How to Use Lightroom Presets

Do you find yourself spending hours editing your social media photos? Are you frustrated because you can't get your Instagram photos to look like your favorite influencers'?

But what if you could edit the perfect Instagram photo with a single click?

Lightroom presets are files with pre-configured settings that give your photo a specific look. When you learn how to use Lightroom presets, you can give your photo a professional look and create a cohesive social media feed that reflects your brand.

If you're ready to take your social media presence to the next level, keep reading. Our guide has everything you need to know about how to use Lightroom presets.

Why Presets Are Important

There are two huge reasons why presets are essential for your social media feed.

First of all, as an influencer or business owner, you have to focus on so many aspects of your business at the same time. So, you probably don't have time to edit the same photo for hours.

Presets save you precious time because they let you edit your photos with a single click. While you may need to make minor adjustments later, you'll still save yourself hours.

The second reason is that presets can give your social media pages a cohesive look. Imagine if you hand-edited all your photos and had one photo that was bright and colorful while another was dark and moody. 

This would give your brand a strange, mixed-up look and would confuse your followers. Instead, you want all your photos to reflect a similar theme and reflect your brand's message.

This is especially important for your Instagram feed, which needs to entice your followers at first glance.

Presets and consistent brand messaging can be the key to improving your presence on social media and getting more engagement from your followers.

Choose Your Presets

The first step in learning how to use presets in Lightroom is to figure out what types of presets you want to use. 

To figure this out, you need to build your brand on social media. 

If you're just starting your business or your social media accounts, think about the overall look you want your brand to have and what kind of impression you want to give your audience.

For example, if you're a travel blogger, you may want your Instagram feed to be bright and colorful to make each travel destination pop.

Meanwhile, if you're a fashion influencer, think about your personal style. If it's minimalist, then you might want to go with light and neutral presets. But if your style is colorful and whimsical, you'll want a preset that emphasizes color.

It's also a good idea to experiment with different presets if you're unsure what your brand is quite yet. This way, you can see what kind of look works best with your brand and what gets the most engagement from your followers.

If you're starting or are re-branding, a great option is to get a preset bundle like our Influencer Starter Pack.

This pack has different types of presets, from light and airy to cinematic, so you'll be able to figure out your style and stand out from your competition at the same time. 

Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Mobile

Before you go in and install presets to Lightroom, you need to figure out which version of Lightroom you're using.

There are three versions of Lightroom that are the most popular right now. These are Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Mobile.

Lightroom Classic is the original Lightroom software. This is also the desktop version of the program, so you'll need a Mac or PC to edit your photos. You can also apply presets to more than one photo at a time on this program.

Lightroom CC is still meant to be used mostly on desktop, but it's more streamlined and focuses on letting you save photos to the cloud.

Lightroom Mobile is the cell phone version of Lightroom CC. You can access the photos you saved to the cloud. The mobile version of Lightroom is a good choice for beginners as it's more streamlined than the original Lightroom.

If you have Lightroom CC for desktop, you can also sync your account to the mobile app. Make sure you're using the same Adobe account for both so that they can sync.

This feature is especially useful if you're uploading to Instagram on the go and don't have your laptop with you. 

Import Your Photos

Next up, you'll want to import your photos to Lightroom so you can edit them.

You can upload photos from a folder, a hard drive, a memory card or connect your camera to your computer. 

If it's your first time importing photos, decide how you want to organize them and where you want to store them. You'll want to do this before importing your photos, so you don't have to keep moving things around later. 

If you have lots of photos, make sure to tick the button labeled "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates." This will save you time later.

If you only use Lightroom Mobile, you can also take photos directly through the Lightroom app, so you don't have to import anything into the app.

How To Use Lightroom Presets: Installation

The next step in learning how to install presets in Lightroom is downloading the files once you've bought them. Depending on which version of Lightroom you have, the file type for your preset will be different. 

For Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC, the file type will be XMP. For Lightroom Mobile, the file type will be DNG.

If you get a bundle like our Four Seasons Bundle, you'll get the necessary file types for both the desktop and mobile versions of Lightroom.

XMP Files

To install Lightroom presets; first, you want to download the files to your computer. The files may already be in XMP format, or they could be in Zip format. 

Next, open Lightroom. Click the "Develop" area at the top right of the screen. A window titled "Presets" will then open on the left side.

You want to click on the "plus" icon here and select "Import Presets."

For Lightroom CC, you'll want to unzip your preset files. Then, go to File→"Import Profiles and Presets." Choose the files and select "Import."

DNG Files

For Lightroom Mobile, learning how to install Lightroom presets is a little different.

First, you'll need to send the DNG files to your device. You can do this through Airdrop or Dropbox, for example. If the files came zipped, you will need to unzip them first.

The next step in learning how to load Lightroom presets is to open the Lightroom app and select the plus sign next to "Albums." This will let you create a new album.

Open the new album, tap the three dots, and select "Add Photos." The photos should be on your camera roll. If you unzipped them, they might be in the folder for the app you used to unzip.

Select your presets and add them to the photo album. Then, tap each preset and tap the three dots again. Select "Create Preset."

Then, you can name your preset and choose which folder you want to save it in. 

Apply Your Preset

Now you're ready to learn how to load Lightroom presets so you can apply your preset to Lightroom. To apply a preset, click on the photo you want to add the preset to. 

If you're on Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC, all you need to do is open the "Presets" tab and select the preset you want to apply.

For Lightroom Mobile, open the photo you want to edit. Then, tap the "Presets" icon on the bottom menu. Apply your preset and make sure to tap on the checkmark to confirm. 

Final Steps

You're almost ready to upload your new image to social media. Once you've applied your preset, check if you need to adjust the tone curve or edit anything like exposure and highlights.

Next, make sure to crop your photo for your desired social media site. For example, many people use the 4:5 ratio for Instagram so that the image displays well on the feed. 

Finally, export your image and upload it to your next social media post!

Elevate Your Social Media Strategy With Lightroom Presets

We hope that after reading this article, you won't have to search "Lightroom install presets" any longer. 

Learning how to use Lightroom presets can save you hours of precious time so that you can focus on growing your social media presence.

And to make it easier for you to give your brand a more cohesive look and keep every photo looking professional, Flourish Presets is here to help.

No matter what type of business owner or influencer you are, our presets can help you build a business you love while making meaningful connections with your followers along the way. Check out our preset bundles today!