If you’ve ever looked at someone’s Instagram feed and wondered, wow, their photos look so professional, clean, and they all look so in sync. They’re probably using Lightroom presets.
What Are Lightroom Presets?
Lightroom presets are essentially filters applied to a photo that has preprogrammed edits to the photo’s colors, tones, special effects and other enhancements. Used by photographers way before Instagram came around, it can do anything from brighten and sharpen a photo to completely changing the color scheme. Presets are often used via Lightroom or Photoshop, but since the boom of social media, other social media apps have been developed to create their own photo presets including Tezza, PinkPapaya, and VSCO.
Here is an example of using a preset:
Before deciding if your feed could benefit from a cohesive look, let’s talk about some pros and cons.
Presets can alter the original color of the photo. You may like this, but some brands don’t want the colors of their products altered.
The colors you gravitate toward aren’t always attractive to brands, and it can be hard to pick one that feels authentic and is still professional.
It can take trial and error to find one that works for your photos / lighting / style.
All presets will need some tweaking depending on the different lighting and colors in the photos, and navigating that when you’re new to editing can be a challenge.
A cohesive feed can add a professional feel and attract brands.
There are endless presets to choose from and apps like Lightroom, VSCO and Tezza offer several free presets to get you started. You favorite influencer — self plug cause you know your girl has you covered always — and Etsy have oodles of Lightroom presets to buy from.
They save you time. One click editing, even with a little tweaking, is a super easy way to keep your feed in sync without giving up too much time.
An attractive feed, that’s easy on the eyes, is more likely to get a follow from someone just discovering you for the first time.
While you can, of course, have a following from unedited photos, or just a feed full of reels, it will be admittedly harder to attract followers without some cohesion. If presets aren’t for you, matching colors within the photos are a great way to do this also, unless you snag a sweet spot on the Bachelor.
Things To Keep In Mind about Lightroom Presets
If you’ve decided Lightroom presets are the right decision for your feed here are some important things to still know:
Photo quality matters. Don’t think that by adding a preset you can get away with forgetting about good natural lighting, high quality pictures and framing your subjects. It doesn’t need to be a professional camera either. Photo cameras are bomb and you can still accomplish this. Editing goes a long way.
Not all presets work on all photos. Get a pack of similarly edited presets so the colors are in the same range but still offer different options for different lighting situations: nighttime, indoor, outdoor, dark clothes, light clothes, etc.
You’ll still want to plan out your photos. While adding a preset gives a cohesive feel, you’ll still want to think about the colors behind the preset. How will you balance blues in some photos with whites in others? What props, clothes and backgrounds are you using that match your color scheme?
In short, using a preset is great way to build a feed that attracts both followers and brand partnerships, but know that while it does take a lot of work out of editing your photos, it may take some trial and error before you find Instagram presets that you love and figure out how to make it work for your photos.
Tell me, do you use a set of Instagram presets?
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