Actions are great. Some of the people on these forums say they “hate them” and that they’re “cheating.” I disagree, yeah if you click and go and end up with something Instagram-esque, it’s kind of cheating and unoriginal. And it doesn’t show any sort of knowledge or your own editing skills. You can open up the action, hide and show certain parts, and then click the layer mask tool and use the paintbrush in black (to “mask” over it) or white (to bring it back) at varying opacities on different parts of the photo. Sometimes an action looks great applied to the person’s clothing, but makes their face too yellow. You can mask it out on their skin, making it look more natural. I’ll have to post an example. It’s simpler than it sounds once you see what I mean.
I recommend everyone to check out this page: https://www.facebook.com/EnviActions?ref=ts&fref=ts
She is formerly known as Stacie Jensen Photography, but just rebranded her site and action brands to Envi Actions. She has wonderful tutorials for people of varying skill levels in not just actions, but anything and everything in photography, including business tools. She has even personally answered messages for me though I know she’s busy! Plus, she often offers a few free actions and her stuff is not priced high at all. I’ve bought a few of her action sets and I remember one was only $10.