What are Lightroom Presets?

lightroom May 12, 2020

Lightroom presets are pre-determined settings (pre-set) designed to give specific looks to your photos. When using Lightroom to edit your photos, you move sliders to adjust settings like contrast, saturation, exposure, highlights, shadows. These slider combinations can be saved for future use on other photos. When you apply a preset to your photos, it will automatically adjust all the sliders, and it will bring consistency and will significantly simplify the editing process.


Adobe Lightroom

Whether you are an advanced photographer or only starting to make your way through this beautiful art, you must be familiar with photo editing. Editing a picture is an art form by itself. You have captured the perfect photo, the angle and the composition are great, but the job is not over yet! You now have to edit your picture, to make it stand out and to bring out the best of this image.

The editing process can be very intimidating, and Adobe Lightroom is your best friend when it comes to editing. It is an excellent photo editing software that allows you to edit your photos in a user-friendly way. You can also use this software to organize, store and share your pictures.

Adobe Lightroom is available in different versions: Lightroom Mobile (app), Lightroom CC (for desktop), and Lightroom Classic (more desktop-focused). We will talk more about the different versions of Lightroom in our next article, so stay tuned!


Lightroom Presets

When using Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos, you move sliders to adjust settings like contrast, saturation, exposure, highlights and shadows. Currently, there are over 76 sliders available in Lightroom. The slightest change for any of these sliders will significantly change the look of your pictures. Therefore, combinations and adjustments are near endless. It gives you fabulous flexibility, and you will be able to bring your creativity through the roof. 

Adobe Lightroom, and photo editing in overall, can seem quite overwhelming for beginners, so Lightroom presets are great tools to start. They will give you a little push and help you to choose the perfect looks for your photos without having to play much with the settings of the contrast, brightness, shadows, exposure etc.

Picture edited with our Home Photography Presets


Are presets only for beginners?

Even for advanced photographers, photo editing is a difficult task that takes time to master. It is like learning a new skill and keep learning until you know how to execute it properly and efficiently. It takes time and patience. Practice makes perfect, right? For many different purposes, Lightroom presets are used by some of the best photographers in the world, especially when they want to edit a series of pictures to give them a similar look.  

To the question "Are presets for amateurs?", I would immediately answer that you should use any presets (and any tools) that will help you to become a better photographer. Art has no rule, so use any method that you want to create your work.

As I mentioned earlier, and despite everything you can read or hear about presets, professional photographers do use photography presets to edit their pictures, especially when they want to give the same look to a series of photographs and keep consistency. It is challenging to provide the same look to several pictures by eye, so of course, they use presets to help achieve a consistent look. Lightroom presets help photographers to create a specific look, and to save it to apply it to a series of pictures. That will bring consistency.


Why do you have to pay for Lightroom Presets?

As mentioned earlier, photo editing is a difficult task, and it takes years for photographers to master this skill. Creating presets requires experience and knowledge. A photographer uses their time and expertise to create those presets, so of course, they have a price. 

We could easily compare it to recipe books written by professional chefs. A chef will have to spend time and use all their knowledge to invent recipes and to try if they work. They will not give these recipes for free, but they will sell them via cooking books. It is precisely the same for photography presets.


Why sometimes Lightroom presets don't work?

There are several reasons why a Lightroom preset will not provide an aesthetic look to your photos.

Poor quality of the original picture.

If the quality of your photo is not good enough, for example, if it is too small, blurry, too bright or too dark, the Lightroom presets will not work efficiently. Lightroom presets will not fix technical issues that occurred during the photoshoot. First, learn how to use the right settings on your camera to take a good quality picture. Then, apply the presets to give your photo a specific look.

Not using the right kind of preset.

Before purchasing Lightroom presets, it is essential to know if you want to edit your photos on a mobile device or a desktop so you can use the appropriate presets. 

Mobile preset work on desktop, however desktop presets will not work on mobile. The reason is that mobile presets are much more subtle and less harsh. In contrary, desktop presets are much stronger. Therefore, using desktop presets on a mobile device will make the picture looks overprocessed and will not give good results. 

All our mobile presets are compatible with all versions of Lightroom: Lightroom Mobile, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. They are also compatible with Photoshop. For more information about our presets, check out our shop!

Not using Lightroom presets created by professionals.

As mentioned earlier, creating presets is a difficult task that requires time and knowledge. A professional photographer knows how to play with the exposure, the shadows, the brightness to make a photo stand out. Using presets that have not been designed by a professional photographer will result in poor photo editing as they would not be optimized for wider use.

We test our own presets on Windows, Apple, Android and iPhone. We test and try each one of our presets on dozens of photos. We know that they work efficiently as we use them daily on our social media and website, and we follow Abode guidelines to make sure that they are up to standards.

Picture edited with our Food Photography Presets


The advantages of using photography presets 

Lightroom presets are nowadays extremely popular and for a good reason. Lightroom presets are useful and powerful tools, especially if you are a beginner and you are unsure of what to do with all the tools that Lightroom has to offer. There are many advantages to using Lightroom presets. 

