A Color Story {desktop presets & actions}

I tend to change up how I edit pictures based on my seasons of life. There was a time that I spent evenings editing and would do a lot in Photoshop. With older kids in my house, bed time is not nearly as early as it once was. The most meaningful conversations often happen late in the evening and I get up early every morning to head to Crossfit, so late nights on my computer are no longer a thing.

With little time to edit pictures, I prefer to do all my editing in Lightroom and often as a batch. Batch editing means I can edit a whole batch of photos at one time (they need to be taken under the same conditions). I’ve never taken the time to really dig into Lightroom, so I choose to use Presets. For those new to editing, presets are basically recipes for editing. I can select a picture, pick a preset, and apply that preset to my photos. Fast and easy for a mom with little time or desire to sit in front of her computer!

For my phone photos, I primarily use two apps for editing: A Color Story and VSCO. Recently, A Color Story announced they were releasing presets and actions for Desktops. I am super pumped they sent me copies to test out and share here (with a discount code!).

Typically, actions and presets are sold in packs. One thing I find overwhelming about using them is knowing which pack to buy. You can find Before/After shots using the presets on the A Color Story website. I wanted to share a few of my photos using my favorite presets. At the end of the post, I’ll share my favorite (most used) packs.

All the images below are edited using the presets exactly as they come, I did not do any additional adjustments. You can see my lens choice, camera settings and which preset I used on each image.


50mm lens, ISO 100, 1/250, f/1.4, Preset: Bloom+ (Weekend Pack)

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/400, f/2.8, Preset: Pacific (Weekend Pack)

85mm lens, ISO 200, 1/500, f/1.8, Preset: Pop Song (Good Vibes)

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/200, f/3.5, Preset: Everyday (Essentials Pack)

50mm lens, ISO 200, 1/250, f/2.5, Preset: Classic B&W (Essentials Pack)

85mm lens, ISO 160, 1/640, f/1.8, Preset: Everyday (Essentials Pack)50mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.8, Preset: Magic Hour (Good Vibes Pack)85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/2500, f/1.8, Preset: Warm Fade (Blush Pack)50mm lens, ISO 125, 1/250, f/2.8, Preset: Joni B&W (Flashes of Delight Pack)

50mm lens, ISO 250, 1/250, f/3.2, Preset: Everyday (Essentials Pack)

After playing with the different packs, my favorite is the Essentials Pack. I gravitate towards a less processed look and prefer presets that just enhance what is already there. If I were to pick one pack to buy – I’d go for the Essentials one. My other favorites were the Weekend Pack and Good Vibes Pack (c0ming out soon). On my phone I often use the Flashes of Delight filters within the A Color Story app, but I haven’t played with them enough on my desktop to figure out how to adjust them to my preference.

For those that are curious, my favorite filter packs on the A Color Story app are: Essentials, Flashes of Delight and the Color Fog effect.

A Color Story is offering Under the Sycamore readers a 20% discount off your whole purchase.

Use the code underthesycamore20 for 20% off your A Color Story purchase.

To learn how to use your DSLR or improve your Phone photography – enroll in SnapShop, my online photography school.

Use the code UTS20 for $20.00 off your SnapShop registration.








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