Getting that perfect shot is crucial, but as any professional photographer will tell you, the work isn’t done when you pack up your camera. Editing photos is an important part of the image creation process—and often a time-consuming one. If you’re looking for surefire shortcuts to refining your images, or for exciting ways to make your photos pop, Adobe Photoshop actions for photographers just might become your best friend.
Photoshop actions are sets of edits that can be pre-saved into a single file and deployed through a single click. Actions can be used to do something as simple as resizing an image, or as complicated as applying numerous filters and layers. (The actions feature is similar to Adobe Lightroom’s preset function.)
You can buy Photoshop actions for photographers online (on sites like Etsy or Filtergrade, access them through a subscription to different sites, like Envato Elements, or in some cases, just download them for free. Whether you want to download Photoshop actions for photographers or learn how to to make your own from scratch, they’re a valuable addition to any photographer’s post-processing arsenal.
From a time-saving perspective, actions can make it quick and easy to batch-edit photos from the same set or the same shoot, speeding up the process while ensuring that your photos have a uniform look. This is particularly handy for those doing wedding and event photography or family shoots.
But depending on the effects they’re designed to apply, Photoshop actions for photographers can also open up some fascinating creative possibilities. Want to create a cool double-exposure effect, give your images a scratchy weathered feel, or fake a hand-drawn or painted effect? It’s as easy as applying and tweaking the right filters.
We’ve put together an action-packed guide (see what we did there?) to some of the best Photoshop actions for photographers available right now. Before you to get downloading, though, here’s a quick tutorial on how Photoshop actions work:
How To Install And Use Photoshop Actions
Installing your Photoshop actions is a pretty simple process. Actions are stored as .atn files, which can be downloaded via your browser and installed through Photoshop using the following steps:
- Download and unzip your file.
- Open Photoshop. Under the Window menu, click Actions, which will open your Actions panel.
- Select Load Action, find and select your new action, and click OK.
From here, you’ll be able to find your action within the Actions panel.
- Find your action in the list. Click the triangle next to the name of the action to show all available options.
- Click the action you want to use and select Play from the top right corner menu, or from the bottom of the actions panel.
Take note: Some Photoshop actions for photographers will require you to have a certain version of Photoshop installed, or will require use of Photoshop’s Camera Raw module. Be sure that you have the right program version and/or have RAW images before downloading.
This is particularly true when you’re purchasing actions online. Many action sellers won’t accept refunds, since there’s no physical way for you to return the product. Make sure you know you can use your new actions buying before you put down the cash!
Before You Get Started…
Once you’ve got all your photos cleaned up and ready to go, consider putting all of your best shots in one place so that prospective clients can see what you’re capable of creating. An online portfolio is a great way to show off your style and your skill set—but creating one doesn’t have to be complicated.
Choose an easy-to-use portfolio builder that has responsive, customizable templates so you can organize your images just the way you want them and client proofing galleries, so clients can see their proofs right on your site.
Without further adieu, here are some of the top photoshop actions for photographers—including the best free Photoshop actions for photographers—for a variety of styles and occasions.
Product Photography Photoshop Actions
30 Product Photography Actions from Medialoot ($5) This wallet-friendly pack of Photoshop actions for product photography promises to “give your product pictures a professional look while keeping your original image intact”, smoothing out tone discrepancies in your image to bring out the details in every product photo.
55 Product Photography Photoshop Actions from LouMarksPhoto via Etsy ($49) Fix lighting and color cast issues, brighten whites and colors, create a muted minimalist look, and much, much more with this pack of actions designed for product photos and flat lays.
Picture Perfect Actions – For Product Photography from Product Shop POP! ($49.99) Designed for photographers and small business owners alike, this pack of actions includes quick fixes for color corrections, exposure fixes, and a few finishing touches.
Product Photo Editing Made Easy And Simple from PhotoRx via Etsy ($100) Though it’s pricier than some of the other options out there, this action pack bills itself as a beginner-proof solution for product photography. Of particular note: a “paint on whiter background” feature that will clean up your backgrounds, and a depth-of-field action that will help fake background blur in a cell phone shot.
