Let me tell you a story. It was two years 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 (which was very inconvenient).
I didn’t know it was worth to have Photoshop and Lightroom; but once I got it, it literally changed my photo editing process.
It made my life easier, especially after I realized that Lightroom mobile was a thing.
It took me a while to understand how to use it, and if I’m honest, I’m still not an expert; but in these two years, I have learned quite a lot.
So if you want to improve your editing skills and make your Instagram Photos look better and your feed more cohesive, this Lightroom mobile guide will help you out.So if you want to improve your editing skills and make your Instagram Photos look better and your feed more cohesive, this Lightroom mobile guide will help you out. Click To Tweet
From how to import new presets, to how to create your own. It’s definitely easier than it sounds!
Lightroom Mobile Basics
One thing you need to know before start using the app: it is free! You can use it without having to pay a subscription like with other photo editing apps.
Although, some features come with the paid version, the most important ones (and the ones your are going to use the most) are free.
For example, the “Healing” feature (which lets you remove unwanted objects), it’s what they called a Premium feature, so you will have to pay for it.
The good thing is that you can do that with a different app like Snapseed or Photoshop Fix.
My Experience Using Lightroom Mobile
Now that we have that cleared out, let me tell you about my experience with Lightroom mobile.
When I opened Lightroom mobile 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.
After playing around with the app for a few hours, my photos didn’t even look close to those amazing photos others bloggers would post on Instagram.
Was I using the app wrong?
Not exactly, but I was in fact not using it at its full potential. I just didn’t know how to use each feature.
Back then there wasn’t many tutorials that would help you out with your Instagram photos. Now you can find many videos on YouTube explaining how others edit their photos.
I don’t consider myself an expert, but now I can definitely understand better how the app works.
What’s one of the best parts of editing photos with Lightroom mobile? You can edit a bunch of pictures with just one click.
The reality is, you don’t have to be an expert to make your photos look better.The reality is, you don't have to be an expert to make your photos look better. Click To Tweet
Is It Hard To Create A Lightroom Preset?
You can start from scratch or simply download a free preset with a similar look you want to achieve, and play around with it to get the perfect press for you.
Have in mind that the way a Lightroom preset look on certain photos might not look the same on yours.
There are a few factors that can influence on the final look. For example, the colors on the photos, the light, among others.
This means that, if you are wearing blue clothes and the preset is made to highlight colors like white or beige, the photo might end up looking a little different from what you were expecting.
So, you will have to play around with exposure, shadows, colors, etc. That way colors won’t look weird on the photo.
Let’s look at the following example.
The first two photos have a white background, while the other two photos have a red background.
As you can see, this preset looks better with the photos with the white background, while the red in the second picture looks kinda orangey. Which is not the final look I want to achieve.
Both photos are using the same preset, Coco. A preset that I created to make my photos look more bright and white.
You can see how the preset looks in different photos on my Instagram. I have been using that preset for a year now, and I still love it!
So, what I’m trying to explain here is that; when other strong colors appear, it can mess up with the overall look you want to achieve.
Also, natural light is EVERYTHING at the moment of taking photos. It will affect the editing as well.
As you can see, the photo below doesn’t have a white background and it has many bright colors (the car and flowers), but the preset still looks beautiful on it.
I just had to slightly adjust the exposure and highlights, but besides that, it looks very good!
How To Create Your First Lightroom Preset
Like I said, you don’t have to be an expert to create your own Lightroom preset. I agree though, it won’t be easy at first.
You will definitely need some time to figure out what you like and what all the different features do, but you will definitely get there!
To create your own Lightroom mobile preset you have two options: 1) you can start from scratch or 2) find a free preset you like and start from there.
In my opinion, if you are starting out, the easiest way is to simply download a free preset and start from there.
Why? Because you can see what the creator did to make a photo look like that.
You will see the saturation levels in the different colors, the use of shadows, if there’s some noise reduction, etc.
On the other hand, if you start from scratch, you might get overwhelmed by the different features the app has.
I know, probably the free presets you find online aren’t what you are looking for, but it’s definitely a great start to practice!
A great place to search free presets is Pinterest. Or you can go to freepresets.com.
Steps To Create Your First Preset
Once you choose a preset, it’s time to install it into Lightroom mobile!
It can be a tricky thing to do, so before downloading the preset into your phone, I suggest you to look at the tutorials below.
If you have an iPhone, follow this tutorial; and if you are using an Android, follow this one instead.
So now that the Lightroom preset is installed, follow these steps to start creating you own preset in Lightroom mobile.
1. Upload A Photo & Apply Preset
Now the fun part starts! Upload a photo and select it to edit.
