While creating my new Texture packs, I had a thought to share that has come up a few times lately. It has to do with the old saying that less is more. When it comes to photography and photo editing, we’ll find that thought can weave its way into a number of areas.
Sometimes less photo gear, can actually help us with photography by concentrating on something. Sometimes less Lightroom or Photoshop editing can actually be exactly what a photo needs. But there’s another area I’ve been thinking of lately.
See, as a content creator of courses and presets, it’s easy to get in the habit of thinking people just want more. Longer courses, more presets, etc… For example, is a 17 hour Photoshop course better than, say, a 4 hour long course? Photoshop is a big program, and you really can’t learn it in an hour. But do you need 17 hours of tutorials? I’ve personally never thought so. I think many of us reach a point where we need to actually COMPLETE something. There’s a certain feeling of accomplishment when we finish a course, or we actually use all of the presets we purchased.
We also tend to have the need to feel like we have control (and an end game) over the amount of content that we have in front of us. Whether that content is lenses, Lightroom presets, Photoshop actions, extra plug-ins, or textures of some sort. Without that control and management of what we have, whatever it is we’re looking at can feel daunting right? How do we absorb it all if we don’t really even know all of what’s there?
Where Is All This Going?
So where is all of this “less is more” going. Well, as I create things like presets for Lightroom and Photoshop, I’ll look around at what’s out there. As a scroll through social media and my email inbox, I see ads for everything. Just yesterday I started getting emails from literally everyone in the photo industry, with that big 5 day sale thing. And it makes me wonder… is that really what people want? Or are people just buying something so big because they’re afraid of missing something?
As I try to create something new, and see those offers, it’s easy to get caught up thinking I have to make hundreds of presets in order to compete. It’s easy to think that my customers (you reading this) want those “Over 1000 presets for Lightroom for just $19” deals. Heck, back in the days when I worked at Kelby, success was often measured by how many hours of training the site had, or the quanity of courses. More, more more…
In a way, I think we’re always pushed to think MORE IS BETTER.
Is More Really Better?
And I guess that’s where I disagree in some ways. When I see things like presets, I’ve always led with the assumption that less is more. I personally can’t comprehend 500 presets in my Lightroom panel. It’s overwhelming to me. I don’t know where to start. I can’t remember what I clicked on last or what I liked from the time before and I can’t ever find the same ones again.
I’d rather have a preset pack with 10-20 really good presets in it, than 200 presets that look the same. I’ve also always liked the saying “Give a person fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime”. Yeah, I know it’s corny, but I believe fully in teaching and education.
I’d rather give you 10-20 presets, and a bunch of good training on how to use them and how to adjust them to make them your own. Just yesterday I released 3 new Texture Packs that compliment my Creative Texture Blending course. I originally only had 10 textures in each package, and I thought they were ALL awesome.
But I had this nagging feeling that if I only release 10 textures in a pack, nobody will buy them. So I was going to go with 20-30 textures in each package. But, as I approached 15, I realized something. I realized that I’m just making the same texture over again, and adjusting tiny little aspects of it for every new one.
So instead of making more textures, and giving people more files to manage and look through when they decide which one to use – why not just add a bunch of great training that shows them what I’m doing to make the extra textures different? That way, you’re in the driver’s seat. If you want more, or want to adjust something, you can do it.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Anyway, whatever it is in your photography life, I’d ask you to consider whether or not more is better – or if less is really the way to go. I’ve paired down my landscape photo gear to two lenses for the most part. And honestly, if they made a 12-300mm lens for my Sony full frame, I’d probably go with that 🙂
Like many of you, I actually use presets too. I use many of my own presets for that matter. But I don’t have hundreds of them anymore. I’ve moved past that. I now have a select small group of presets, textures, actions, etc… that I use, and that can easily be changed.
I Wish My Brother Would Read This
Well, there’s my rant for this mid-October Friday. I’m actually up in Boston right now, helping my brother move to FL and enjoying a little of their cool weather before the long drive. And as I help him pack up a moving truck, I’m thinking to myself, “Bro… you really need to read my ‘Less is More’ article and this move could have been SOOO much easier!” 😉
Have a great weekend and if you’re one of those Texture Blending junkies like me, I hope you’ll check out my new Texture Packs which, as you can probably guess, have just the right amount of texture files – and come with some kick-butt training to show you how to modify them 🙂