hard enough to safely put her in any other poses. I have never had a babe be this awake for a session like, ever in my career, but as well all know, babies make us work around their clocks ;)

Here is my recipe sheet for the above image.

****Skin flaws, eye boogies etc were removed in Photoshop prior to beginning

  • Base-Auto Tone Color
  • Base- Greyscale Matte
  • Exposure-Less Highlights
  • Skin smoothing brush
  • Polish-Sharpen
  • Luminance adjustment

 

What I liked about this workflow:
Simplicity

What I didn't like about this workflow:
For newborns, and boudoir for that matter, I would still need to pull the image into Photoshop for enhanced skin smoothing, evening out skin tone and removing eye boogies etc.

 

 

This workflow really impressed me with my studio work. I really wanted to do a color with this workflow, and you can see that example below. The only issue, is the only studio work I tend to do is newborn and boudoir, both of which I edit the skin to remove alot more distractions than Lightroom can do, hence why I probably wouldn't use these for studio work, unless it was a family or headshot.

Here is my recipe sheet for the above image.

  • All in one- Love Bug
  • Base-Auto Tone Color
  • Tone/Tint-Bronze Tone 2
  • Polish Sharpen

My style is a more matte finish, and since this was a photo of me, I figured, Tori, do what you want!

I was impressed with the studio side of the workflow. A lot of my editing styles were similar to this workflow, and although I rarely use presets, these presets were probably as close to my style as I have seen yet.

I love having blues in my shadows, so I expect to make those adjustments to any preset, and I was pleased to see that a lot of these presets already had that adjustment in there.

The skin smoothing brush is one of the best. I have used Sleeklens brushes before, so a majority of those are the same if you have already purchased a Sleeklens workflow, but I was rather impressed with "Add Golden Sun" as well as the eye color enhancement brushes.

As usual, the reduce red skin tone, reduce green skin tone and reduce yellow, green, red and blue tools are all extremely helpful, and I do catch myself using these presets during all of my editing, because like I stated, I don't usually use presets.

I bounce back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop, never using actions in Photoshop unless I created them. I edit mostly by curves and levels in Photoshop, but having these quick and easy presets in Lightroom can help me edit images that don't require a huge retouch service.

 

I liked that this workflow offered the trendy "matte' finish, but didn't dwell on it. The majority of the presets are going to yield a timeless look, with a more vibrant photo, higher contrasts and a cleaner look.

These workflows are a great asset to photographers who want to speed up their editing process, to new photographers that are just learning what Lightroom can offer them and to veterans who want to try a new style.

Like all presets, don't expect to apply an "All in one" preset and be done. Always adjust your color balance, check your histograms and make sure all your details are covered. Nothing is worse than sending out a collection, and realizing something is off. You can view more editing inspiration as well as some presets/workflows here!

See more before and after images below: