Continuing on with popular questions that I get is “Should I buy actions for Photoshop or Elements?” First what is an action? An action is a program that installs inside of Photoshop or Elements and does specific things like making the images sepia or saturated or unsaturated, etc, etc. Many people will know by now that I am not a fan of actions, many of the actions that are made are done so to capitalize on a fad and after seeing thousands of images that all look the same I just cannot recommend that my clients get on the band wagon of actions that turn all your photos to look like the next persons. Yes there are some cool actions but if every photographer is doing the same thing what is the point? To make things worse instead of applying the action to a couple of images from each shoot many photographers will do it to all the images giving the client no choice as to what they get.
I do have actions and use some actions regularly (signature, copyright, resizing are some of the ones that I use to help me save time, not to apply a look to the images) but I believe that you should learn how to do these effects for yourself and use them sparingly, or learn to create your own actions. The other reason that I am not a fan of actions is that they can start to really add up in cost. I know a number of photographers that will buy an action, use it once then move on. Some of these actions are not cheap and can quickly add up to a lot of money.
So if you want to get into using actions what should you do?
1) When you see an action that you must have, wait a couple of days before you buy it. You may find out that the look is actually not what you wanted. If you can try the action / look on some of your images.
2) If you buy an action PLEASE do not apply it to every picture that you take. Use it sparingly.
3) Remember the actions that you have bought so you don’t go out and buy the same type of action from another person.
4) Learn Photoshop or Elements and do your own effects or make your own actions.