How to Make Your Own Presets in Lightroom | Desktop And Mobile Tutorial

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Wondering how to make presets in Lightroom this step by step guide gives all the knowledge you’ll, plus top things to consider when creating a preset


Adobe Lightroom is one of the most trusted photo editing software on the market. This cloud-based service allows you to edit, share and save your newly edited images from any device, all across the globe.

Adobe Lightroom doesn’t stop with its convenient and easy-to-use platform. This program also allows you to create and save your own presets, which are pre-saved editing preferences for you to use on desktop and mobile devices.

I love creating and using presets as they:

  • They allow me to add my own style and flair to my photos

  • They make my photos look cohesive and professional  

  • They help reduce my photo editing time, as I can create a preset for one image from a series of images taken on the same day with the same lighting conditions. Then apply this preset across all the images from that batch.

So, if you want to know how to make your own presets, keep reading. Whether you have the best camera for Instagram or just your smartphone, this Lightroom preset tutorial is for you.

These images were edited with my presets which you can buy in my shop.

What Are Lightroom Presets?

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Let’s start from the beginning. Adobe Lightroom presets are settings and preferences that you have made in the Lightroom develop tab and can save in your program that will make the photo editing process easier.

So, if you increase the exposure and contrast, warmed up the colour temperature and reduce the saturation, you can save all of these edits to another image. 

Presets in Lightroom are similar to what we commonly known as filters, but so much more diverse. In this program, presets allow you to control a multitude of settings, including fine detail, colour balance, optics, angles and effects.

Things to consider when creating your presets:

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–       Choose multiple images to test your presets on, so that you can see if your preset will work on images taken in a different environment and lighting conditions.

–       Keep the exposure and colour temperature adjustments at 0. This ensures that your preset is versatile and can be applied to a variety of images. You should aim to always try and have your image correctly exposed in-camera.

–       Skintones, always think about you or your subject’s skintones when you are creating a preset. You want to create something that will flatter someone’s skintone. So, no oompa Loompa colour grading. That’s not natural at all.

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You can buy the presets used on these images in my shop

Once you have found a set of preferences that you like, you can save these settings. Voila, you have a preset! But is it that simple? Let’s dive in.

Note that you will need a subscription to Adobe Lightroom or be using the free Adobe Lightroom CC for mobile to use presets.

Why Use Lightroom To Edit Your Photos

Adobe Lightroom is what’s known as a “non-destructive” photo editing software – unlike Adobe Photoshop.

This eliminates the annoying “save as” tab. In fact, you don’t have to worry about saving an edited image at all. All of your work gets saved onto a catalogue which you can access from any device.

Working In Lightroom

The easy-to-use interface allows for a faster and more efficient workflow. This simple piece of software blows away other systems like Adobe Photoshop and makes for a more pleasant experience for professionals and amateurs alike.

This one-stop program allows you to work on multiple projects at once. You can edit photographs, print entire books and share your projects directly with your followers. For a full workshop, visit Adobe Lightroom Tutorial.

How To Save Presets In Lightroom | Desktop

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Let’s get stuck into the exciting world of Lightroom presets. These handy settings can help you save time and will add your unique flavour to any project.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a preset in Lightroom, simply follow this step-by-step guide.

Step 1 – Make Sure That You Have A Lightroom Desktop Subscription

Desktop subscriptions can be purchased at Adobe.com and there are 3 subscription options to choose from.

Your purchase will include access to all tools on the system, and also a storage space between 20GB and 5TB.

If you are a first-time Adobe user, I’d recommend opting for a 20GB subscription with a free trial period of 7 days.

Step 2 – Upload A Photo Into Lightroom And Edit It

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Now that you have your program up and running, it’s time to start editing! Upload your image into Lightroom from the library tab.

I shoot only in RAW and highly recommend that you do the same (instead of shooting in JPEG), as with RAW your photos have way more information in them, that you can recover and manipulate to get your desired look.

Click on the import button where you can choose to either import a single image or a folder of images.

You can edit the image by adjusting sliders while in the Develop Mode that’s located at the top of the screen.

You can edit from the Lens Correction, Basic Panel (contains temperature, exposure and presence etc), Tone Curve and HSL on the right-hand side of the screen.

Step 3 – How To Save Lightroom Presets

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Once you have selected the settings that you want, it’s time to save and name these adjustments.

While in the Develop Panel, choose the icon that says “Create Preset”. This will make a new pop-up appear.

Name your preset in the “Preset Name” and select a destination folder in the bar underneath. “User Presets” is always a good default choice if you’re just starting out.

But I believe in being as descriptive as I can with naming my presets, so I remember what they do.

Is the preset warm or cool, yellow or magenta. Add these descriptive worlds to your presets name.

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Step 4 – Export Your Preset

If you so choose, you can export your preset for use on your mobile to simply make your workflow better, if you are always on the go. You can export your preset in a matter of seconds.

Simply select the preset you want from the Presets tab and right-click on it. A drop-down menu will appear, and you want to select the “show in folder” option.

Once you have the folder open, simply copy the XMP file that you need and paste it anywhere. You can even zip the file and send it to someone else for use.

If you plan on using your presets on your mobile. You can easily download them.

Go to ‘File’, export with preset, then click export to DNG.

How To Save Presets In Lightroom | Mobile

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The Adobe Lightroom mobile app is just as efficient as the desktop version. You can edit and share your images from anywhere just by the click of a button. But how do you create presets on mobile?

Step 1 – Download The App

You can visit any one of your favourite app stores and search for the Lightroom app. This app is free to download and use, and in-app purchases can be made.

Step 2 – Open And Edit Your Image

Editing an image on Lightroom Mobile is similar to the desktop version. Simply import your images and use the sliders to find the perfect balance.

The mobile version has some cool added features available.

●      A single tap on the screen will show you the image in full view

●      Two taps will refer you back to the editing options

●      Tap with two fingers to see the full specs of information available on the photo

Step 3 – How To Save A Preset In Lightroom

In the top right-hand corner, you will find an icon with three dots. If you click on that, a drop-down menu will appear.

Click on “Create Preset”. This action will prompt you to name your preset and place it in a folder.

You can access and share these presets from this folder in the app.

Create Lightroom Presets | Final Thoughts

Adobe Lightroom is taking over the photography industry, one download at a time. The simplicity and diversity of the app makes it a fan-favourite for either desktop or mobile. 

If you are keen on editing and sharing your travel photos, make sure to check out the Instagrammable streets of London for some inspiration.


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