When I first started I was on auto white balance & it seems like from what I hear the majority of people use auto white balance. Auto white balance (AWB) is totally fine to use, but may involve some tweaking during processing to get your results where you want them to be. Even though the results are pretty darn good, AWB can produce images that can be inconsistent or too warm/cool.
I find that when I take pictures on AWB, my results are cool in temperature. My style is sunny & bright so having a picture on the cool side doesn’t look right. Looks like something is missing.
Let’s go back in time a few years ago, when I first started I would edit my images totally skipping over the temperature slider. I didn’t realize how one simple tweak could make a world of difference. I had learned other things but for some reason I never learned about temperature. I also hadn’t trained my eye to even know that my images needed warming up yet.
One day long ago, on one of the boards of my favorite place to go for online learning (Clickin’ Moms of course!) I heard someone say the words: warm it up. Warm it up? What’s that?!
I was shocked at what a difference that makes. If you haven’t tried this yet, tweak temperature to taste & see your results (toward the blue to make it more cool, toward the yellow to make it more warm). I use ACR (then pull images into Photoshop), but you can do this in any editing medium you use whether it be Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, etc.
Here’s an image (straight out of the camera) I took quite some time ago on auto white balance. Straight out of the camera it looks cool to me. Add some warmth & I LOVE it so much more :) Now, obviously, I can do lots more to this image to get it where I want (like clone out the bra strap!), but this one simple, easy tweak makes it so much more friendly & inviting to me.
Now I use Kelvin white balance or an exposdic so that I have more control. Sometimes I still have to do some white balance tweaks, but much less often. Auto white balance isn’t bad though & lots of people use it! From experience, I feel my results are more consistent with Kelvin but do what you are comfortable with!