I will use this photo as an example. A fun photo with pinks, whites, browns, gray and more. So as you can see, they’re a lot of colors in this picture.
Before editing this photo I know that the brown of the floor will annoy me. In general, I like my background with solid and light colors, but sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
What I want to tell you with this, is that you can play around with the tones of certain things and adjust some settings to get something you will like more.
The next step is to apply the preset. As you can see, now the photo looks more vibrant and bright.
So now that I look at it, I want to add some extra white to make it fit my feed better; and to do that, I start playing around with different settings.
2. Start Experimenting
The second step is to start playing around with the colors, shadows, etc.
From the Coco preset, I have created two more presets that I use in different occasions. So you can definitely do that as well.
The photo below will show you the different preset I created. One with more white tones, and the other one with darker tones.
I know, it’s hard to see the difference between Coco and Coco 1.1, but once you see it with the rest of your photos in your feed, it does makes a difference.
Now I will tell you what I did to get the Coco 1.1 preset.
Since I want to add more white into the photo, I know I have to play around with the saturation of the orange and yellow tones.
To edit these settings go to Color > Mix (at the top right where the circle with multiple colors show) > click each color to edit them.
Since the orange tones goes in hand with my the skin tone, I need to be careful. I don’t want to extremely change the color of it. It can make me look orange or too pale.
The photo below shows you how, by decreasing the saturation of the yellow and orange tones, help me to bring up the white tones.
The Color Mix tool is what you need to focus on more. Very important setting that will help you a lot to change the colors in your pictures and get the look you want.
In the photo below you can see how by desaturating the yellow and orange tones make a difference in the photo, and that in fact, makes it look whiter.
Another great way to learn more about how the Lightroom app works is by adding the setting yourself.
On Pinterest there are people that upload the preset setting instructions without having to download a DNG file.
Look at this pin to know what I mean. This pin tells you exactly what to do to get the look they show in the photos. Here’s another example.
You can find these free presets by searching “lightroom filter” on Pinterest.
3. Save New Preset
Now that you created your new Lightroom mobile preset, this is what you have to do to save it.
It’s super easy!
Click on the three dots you will find at the top right of your screen. Then click on Create Preset.
The a new page will open. Name your preset, then click the check mark at the top right.
That’s it! To find your new preset, simply go to Presets (at the bottom of the screen).
You don’t have to keep that photo since you already saved the preset, but if you want a backup, you can save that edited photo in the folder you previously created to save all the presets you might want to download in the future
4. See The Overall Look
Now, I also recommend uploading a bunch of photos to the Lightroom app (around 9).
That way you can see how the preset looks on different photos. That will give you a general idea of how your Instagram feed can look.
You can also use apps like PLANN, Planoly or Preview to organize your feed.
If Creating Lightroom Presets Is Not For You
I know, creating and playing with the Lightroom app might not be your thing and that’s OK!
So if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can deftly start by purchasing the presets.
A great way to find affordable presets, is by searching on Etsy. Also, some popular influencers also sell their presets (some can be very expensive though).
Just remember that the presets are made to look better on certain colors. So if you are looking a bright an airy look, but you love pinks, then the preset that it’s made to make white tones pop, might not look good for your photos.
Some people offer free trials. Which mean that you can send a few photos to know how the preset would look on your photos.
You can also purchase my preset! It’s only $3.75 and you can go to my Instagram and see how the preset looks on different situations.
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!
Sincerely,Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and it has been updated with new links and information.
Jennifer Prince says
Ok, wow. I was JUST asking a friend about buying presets, but this sounds like an amazing idea so that I can have my own unique spin. Bookmarking for later for sure!
You are very welcome! I’m glad this post was helpful for you.
This is a great Lightroom presets 101! I’ve been using Lightroom for a LONG time for photoediting and creating my own presets has always been so fun!
I agree! I just love how presets can make a photo look so different and so much better!
Everyone has been telling me to use Lightroom instead of Snapseed and I’ve never found the time to convert. Might have to try now 🙂
Snapseed is a great tool, and I use it ass well. As a complement to Lightroom. Both together are amazing!
Lyanna Soria says
Quite an informative post and thanks for sharing it with us. I’ve never heard of this before but will definitely check this out.
Ohhh if you like editing your photos, then Lightroom can help so much!
These presets are so cute and such awesome ideas! I definitely need to mess around more this!
cute & little
Yeeees! It’s so much fun to play around with the app.
Delia Atenea says
This is such a good idea! I need to study your blog post a little more so I can get the hang of it but I already have LR mobile so this is just perfect!
I’m so happy I can help!