It’s Wednesday and a new post is coming your way! Let me tell you a story. It was not a long ago when I discovered the benefits of Lightroom in general. I would normally only edit my Instagram photos with VSCO and my blog pictures with Photoshop. I didn’t know it was worth it to have Photoshop and Lightroom, but once I got it, it literally changed everything. It made my life easier, especially after realizing that Lightroom mobile was a thing. I mean… even better!
It took me a few minutes to understand how to use it, and especially, how to import and use the presets I had in Lightroom mobile. So I’ll help you with all those steps! From creating your own presets to start using them on Lightroom mobile. It’s definitely easier than it sounds!
You Don’t Have To Be An Expert
When I opened Lightroom for the first time I thought it was going to be easy. My photos would look amazing in just a few steps. It was the magical solution. Man, I was wrong. It didn’t look close to those amazing presets you can see through Instagram and it made me feel frustrated.
The key was kept playing and experimenting with it. That time helped to understand the tools and with a few tutorials, it let me improve my editing skills. I’m still a beginner and I’m not going to start selling my presets anytime soon, but now I know how to make my photos look better. And the best part? You can edit a bunch of pictures fast!
Like this subtitle says… you don’t have to be an expert to make your photos look better. You can start from scratch or simply download any free preset with a similar look you want to achieve. This second option is what I did.
Remember that the way a Lightroom preset looks in certain photos, might not work as good as on yours. You might need to play a little with exposure, highlights or tint. Also, other factors can influence the final look. For example, the colors on the photos, the light, among others.
Just look at this comparison! The original is the one at the top and then mine is underneath. Both photos are using the same preset. Vintage Film from Photonify. You can download this free Lightroom preset here. As you can see, they have a similar look, but because the tones are different in my photo, it gives a different style.
Create Your First Lightroom Preset
Like I said, you don’t have to be an expert to create your own Lightroom preset. You can start from scratch or find one you like and start from there. Now… you might not have Lightroom for desktop and that’s fine too. I have some options for you if you don’t want to invest in Adobe Creative Cloud.
1. You can download all the free presets you want (for Lightroom desktop), then get the free trial of Lightroom and make your own Lightroom mobile presets during that trial. If I’m not mistaken, that free trial is for 7 days. It’s not a lot of time, but you can make it work. Maybe you can watch tutorials or answer some questions before getting it, so you don’t waste time.
2. You can find on google free Lightroom presets for mobile, and make everything through your phone and for free! You can buy the mobile presets too and avoid getting the desktop version. If you prefer to not spend money, then you can start with this free preset for mobile right here.
Ok, so now you have the presets (follow this tutorial to install the presets in Lightroom desktop), you are ready to start! Look at the images below showing how I play around with the preset Moody & Gritty from Photonify. Just have in mind the look you want for your Instagram photos. Maybe more pink tones or more white and bright. It’s all up to you!
PHOTO WITH PRESET
The preset was too dark for my liking so I started playing around with the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. The main change was made with the shadows, it instantly made my picture brighter. With the preset, the shadows were set on +4 and to make it look better I change it to +100. Can you see the differences?
I did minor changes to make it a little brighter (yeah, dark tones kinda make me sad so I try to avoid them) and below this picture, you can clearly see the final result. Like I said, you don’t have to be an expert to create your own presets. Playing around is very important! You can even find the perfect look by accident. That kinda happened to me too.
Import Preset In Lightroom Mobile
Now you have your preset ready is important to save it. I will skip that step here and go directly to how to import the preset in Lightroom Mobile. If you want to know how to save it on your computer, you can follow this tutorial.
To export your new preset and install it on Lightroom mobile, the first thing you have to do is save it as DNG. Just follow the steps in the picture.
File > Export with Preset > Export to DNG
Once you save the file on your computer you need to send it to your phone. You can easily do that by sending yourself an email with the file. Another option you have (that is available for Apple users) is to use Airdrop between your MacBook and iPhone. That’s the option I used.
Now you have the file on your phone, you need to do a few things before adding the preset in Lightroom mobile.
Create two different albums. One where you will upload the presets and the other one for the photos you will want to edit. Just like I did in the picture below. As you can see I have one album named ‘Presets’ where I already have four of them. And the other album is named ‘IG’ for all those photos I want to edit for my Instagram.
1. Time to upload the preset! Go to the ‘Presets’ album and upload the DNG file. This might take a few seconds, so if it doesn’t happen automatically just wait a little longer. Once the file is the album click on it. Do you see those three dots at the top of your phone? Click there too. More option will appear, click again where it says ‘Create Preset’.
2. After clicking on ‘Create Preset’ you will have to name your new preset. Click save without making any changes. Ta-da! There you have it! Your new preset is ready to use.
1. You are ready to edit your pictures! Go to the ‘IG’ album and add all the photos you want to edit. As you scroll to the right until you find the last options. You will see the feature ‘Presets’. Click there.
2. All your presets are going to display there. As you can see I already have a few presets. The one I uploaded for this post is Example Preset. Click on the one you want and that’s it!
It may look like it’s a lot of work, but once it’s everything on your phone you are ready to edit everything. Like I mentioned before, some picture will need more help so they can look like the other. So you might need to adjust brightness, temperature or others. Now have fun editing your photos on Lightroom mobile!
So what do you think? Does it look easy for you? How do you edit your photos on Instagram? Let me know in the comments!