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Am i a fraud if i use a preset?

Instagram presets are all the rage right now – everywhere you look, someone is bringing out a beautiful new preset available for you to buy and transform your own Instagram. In a world full to the brim of bloggers, creators and general instagrammers, it’s hard enough to stand out without jumping on the preset bandwagon and editing your photos the same way as everyone else.

There’s been a few times that I’ve debated buying a preset. There are a lot of beautiful ones on etsy and a few of the people I follow have created their own presets available to buy. I always do the exact same thing; I check to see how real people have edited their photos using the presets, I check the price, check photos AGAIN, and then click off. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m a fraud if I use them.

The key to cracking Instagram is individuality. People follow you because they enjoy what you do and how you do it. Instagram is so over-saturated with content that it’s difficult to stand out anyway, would using presets not hinder that growth? You shouldn’t want your content to look the same as everyone else’s.

I don’t think using a preset makes you a fraud. I think creativity manifests itself in different ways, and if creating presets isn’t your forte, why not buy one? With small tweaks and different content, a preset can look entirely different on each persons feed. With millions of users on Instagram anyway, no feed is likely to be entirely unique.

I have nothing against instagrammers who use presets.

We’re all just trying to find our feet and navigate the difficult world of social media.

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But that still doesn’t stop me feeling weird about buying them. I think about how much easier it would be to just have a preset, how put-together my feed would look and how much I struggle with editing every time I sit down to do it. It’s not my strong point, and as my Instagram journey shows, I never settle on a colour theme for long.

Instagram is whatever you want it to be. If you want to support other creators by buying and using their presets, absolutely do it. If you want to be more individual and develop a new editing style every few months, do it. Different strokes for different folks.

What’s your stance on buying and using instagram presets?

View Comments (6)
  • Oh my god I agree with so much of this – it was almost as if I had ghost written it 😂 I’m so similar to you in the sense that, if I could focus all my attention on the writing side and use Insta to share my life, I would. I think presets are a tricky one, because even when I’ve had ones that I’ve created myself for “consistency” I’ve found myself editing them individually each time because of the lighting and colours in a photo are different to the one before, then the preset can look completely different. Therefore, if you buy other people’s presets, there’s no guarantee that your photo will look exactly like there’s.

    • Yaaas thank god someone else agrees! I really don’t like that there’s more pressure on instagram as the money making platform because if you’re no good at the image side, you won’t make as much money (from my experience, anyway). My instagram is a mess right now because i’m just done trying with it, but i know i can’t leave it floundering for long because it’s still such an important platform.

  • Really enjoyed this post! I personally use presets mainly because I work full time so just don’t have time to sit down and create my own preset in Lightroom, however the editing process is still really fun for me because I love seeing how much the presets I use transform a photo. The only thing I would say is when you buy them from someone else your photos aren’t guaranteed to look like the ones they advertise, so it can take a while to find the perfect preset!

    • Thank you! I actually use a preset myself now and totally agree. It’s still a lot of fun editing and seeing how the presets work with different kinds of photos. Plus there’s still tweaks to be made sometimes, so i still have control! I’m definitely a lot happier with my instagram after deciding to buy a preset.

  • I totally get what you mean! I use presets on my photos, I bought Kelsey London’s ones and love them. But I can’t help but feel slightly like a fraud because I didn’t make the preset myself, I’m using someone elses, I don’t know its an odd concept! Maybe one day I’ll learn how to do my own!

    Lucy | Forever September

    • It can be such a struggle sometimes! I do think presets are godsends for those of us that are maybe more fussed for the blog side of things and less fussed for instagram/the image side of blogging. It took a lot of stress off me when i eventually decided to buy a preset!

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