Free Photoshop Actions For Product Photography
6 Free Product PS Actions from Fixthephoto A free starter pack for product photographers, this set of effects features HDR, contrast, saturation and dodge and burn effects, as well as a white-balancing action and a stylish matte effect. Download them individually or as a set.
Photoshop Actions For Wedding Photographers
25 Wedding Actions For Photoshop from VibrantShutter via Etsy ($3.99) A refreshingly budget-friendly option, this bundle of 25 wedding-inspired actions includes brightening and white-balancing actions as well as B&W and sepia effects.
Wedding Photoshop Action from Medialoot ($4) Here’s a 20-in-one: This photoshop action for wedding photography actually includes 20 different wedding portrait-ready filters, ranging from high-contrast black and whites to rosy filters and bold, hyper-saturated options.
Wedday from Presetrain ($9) In addition to crisping up those wedding whites, this action also adds atmosphere to your wedding shots via pastel and matte effects—without taking them overboard.
25 Bright and Airy Photoshop Actions by LouMarksPhoto on Etsy ($12) This pack of actions adds brightness, saturation, and a subtle glow to any image—but it would make a great choice for weddings and portrait shots.
Wes Anderson Inspired Photoshop Actions from Filtergrade ($18) Here’s a set of Photoshop actions wedding photographers (and artsy, movie-buff couples will love): these warm, film-inspired vintage actions feature color effects inspired by Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Life Aquatic, and more.
+1250 Wedding Charm Premium Bundle from Adobe Exchange ($39.99) If we’re ranking the best Photoshop actions for wedding photographers by how many options there are, this broad bundle takes the cake. There’s 250 Photoshop presets, 450 Camera Raw presets, and an additional 450 Lightroom presets, making it an ideal buy for those who use both Photoshop and Lightroom. Here’s a small sampling of what’s on offer: matte effects, high key and low key lighting, vintage and film effects, landscape-sharpening, HDR actions, and much more.
Three Nails Collection from Greater Than Gatsby ($89-$119) Bring serious drama to your images with this huge collection of actions (get them in two bundles of 75 and 50, or all in one for a discount). With a massive array of vintage-inspired enhancement tones, movable sunlight and candlelight effects, and surreal painting-like effects, this is a great pick for fashion photographers as well.
Best Free Photoshop Actions For Wedding Photographers
Wedding Enhancers Set from FinesseFX Up first in our selection of Photoshop actions for wedding photographers with free downloads is this bundle of 12 wedding-ready actions, which includes a skin tone enhancer, four black and white conversions, a dramatic light contrast action, and five different soft filter effects.
Falltime Lite from Presetrain Amp up golden tones and add autumnal vibes to any image with this free action. Its warmth and richness make this a great wedding Photoshop action for photographers, but also works nicely on landscapes.
Love You More Than Anyone by heavensinyoureyes via Deviantart Boost the rosy romance quotient in your wedding photos with this free action, which adds a glowy, slightly warming effect. (Family photographers, take note: this could also be a great free Photoshop action for newborn photography.)
Food Photography Photoshop Actions
Neo Yummy Food Theme Color Grading from EMotional Studio via Etsy ($5) Bring out the juiciest tones in your food photography with these warming and saturation-boosting actions.
30 Photoshop Actions Food Set from CreativeMarket ($18) This series of actions will lend any kind of atmosphere to your food shots, with a wide range of lighting-themed effects (white, soft pink, honey, and beige, to name a few) plus moodier options like matte effects.
FoodKit - Food Presets For Lightroom And ACR from Presetrain ($42) This set of 42 actions includes both artistic color toning effects and retouching tools that will help fix your lighting and white balance and bring out details in your food shots.
Master Food Tools Photoshop Actions Pack from RetailAndCo via Etsy ($50) This collection of 95 actions will help you amp up the color and detail in your food images thanks to some well-considered brightening, toning, and saturation-boosting effects.
Free Photoshop Actions For Food Photography
Free Food Photoshop Actions from Filtergrade Though the best photoshop actions for food photography will likely set you back some coin, this collaboration with food blog Broma Bakery is a great place to start. These four free food photography Photoshop actions gently enhance the curves, color, and contrast of your photos to bring out the hues and details.
