Lightroom Presets: What are They?
A Lightroom Preset is a one-click fix for dull or dark photos. If you have a picture on your phone that lacks a little oomf, a preset can take your picture from drab to fab in an instant. If you want light and airy pictures and don’t want to spend time going through all of the editing options on your phone, a Preset is the way to go!
Here is a great example.
In the Before picture, you can see that this photo already had a lot going for it: lots of color, interest, and good composition. But the day was dark and a storm was coming in, so there’s not a lot of contrast and light in the picture.
After: notice how the colors have been heightened and the overall feel of the picture is brighter. The colors are still true to nature, but the contrast (which was definitely there in real life) has now been accurately portrayed in the lights and darks of the picture.
So how do I get these fabulous photo-editing tools?
I’m glad you asked.
There are a lot of folks selling Presets, and no wonder. It’s a digital product that makes money over and over!
So how do you choose which Preset seller to use?
I suggest going to Etsy and searching “lightroom mobile presets”.
Here’s what the front page of results looks like at the time I wrote this post:
17,000 plus results! You can’t look through all of them, so I’d suggest
- skipping the top row (which are paid ads, see the Ad notice in the corner?)
- scrolling through the first few pages and clicking on the ones that appeal visually to you the most. If you’re having trouble with dark photos, find some with mostly white or light pictures in the listing. If your struggle is drab colors, find some with colors that really pop. You will be drawn to some of these listings, so go with your gut.
What to look for in the listing:
- Since we are looking for presets for our iPhone, we want to make sure that the listing says that it is compatible with the Mobile Lightroom app.
- We also want to make sure that it works with all photo formats.
- Make sure the preset has been well-reviewed by a good number of people.
- Read the reviews!
- Make sure the price fits your budget. You shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for mobile presets.
One of the things I love about online shopping is being able to read customer feedback.
For Lightroom Presets, a lot of people will even include sample pictures of how the Preset worked for them.
You will also see in the reviews how responsive the seller was in communicating with the customer. It’s good to see that the seller helps their customers with any snags they may encounter along the way.
The seller communicated quickly with me and was really helpful; I’d definitely recommend this shop. And her prices were great!
I've found a Preset I want...Now What?
I will walk you through this entire process assuming you bought and are trying to download the file using your iPhone. I do not know how well it will translate to other mobile device users, but hopefully it will still be helpful to you.
Download and install the Lightroom App on your phone, if you don’t have it already. You do not have to pay for the app to use the preset features.
Once you’ve purchased your lightroom preset on Etsy, you will get an email notification that your digital files are ready to download.
**Here’s where I ran into trouble.**
I have the Etsy app on my iPhone, and that is where I purchased my presets. BUT you cannot download a digital file from the App (at least this is true as I write in January 2020, maybe they will change this in the future). You will need to go to Safari or Google Chrome or whatever internet browser you have on your phone and log into Etsy through the browser in order to access your digital download files.
Once you’ve logged into Etsy, tap on your picture/favicon/whatever it’s called:
Next, find “Purchases and Reviews” and tap that.
In Purchases and Reviews, find your Preset purchase. There will be a little grey arrow on the right side of your screen. Touch that to continue.
On the next screen, there will be an option to download files. Touch “download files”.