Save time

Lightroom presets can save you a lot of time when editing your pictures. If you have shot a lot of images at once, for example, a sunset on the beach, you may want to apply similar adjustments to all the photos to bring the same look and consistency. Lightroom presets allow you to use a whole bunch of settings and edits to your photos with one click. If you have a batch of similar pictures, i.e. pictures taken on the same day at the same spot, it would be time-consuming to edit the images one by one, especially if you want to give them a consistent look. Instead, using the same preset for all the pictures will apply the same look to all the photos and add consistency to them all. You can then, of course, slightly adjust the settings to perfect the edit.

If you have already spent hours editing images, I am sure that this advantage will catch your attention. Lightroom presets save you so much time by doing most of the work for you, with one click!

Easy to use

Lightroom is a fantastic photo editing software, but it can be intimidated, especially for beginners. It takes time to master the settings and edits of the Develop module, as there are countless ways to adjust them. It can be quickly overwhelming to understand where to start. Lightroom presets do the hard job for you! No more stress! All you have to do is to import the presets into Lightroom and apply them on your pictures, with one click. 

If you are unsure of how to import your presets into Lightroom, check out the video tutorial that comes will all our preset packs.

Great learning tool

If you are just starting with photography, Lightroom presets can really help you to understand the basics of photo editing. Once you have applied a preset to a photo, you will be able to understand which settings were used to accomplish this specific look. You will then be able to reuse the same settings on other pictures, and later, once you have learned more about Lightroom, you will be able to adjust the setting yourself to create your own look. You will also be able to create your own presets.


Lightroom presets help photographers to bring consistency to their photos. If you have a series of photos that you would like to edit with a similar look, you can apply the same preset to all the pictures. You can, of course, make slight adjustments for each photo if necessary. This will help to create your own style and maybe find your Signature Look.


Although consistency is essential in photography, so is diversity! As mentioned earlier, there are currently 76 sliders in Lightroom, and the slightest change of any of them can drastically change the look of a picture. Therefore, the possibility of looks and effects are endless. You can experiment with different presets on the same photos, and see which one is the best, or which one gives the style that you want. Don't be afraid to play around with all your presets to make your pictures stand out!


Although presets are fantastic for photographers who are just beginning to find their way around photo editing and Lightroom, bear in mind that every preset is customizable. This means that even though presets are pre-set settings, you can, of course, adjust them depending on the style you want to give to your pictures. For example, you are editing a series of photos you took of sunset at the beach. You want to provide all of your photographs a similar look. After finding the perfect preset and applying it to all the images, you notice that one of the pictures is overexposed. Well, you can easily adjust the exposure slider to achieve a perfect result. 


Although photography can quickly become an expensive passion, Lightroom presets are an affordable tool. Knowing how much time they will save you during the photo editing process, and much you will learn from them, Lightroom presets are well worth it. We often run sales and discounts in our shop, so make sure to check out our shop!

Picture edited with our Ultimate Travel Presets


How to install Lightroom Presets

Installing presets into Lightroom can seem intimidating, but it is actually really easy. Each one of our presets packs come with a video tutorial and step-by-step instructions.

Installing presets on Lightroom Mobile (Without Subscription)

1. Download and install your Adobe Lightroom app from Google Play or App Store.

2. Download the preset files on your mobile device via our website: login to our website, select "Start Here", then select "Full Bundle Mobile Installation".

3. Extract/unzip your preset files: To do so, locate on your mobile device the files you just downloaded, then click on the files and select Extract. (For older versions of your mobile/iPhone use apps such as UNZIP or RAR and extract the DNG files into your phone)

4. Add your presets to Lightroom: To do so, highlight all the files, click on Share, then click on Lightroom.

5. Install your presets into Lightroom: Open Lightroom, click on All Photos, then select the first preset. At the bottom of your screen, you will see a button panel. Scroll towards the right and click on Presets. Click on the three dots, click on Create Preset. Enter the preset name and the preset group. Select All.

6. Repeat Step 5 for all the other presets.

7. Your presets will now be ready.

Installing presets on Lightroom Mobile CC (With Subscription - Via Lightroom CC)

1. Download the preset files on your MAC/PC via our website: login to our website, select "Start Here", then select "Full Bundle Desktop Installation".

2. Open Lightroom CC on your Mac/PC.

3. Click on the Editing section, located on the top right-hand corner with three horizontal lines with a circle on each line.

4. Open the Preset section by clicking on the Presets bar on the bottom of the Editing section.

5. Click on the three dots on the top of the Preset section. Choose" Import Presets".

6. Follow the path towards your presets, select all of the files and click on the Import button.

7. Your presets will be imported in your Presets library, sorted in folders and ready to be used in both the Desktop and Mobile version of Lightroom CC.


Want to give Lightroom Presets a try? Check out our best-selling bundle!


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