Free Photoshop Actions For Food Photography from Dribbble Though subtle, this free two-pack of brightening, color-boosting food photography actions will add that little extra oomph your photos have been craving.
Photoshop Actions For Newborn Photography
22 Photoshop Actions Newborn Retouch from CreativeMarket ($16) Smoothing and airbrushing options, skin color adjustments, warming and cooling filters, and lighting effects are all included in this package of newborn-themed actions.
70 Newborn PS Actions from FamilyPhotoTreasures via Etsy ($28.51) This mega-pack of newborn Photoshop actions includes skin smoothing effects, anti-redness and anti-jaundice effects, lash and lip sharpening, and a number of brightening, warming, and matte lighting options.
LUXE Newborn Photoshop Actions Collection from Pretty Photoshop Actions ($59) Designed to be a one-stop shop for newborn photographers, this hefty collection of 60 tools includes lighting effects like “light bright” and “dreamy color pop” as well as anti-yellow, anti-red, and anti-purple filters, a “correct splotchy skin” action, and even one that will let you change a blanket color with ease.
Newborn, Baby & Child Retouching Photoshop Actions from Greater than Gatsby ($69-$109) Billed as “the ultimate newborn Photoshop action set”, this collection is available of Photoshop actions is available in three tiers (38, 79, and 117 actions). The collection Ifeatures retouching tools anti-red splotch, anti-jaundice, and purple reduction effects, plus a series of pastel washes, while the second offers beefed-up versions of those, plus movable light effects and vignetting effects.
Free Photoshop Actions For Newborn Photography
Free Newborn Photoshop Actions from Fixthephoto These six free Photoshop actions for baby photography should get you off to a good start retouching newborn pics. Available actions include jaundice reduction, anti-redness, a “rosy cheeks” filter, a skin smoothing filter, and color toning options that will lend a pale, creamy look to your photo.
Baby Peach from The CoffeeShop Blog This peachy portrait action lends a warm glow to any portrait—plus there’s a built-in contrast boosting layer.
Sparkling Eyes Action from Polished Picture Use this free Photoshop action to make little eyes (or any eyes!) pop right out of the frame.
Photoshop Actions For Fashion Photography
Fashion Tones Photoshop Action from ConleyCreatives via Etsy ($8.99) With effect names like Rose Colored Glasses, Blue Steel, and Disco Inferno, this collection of editorial-inspired actions (including matte and vintage effects) is sure to add that extra oomph to your fashion shots.
Taboo Dark Fantasy Photoshop Actions from Presetrain ($9) Also a great option for alternative weddings, this set of four actions will add a deep, fantasy-inspired edge to your images.
Fashion Week Photoshop Actions Bundle from Filtergrade ($34) This action pack, designed with fashion and street style photogs in mind, offers everything you need to clean up your Fashion Week snaps, including light, regular, and heavy matte effects, black and white actions, blue-light, and vintage effects for street style, and colored light and shadow effects perfect for editorial work.
New York Retouching Photoshop Actions from Filtergrade ($39) Another pack of fashion-themed actions from Filtergrade, this collection focuses on boosting dark, cool, soft tones, giving your photos a dramatic edge.
The Fashion Nova Collection from Sleeklens ($41) This selection of 62 Photoshop actions will lend your fashion smooth-looking skin, punchy contrast and rich, vivid colors via exposure correction, sunlight effects, toning and tinting actions, and much more.
Free Photoshop Actions for Fashion Photography
Intensity from TheCoffeeShop Blog This free action offers a punchy color boost that can be adjusted from dramatic to matte to get precisely the look you want.
Free Elegant Fashion Photoshop Actions from CreativeTacos Add depth and flair to a fashion shot with this free three-pack of fashion photography actions, which include some ombre and color overlays that can be as intense or as subtle as you like.
Photoshop Actions For Landscape Photography
Cooltone Grit from The CoffeeShop Blog (free) We love the gritty, greyish tones this free action brings out in landscape photos, though it would also be great for a dramatic portrait or wedding shoot.
