How to Save Presets in Lightroom

Regardless of whether you're an amateur or professional photographer, presets can still be used for your Lightroom projects. The reason for this is because they can greatly speed up your workflow while giving you the look you're trying to achieve.

Even better, you can further customize presets and save dozens so that you're prepared for any kind of lighting situation or photo style. 

Once you find a preset you like for your Instagram grid and beyond, you need to know how to save it in Lightroom in order to use it indefinitely. Fortunately, there's a tried-and-true method that can make saving Lightroom presets a breeze.

With this in mind, read on to learn how to save a preset in Lightroom to speed up your editing process. 

What is a Preset? 

Before we talk about how to acquire and save Lightroom presents, you need to know what a preset is. Also called filters, presets are several adjustments in Lightroom that are all bundled together so that you only need to click once in order to apply them. 

Here are some of the settings they'll adjust: 

  • Exposure
  • Color temperature
  • Sharpening
  • Clarity
  • Saturation
  • Shadows
  • Highlights
  • And more

You can see how utilizing presets can give your social media posts a more uniform look. They also cut down on processing time significantly, especially if you're a professional photographer looking to increase your speed and enhance the quality of your images at the same time.

How to Use Lightroom to Make Your Own Preset

It's first helpful to learn how to make your own Lightroom presets, especially if you find yourself making the same adjustments in the Develop module for multiple photos. 

You'll first want to start with one photo and make all of the tweaks that you normally do. Once you're completely finished, navigate to the Presets panel on the left side of the screen. 

Click the plus sign, give your preset a descriptive name so that you remember what it's for, then click Create. Keep in mind that if you don't specify a specific folder, Lightroom will automatically categorize your preset under User Presets. 

How to Apply Presets to Multiple Photos

One of the main benefits of Lightroom versus Camera Raw in Photoshop is the fact that you can batch edit hundreds of photos. If you're a wedding photographer or portrait photographer, this can save you minutes to hours on your editing time.

You can right-click on any photo and Copy Settings in order to copy and paste your adjustments onto several photos you've selected. However, you can also apply your presets without having to enter the Develop module. 

To do this, import all of your photos and select them within the Library module. On the right side of the Library module, you'll find your preset under Quick Develop. Once you select your preset, you'll find that all of your photos are processed in a matter of seconds. 

Keep in mind that you can also apply multiple presets to the same photo, tweak a photo further with a preset applied, or click "undo" and edit your photo the old-fashioned way. 

How to Install Presets in Lightroom

You may download or purchase presets online instead of making them yourself. This can be if you're inspired by another photographer, have a specific look you're trying to achieve, or just want to experiment with different editing styles.

Once your preset is downloaded, open up Lightroom navigate to File, Import Profiles, and Presets. Once the import dialogue appears, select all the presets you want to import. Then click on Import on the bottom left.

The process is simple and only takes a few seconds. This means you have the opportunity of experimenting with several presets at the same time in order to find the look you want to achieve.  

How to Backup Lightroom Presets

Over time, you may find that you have a large number of presets. This is because a preset that you primarily use for interiors doesn't look as good as exterior photos. Film presets may also look great for your portraits, but don't make your products pop in the way that you want. 

It's important that you backup your presets so that in the case of a hardware or software malfunction, they won't be completely lost. You can save your presets either through the cloud, an external hard drive, or a USB stick. 

Start by opening up Preferences in Lightroom. Click on the Presets tab at the top, then click on Show All Other Lightroom Presets below that tab.

This will highlight the folder where your presets are contained. From there, use the backup method of your choice! 

How to Edit on Lightroom 

Now that you know what presets are as well as how to create and import them, it's important that you know some basic editing tips so that you can make your photos look consistently high-quality.

Here are our quick tips on how to get started editing in Lightroom regardless of whether you have a preset or not. You'll also find that these steps are typically the ones professional photographers use in order to process efficiently. 

Make Your Lens Corrections

Depending on the quality of your lens, you'll find that it may be adding vignetting to your photos or distortion when you don't want there to be any. If this is the case, click on Remove Chromatic Aberrations in the Lens Correction menu as well as Enable Profile Corrections.

This will automatically remove any purple or green color fringing around objects, vignetting, distortion, and more from the lens you're using. 

Apply Your Preset

Once your lens corrections are made, we recommend applying any presets you want at this time. This is because your basic edit may change depending on how the preset alters the photo. 

If you're not applying a preset, it's a good time to make your macro edits. Here are the basic adjustments you'll want to make: 

  • White balance
  • Exposure
  • Highlights and shadows
  • Whites and blacks
  • Contrast
  • Clarity
  • Vibrancy and saturation

We recommend using vibrancy if you're editing a portrait. This is because this setting automatically protects the color of skin tones so they don't appear too orange or red. It also picks out the most vibrant parts of an image and adjusts those alone.

Saturation will increase the intensity of every color in the image, regardless of its skin or not a particularly vibrant color in the image to begin with. 

HSL Slider

After you adjust your exposure and saturation, oftentimes this is enough for the majority of photos. However, there will be times when you want to increase or decrease the saturation or luminosity of a certain color. You may also want to change the hue so that it blends better with the rest of the image.

Detail Panel

The detail panel is the most ignored by hobbyist photographers, but it's just as important as the Basic and HSL panel. If you shot with a high ISO, this is where you can reduce the noise in your photo for a smoother-looking appearance.

You can also increase the sharpness. When you're working with RAW photos, increasing the sharpness is usually needed because the camera doesn't process the photos for you before they're imported into Lightroom. 

Adding a small amount of sharpness will help increase the clarity of details and make your photos look more "crisp." This is especially important if you want to print them later on. 

Local Adjustments

Local adjustments such as spot removal and masking should be left until you're done making your global adjustments. This is because you may find that after making your global edits, you may not need any more local adjustments. 

You'll find that in the Develop module, Lightroom has the tools ordered in such a way that makes sense for the editing process. If you ever forget what to do first, just start at the top of the Develop module and work your way down! 

How to Save a Preset in Lightroom: Creating and Importing

Saving imports in Lightroom boils down to creating your own presets or importing presets that other people have shared online. If you find yourself making the same adjustments to multiple photos, we recommend creating a User Preset so that you can shave down your editing time significantly.

On the other hand, if you don't know where to start or you're looking to experiment with different editing styles, try importing some presets. Not only is it easy to do, but you may be able to discover styles that enhance both your photography and your brand.

Ready to try out easy, one-click presets that can elevate your creations? Shop our preset bundles today and save!