The Best Kept Secret of Stunning Photos: What are Lightroom Presets?

Lightroom Presets - Bright & Airy - Before-After (4)

In one sentence, using Lightroom presets is the best way to edit your photos quickly and easily. They are the secret weapon of how well-known travel influencers make their Instagram feeds consistent and beautiful!

But what are Lightroom presets?

In short, Lightroom presets are pre-made settings that allow you to apply a certain look or style to your photos with just one click. 

Presets are not additional apps, and you can’t use them without Adobe Lightroom (mobile or desktop version). You can use them for almost everything. Do you want to add a vintage feel to your photos, or to create a dramatic black-and-white effect? No problem, you can find a preset to do so in one click. 

With Lightroom presets you will save time and effort by applying the same look or style across multiple images. And they will help you create a consistent look for your images. It’s especially useful if you’re creating a portfolio or want to have consistent look of your Instagram feed. 

In this post you will learn why you should use Lightroom presets and how to use them. Also we will share with you tips of how to use them effectively and how you can customize them.

Table of Contents

Why Use Lightroom Presets?

Why use Lightroom presets

Using Lightroom presets will be incredibly useful to you, no matter if you are a beginner, an advanced photo enthusiast, or even a professional photographer. 

Have you ever asked how travel influencers and lifestyle photographers get such nice images with similar look? The answer is that many of them use Lightroom to edit their photos. And a lot of them leverage Lightroom presets to get a consistent look across multiple photos. 

You will get 3 main benefits of using Lightroom presets in your photo editing workflow:

  1. Save time: The first benefit of Lightroom presets is they will save time when you edit your photos, especially if you want to make similar edits across hundreds of photos. Instead of manually adjusting each individual photo, you can apply the same look or style to multiple images in just a few clicks.
  2. Streamline editing workflow: The second benefit is that you will improve your workflow by streamlining the editing process to ensure that all of your images have a consistent look. This is especially useful if you’re creating a portfolio or photo album.
  3. Quickly add creative effects: The third benefit is that you can use them to quickly add creative effects to your photos, such as bright & airy filters or dramatic black-and-white effects.

Furthermore, you can use presets to speed up basic edits like adjusting of the exposure, contrast, saturation, and other elements of your photos. 

To sum it up: with Lightroom presets you can easily create beautiful images with minimal effort. And in much less time than it would take to manually adjust each photo. 

How to Use Lightroom Presets?

How to use Lightroom Presets

As we previously said, you can easily use Lightroom presets regardless of your previous experience. Also, you can use them no matter if you want to edit photos from your camera or a smartphone.

In order to help you learn it as quickly as possible we created this short step-by-step guide on how to use Lightroom presets:

  • Step 1: First of all, you need to install Lightroom presets on your mobile or desktop version of Lightroom app;

  • Step 2: Open the Lightroom app and select the photo you want to edit;

  • Step 3: Click on the “Presets” tab located in the left-hand panel;

  • Step 4: Select the preset you want to apply from the list of available presets;

  • Step 5: Adjust any additional settings as needed, such as exposure, contrast, saturation, etc., and click “Apply” when you are finished.

Your photo will now have the preset applied and you can save it or continue editing it further if you want.

How Lightroom Presets Can Help You Achieve a Consistent Look and Feel?

With Lightroom presets you will ensure that your photos will get, as we like to say, a consistent look & feel. And when you use them regularly you will create a recognizable style on your images. It will make easier for people to recognize your work.

If you are going to post them on social media, or want to create a portfolio or photo album, this will be very helpful. In other words, properly using Lightroom presets can help you establish your own style and brand.

For example, if you are a travel photographer, you could use preset to enhance the summer feel of your photos. This could include increasing the saturation and adding a bright effect. You can then apply this preset to all of the photos from your last trip. And this will create a consistent look and feel.

This is also important if you want to create a memorable Instagram profile and want to have something this will help people to recognize your photos among other people who post similar photos.

How to Customize Lightroom Presets to Fit Your Own Style?

How to customize Lightroom presets

Applying Lightroom presets in one click on your photos often is not enough to make them fully customized.

A lot of professional photographers use presets just as a starting point and then tweak it further to get the exact look they want. This means that after applying presets you will adjust some of the settings of the preset to fit a particular photo.

You can also create your own custom presets to match your editing style and workflow. Then you can quickly apply them to future photos without having to adjust each setting manually every time.

5 Tips for Using Lightroom Presets Effectively

If you want to master using Lightroom presets you need to start using them effectively. And we do give a shortcut, so below are our 5 favorite tips:

  • Tip 1: You should devote time to experiment with different presets and various settings to find out what works for you the best;

  • Tip 2: Try to use presets as a starting point. And then tweak them further to get the exact look you want;

  • Tip 3: Try using multiple presets on a single photo to create a unique look;

  • Tip 4: Don’t forget to add a final touch by adjusting brightness/contrast, curves, and hue/saturation to get the best from the preset you use;

  • Tip 5: Create your custom presets so you can quickly apply them to future photos without having to adjust each setting manually every time.

Therefore, when you start practicing using Lightroom presets, try to experiment a lot to master them faster.

Downsides of Using Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets - Aesthetic - Before-After (3)

Lightroom presets are a fantastic way to edit photos quickly, but there are some downsides you need to consider.

  • Over-reliance: One of the biggest is over-reliance on presets. That said, if you use the same presets for all of your photos you will stop being creative. And the look and feel of your photos will become repetitive or even generic. This is especially true if you just apply preset in one click and then do not adjust them further. And this will lead to your photos looking less professional.

  • Overediting: Also, some beginners start either using too many presets on one photo or over tweak settings after applying presets. Both of them can lead to an image that looks unnatural. Just remember how some people 10+ years ago tried to make every photo to be an HDR. You don’t want that your photos look that way. 

We recommend you use Lightroom presets as a starting point and then tweak further in order to create unique looks for each photo.

In Summary

Without any doubt Lightroom presets are a great way to quickly and easily edit and enhance your photos. They are not additional apps, but just pre-made settings you apply to the Lightroom app.

The most important thing for which you will use Lightroom presets is to save time in photo editing. Especially if you want to add the same look across multiple images in a few clicks.

They will get a consistent look & feel to your photos. But you should pay attention not to over-rely on presets or use them without any additional adjustments to avoid your photos, in the end, looking generic or unprofessional.

Many pro photographers use Lightroom presets as a starting point in the photo editing process. And then tweak them later

If you want to start using them, take a look at some of our Lightroom presets and let us know in the comment how they work for you!

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