6 Steps to Create Your Own Presets in Lightroom – The Best How-To Guide

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6 Steps to Create Your Own Presets in Lightroom – The Best How-To Guide

If you’ve done any of your editing in Lightroom, then you know the power of a preset.  Presets are an incredible tool that can speed up your editing process and give your images a cohesive and uniform look.  With just one small click, you can completely change the look of your photos. Today we’ll talk about creating a preset in both the desktop version of Lightroom and the mobile version.

But First, a Word About Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is one of the top photo-editing software programs.  It is also a fantastic tool for categorizing and storing your photos and giving them the look you want.  Presets are just one of the many tools available in Lightroom that you’ll love!

Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud) is available HERE.   Prices start at $9.99 per month for Adobe Lightroom Desktop and Photoshop.  This choice is affordable and allows me to store, organize, and edit to my heart’s content.  The Lightroom mobile app is FREE, but we’ll talk more about that later.  Hang tight!

What is a Lightroom Preset

Before we begin talking about how to create a Lightroom Preset, we need to know what a Preset is, what it does, and why we would want to use one.

A Lightroom preset is a custom filter that can be applied quickly and easily to an image, giving it a whole new look.  At the click of a button, you can give a series of photos a consistent look by adjusting color balance, adjusting shadows and vibrance, making lens corrections, or changing any other settings you’d like while editing.

Why Create Your Own Lightroom Preset

You may ask, “why would I create a preset when I can just edit each image individually?”  Great question!  Here are just a few reasons:

First – creating your own presets will save you a lot of time!  Once you’ve settled into a style you love, you can edit the rest of your photos quickly at the click of a button.

Second – presets allow your photos to demonstrate your signature style.  A consistent style that’s all yours is terrific for a social media feed or if your images need to match a brand.  But why does consistency matter?  If you’re going to use a series of photos for one purpose, you will want them to all have the same feeling, and this is where a great preset comes in!  If you use your photos on social media, a preset is a perfect tool to give your feed a consistent look and feel.

Here’s another example.  I often help take photos of special events happening at my church.  When several photographers are all providing images for the media team, the team can quickly apply a preset to the images to have the same look and feel.  My church’s image is pretty edgy, and the photos they use in their media are vibrant and moody.

Third – Side hustle!  If you want to make a dime on the side, you can consider jumping into the digital marketing world and selling your presets online.  That’s a different post for another day but know that many photographers have traveled this road and made a nice little bit of cash on the side.  And extra cash to support this sometimes-expensive hobby is never a bad thing!

Creating Your Own Presets is Ridiculously Simple

Before you go supporting someone else’s side hustle by purchasing a preset pack and doing the work to import presets from someone else, let’s talk about how easy it is to create your own presets.  In today’s post, I will show you how to use just a few quick and easy steps to create your own preset and save it to use again and again.

Choosing Your Preset Style

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Before you create your own presets, you’ll want to have an idea of the look you desire.  Choose a favorite photo, play with it, and see what looks great and what feeling you get when you look at it.  Will it be light and airy?  Vibrant and colorful?  Muted and subtle?  Clear and edgy?  Whatever you choose, have fun!  Don’t be afraid to push your editing boundaries.

Once you choose the perfect look, you’re ready to create your own preset!  You will be able to use this preset on any photo you would like!

The 6-Step Guide To Create Your Own Lightroom Presets in Lightroom Classic for Desktop

Finally!  The moment has arrived.  We are ready to click a few keys and save the look you’ve worked so hard to achieve!

Step 1 – Open the Develop Module in Lightroom

When you initially open Lightroom, you’ll notice it opens by default to the Library Module.  The Library module allows you to look through your images, sort them, and see where they live on your computer.

But to begin the process of creating your new preset, you need to enter the Develop module, which allows you to edit your photos.  In the Upper Right corner of the screen, click on the DEVELOP tab.  You will now see the option to tweak the white balance, adjust the tone curve, and make changes to the overall appearance of your raw files.

screenshot of step 1 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

Step 2 – Click on the + button next to Presets

screenshot of step 2 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

Step 3 – Choose “Create Preset”

screenshot of step 3 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

Step 4 – Name Your Preset

screenshot of step 4 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

You can choose any name you’d like for your new preset.  One good idea is to name your presets with descriptive words that indicate what the preset is all about.  For example, “Vibrant and Airy.”  Another option is to create a preset name according to the scene you’re editing.  For example, “Beach Preset.”  Don’t worry – you can change this name later.

You can also choose the group where you’d like to save this preset.  If this is your first time creating your own preset, you will need to create a group (aka new folder).  If you have already purchased or downloaded any free presets, you’ll see that they are usually grouped.  Follow this example and give your own presets a name, such as “My Presets,” “People Presets,” or “Moody Presets,” etc.  Go wild!  Now is the time to be entirely creative and personal!

Step 5 – Choose the Options you would like for your preset.

screenshot of step 5 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

Go ahead and click on the checkboxes you would like included in this preset. No need to click on boxes for settings you have not changed.

Step 6 – Press Create

screenshot of step 6 for how to create your own preset in lightroom

Once you press create, you’ll immediately be able to see your very own lightroom preset on the left of the screen under the presets tab! Congratulations! You did it!

Trying It Out

Now that you can check ‘create preset’ off your list, you can put this new tool to use!  But how?  If you’ve never used a preset, now is the perfect time to see how quickly it works.  Don’t worry.  Using your new preset is easy peasy.  Look for the presets panel on the left of the screen and click on the preset you just created. 

A screenshot of Lightroom showing how to apply a preset

Using the Free Lightroom App on Your Mobile Device to Make Your Own Presets H2

The steps are very similar when using the free app to create a preset.  And it’s available for IOS or Android, so you can not only make your preset while on the run, but you can also use it and immediately share your photos!

The best part of using Lightroom Mobile is that it is free!  Yep.  Free.  You can’t beat that price!

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Step 1 – Download the app

For Apple iPhones, you will want the ios app. Search the App store for the LR app icon and click on “Get” – that’s it! The icon looks like this:

Black square with blue letters L r

For Android phones, you will want the Android app. 

Step 2 – Edit a Photo

Like the desktop computer app, you’ll want to upload a raw image into the Lightroom app and edit it to your desired look.

Step 3 – Create Your Preset

When you’ve created the look you love, follow these simple steps to save your Prest.

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner.
  1. Click on “Create Preset.”
  1. Name your Preset and assign a group.
  1. Click on the checkmark in the upper right corner of the screen.

Just like that, you’ve created your own preset for mobile use!  I can’t tell you how handy this is when you’re editing on the run and using your cell phone for most of your photos!

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How to Use the Preset

You will find it super easy to use your preset once you’ve created it.  Follow these quick and simple steps:

  1. Choose a new image to use for practice.
  2. Click on the “preset” button at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Click on YOURS to see the presets you have available.
  1. Test the Preset.

I was shocked at how easy it was to put a preset together and then to use them.  Editing on your mobile device is a game-changer, no doubt!

Wrapping it All Up

Using presets is not only for professional photographers.  Anyone who wants to enjoy using presets can quickly learn.  The first step is to give it a try!  But beware – once you’ve tried it out, you’ll be creating presets like mad and using them on all your images.  Using a simple preset is a powerful way to demonstrate professional-looking photos in a single click and a great way to show off your unique style.  If you have any questions about creating a preset or how to use them, be sure and leave a comment! 

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