playing with VSCO Film 02

Oh hey there! I've been having some fun playing around with a new toy today, my recently acquired VSCO Film 02 Lightroom presets. Essentially, this is a collection of presets designed to emulate the look of classic film. Dreamy, right? At first glance, I'm big fan, but I do have some considerations for those of you who might be interested in this kit. I've created examples below to show how the presets can be used to enhance your photos. For each image, I've indicated which preset was used.


What are presets?

Essentially, presets (like Photoshop actions) are saved actions/workflows/adjustments that can be accessed in one click within the develop module of Lightroom. You can make them yourself by saving your favourite adjustments, or you can purchase them from companies or other photographers. For example, if you always tend to slightly brighten your photos, pop up the darks, then you can create a preset that does those two things so you don't have to manually make the same adjustments to each and every photo.

Presets work to save you time, and do the heavy lifting. They allow you to apply a similar look to a group of like photos, which helps create consistency and also save you from having to make the same manual adjustments over and over again.

It's important to note that once you apply the preset, you should not quit there. I customize each preset to fit my own taste. Often a preset shows up too bright or dark, or too warm or cool, so it's important to learn your way around Lightroom so you can adjust accordingly.



The best part about VSCO 2 presets is the lovely, aged, filmic look they help create. I think they are the perfect tool for photographers who a good amount of experience shooting with film, and a knowledge of different film types and their uses. If you choose to shoot digital as I do, but also love and understand film photography, these presets will help you bridge the gap between the two formats.


I would not necessarily recommend these presets for photographers who just want to age their photos or hit the presets and be done with processing. Without an understanding of film, it might be difficult to choose the appropriate presets, and straight outta the box, I did find many of the presets veered strongly towards the overexposed and yellowed side of things. If left as-is, they might make your photos look a bit too try hard "vintage." That being said, if you are really good with Lightroom, then even without a knowledge of film, you could find way to adjust the presets to your liking.

As for me, I am really enjoying the presets and how they work with my style. I look forward to sussing them down a bit so I can incorporate them into my processing style. The higher ISO film settings (800-3200) are my favourites, as I think VSCO has done a great job at emulating grain in a way that doesn't look fake.

These photos are outtakes from a beauty shoot I did for fashionmagazine.com, featuring model Adriane from Folio Montreal.