4.68Heck Yeah Bright Pack // Preset Review
Ben Sasso

Heck Yeah Bright Pack // Preset Review

4.68GP. score
5Public score
Six Presets (Five color and One BW) / Grain Settings / Lens Correction
File types
RAW Files Only
Adobe Lightroom 4+ and Adobe Camera Raw

Ben Sasso is a photographer and educator, living in his Sprinter van while traveling the world. His photography has managed to span the divide between editorial and weddings. His processing has long been known for clean skin tones, pleasing color palettes, funny Instagram captions, and always answering questions in the community.

01. Overall Look

This pack is Ben Sasso’s most popular set of presets, for good reason. They epitomize his editorial style of clean, typically warm, skin tones.

A color palette that is based in pale yellows and greens, desaturated slightly, as if you’re inside a vintage movie clip.

  • Bright 1 – Creamy and warm, all-around preset.
  • Bright 2 – Bright, with warm skin and cool highlights.
  • Bright 3 – Warmth everywhere with bright skin tones.
  • Bright 4 – Cool shadows and warm highlights.
  • Bright 5 – Warm, with more pronounced color toning.
  • Bright BW – A great all-around BW that matches well with the color presets.

Skin Tones

Clean / bright skin tones, free of color casts.
Photo credit: Molly Gilholm // Nikon D750

02. Live Edit

03. One Click Boom

These presets don’t require much tweaking. It was surprising how quickly you could get the desired look, usually just bumping the exposure and nudging the white balance to taste. The only other adjustment you might play with is the contrast setting, boosting it in low contrast situations (soft light, shade, dusk) or bringing it negative in hard light.

Throughout the test images, the H/S/L sliders or split toning didn’t need adjustment. The tone curve was also very versatile, some presets feature tone curves that only work well in very exact situations.

Bright Pack 3 // 5D Mark IV
Bright Pack 5 // 5D Mark III

04. Technical

The preset pack is based on Adobe Standard profiles, leading to all major camera manufacturers being supported. The presets include two different grain settings, allowing you to choose no grain (Ben recommends adding it using Alien Skin Exposure after), light grain, or heavy grain. They come with lens corrections enables, but include the option to turn it off with one click. The cleanliness of these presets truly shine without the natural vignette.

These presets get most of their color grading from the H/S/L sliders and Split Toning. Usually, it would be recommended that the toning was done in the RGB curves instead, but these are extremely well done. A case could be made that the split toning panel would be easier to tweak for most users rather than diving into the subtle changes across a trio of RGB curves.

Photo: Marcela Pulido

05. Consistency

These presets offered great consistency when applied in similar situations to Ben Sasso’s portfolio. It didn’t matter which camera was used, Nikon / Canon / Fuji, if you shoot in open shade or near dusk the images will look as advertised. The color toning removes many of the color casts that are typically a challenge when matching up images between camera bodies. The tone curve offers enough of a look to be noticed, without getting in the way.

Molly Gilholm // Nikon D750
Marcela Pulido // Canon 5D Mark III
Matt & Tish // Canon 5D Mark III

06. Typical Tweaks

Most images in the test group needed a slight exposure boost, that can be attributed to the trend of shooting dark and adding exposure in post. This allows you to better control highlight retention, since shadow detail is so clean on modern sensors.

The white balance liked to be slightly on the warm side, but these presets worked well on a stunningly large range – from ~5300k-10,000k without looking too warm.

For tint, they look most like Ben’s work when you leave it close to 0 or slightly negative (towards green).

Split Toning
No adjustment needed
Slight brightening.
White Balance
Warming to taste.

07. Strong Points

Use these presets in good light and you will get the Ben Sasso look.
One click edits looked straight off of his website on a few of the test images.
The different color toning options work across a range of work.

08. Weak Points

These presets wouldn’t be my first pick for use in poor lighting conditions. They could probably be tweaked to work, but it isn’t their arena. This went for any indoors shot I tested that didn’t have decent window light coming in. They did work fine with bounce flash / off-camera flash. Just stay away from dim basements lit with fluorescent tubes.

09. Before / After

Bright 1 // Molly Gilholm
Bright 5 // Marcela Pulido
Bright 5 // Molly Gilholm
Bright 1 // Aimee Dehaan
Bright BW // Tom Armstrong

10. Uniqueness

Ben has created a strongly recognizable processing style through years of pushing his work further towards editorial portraiture. These presets allow you to harness that style and make it your own. They walk the fine line between affecting your images enough to be noticed, while not overpowering and taking over.

11. Value

At $75 for six well-made presets, that deliver as promised, these are a great value. The purchase includes a well-made video that covers installation and typical Lightroom tweaks.

Heck Yeah Bright Pack // Preset Review
Good stuff
  • Deliver Ben Sasso's Look
  • Gorgeous Skin Tones
  • Great Value
Bad stuff
  • Don't use in bad light (create better light!)
  • Slight knock for Adobe Standard
Overall look
One click boom
Final Score
Based on 6 reviews
5 Users (6 votes)
Overall Look5
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1 comment
  1. Braden Young


    I cannot begin to tell you how much I love and adore Ben’s Heck Yeah Bright Presets! I have been using these presets since I started shooting weddings and have bounced around to several other presets but I always come back to these and love the way my photos come out every time! They are bright they are warm and they are amazing!