25 Haze Actions For Photoshop from VibrantShutter via Etsy ($3.99) It’s not strictly for landscape photography, but this collection of 25 summery “haze” effects will add a summery, washed-out tone to any of your outdoor shots.
GEO Premium Nature/Landscape Actions Set via EnvatoMarket ($4) For the tiny price, this set of 14 actions goes way beyond basic tweaks — you can do some pretty dramatic stuff, including change the position of lighting in a scene, mimic the lighting effects of different times of day and different seasons, and more.
Dramatic Landscape Photoshop Actions from EnvatoMarket ($5) Lend dramatic color effects (plus brightening and HDR effects) to your landscape shots with this affordable pack of 10 actions.
25 Nature Actions from EnvatoMarket ($5) A potential option for both nature and landscape photographers, this budget-friendly set of Photoshop actions will help you boost lighting saturation and create intriguing color and mattifying effects.
Vibrant Landscape Photo Actions from Contrastly via Etsy ($8) With this set of 10 actions designed for landscape photography, you can increase clarity, boost saturation, adjust tone, and manipulate your highlights and shadows.
The Landscape Adventure Collection from Sleeklens ($41) Arguably among the best Photoshop actions for landscape photography we’ve come across, this bundle comes packed with 56 actions created to help boost the natural light and color in your photos. Available options include sky enhancement, detail enhancement, cool shadow and warm highlight boosters, and much, much more.
Photoshop Actions For Sports Photographers
15 Free Sport Photoshop Actions from CreativeTacos (free) Here’s a freebie: a 15-pack of sports photography Photoshop actions that promises to lend your images that “cool sharp cinematic look” through a variety of tones.
Sport HDR Photoshop Action from thedesignshark via Etsy ($7) If you want to up the drama in your sports and fitness shots, look no further than this HDR effect action, which will add all the contrast, grit, and detail you’re looking for.
Shadow Punch Photoshop Action from thedesignshark via Etsy ($7) Another offering from thedesignshark’s Etsy store, this action will boost the shadows in your image to create a mysterious, dramatic look.
Photoshop Action - Edgy Sports Effect from ashedesign via Etsy ($9.99) For that “ripped from the cover of Sports Illustrated” look: this Photoshop action for sports photography adds texture, contrast, and shadows to your sports images and portraits.
50 Sports Effect Photoshop Actions from CreativeMarket ($25) If you’re looking for a bunch of options to jazz up your sports photography, grab this megapack of actions, which features a broad number of tonal and color effects.
Photoshop Actions For Architectural Photography
City Tones Street Photoshop Actions from Filtergrade ($21) Streetscape photographers will appreciate this pack of 20 Photoshop actions, which promises to give your images a clean tone (plus a bonus light leak action you can play around with).
The Urban Decorations Collection from Sleeklens ($41) This collection of Photoshop actions for architectural photography features a head-spinning 82 actions created to increase the light, color, and detail in your urban photography. You can add HDR effects, create atmospheric lighting effects, and add enhancements to sunsets, city lights, and even window reflections.
Black And White Photoshop Actions For Photographers
Vintage Suede B&W from The CoffeeShop Blog (free) The rich, burnt tones on this free black and white Photoshop action lend a remarkably convincing vintage look.
Charcoal from CreativeMarket ($5) Create a soft black and white effect with this set of three actions, each offering a different level of intensity.
Granite Ambient Photoshop Actions from CreativeMarket ($8) Far from just sucking the saturation out of your photos and calling it a day, this set of actions offers a variety of deep monochromatic tones with hints of blue and green, plus a set of vintage film grain filters to deepen the mood even further.
Black & White Photoshop Actions from Contrastly via Etsy ($13) With this set of 15 Photoshop actions, you can make adjustments to contrast, grain, vignetting and more, all in a single click.
Black & White Series from Filtergrade ($14) With the 20 black and white photography Photoshop actions in this bundle, you can achieve all manner of looks, from vintage tones to intense, high-contrast effects.
It’s Time For Action(s)!
This is just a tiny sampling of the literally thousands of Photoshop actions for photographers available on the market—but we hope we’ve shown you some useful tools and given you an idea of what Photoshop actions can do for your photography. Remember—the possibilities are limitless. Happy editing!