Creating Adobe Lightroom Presets

Creating Adobe Lightroom Presets


Creating Presets for Adobe Lightroom need not be as hard as many people think it is. In this tutorial Christina from Christina Nichole Photogrpahy shows us how to do it.

Successful photographers have a particular style of post processing for their images. This “style” is a signature that defines their product from other photographers. However, this doesn’t mean that they spend hours upon hours figuring out how to unify every single image. What gives?

Many pros have transitioned from using PhotoShop for every single image, to “preset editing” in Lightroom and using Photoshop for select editing. In fact, Lightroom is equipped with handling “Presets” that can save you an abundance of time and energy during your editing.

With little more than a click of your mouse you can both use and create these presets.

  1. Choose an edited photo you love.
  2. Go to Lightroom’s Develop Module
  3. Check out the panel on the left hand side. At the top of the navigator you will find the Presets option. Lightroom comes with a set of presets for you to start with.
  4. Find the “+” sign. Click this.
  5. A box will pop up, directing you to checkmark all the settings you want to include in your preset. Check mark all if you are not sure what you want. You can make a new preset later if you want a variation.
  6. Name the preset [btw, it helps to name the preset by something that will help you remember what it is. For instance, use, “high contrast color” rather than, “awesome.”]
  7. Scroll down and you will find the option for “User Presets”. This is the category where you will find your newly created preset.
  8. Select another photo. Choose the preset in your user preset list and viola! Your photo is set! [Note: you may need to adjust the preset based on the photo’s original exposure, color, etc.]

Bonus: Don’t know which preset to use on your photo? Preview the way your preset looks the photo by simply moving your mouse over the preset in the upper left hand corner of the develop module. This way you can speed through your presets and select the best one for your photo.

Read more from our Post Production category

Christina N Dickson is a visionary artist and philanthropist in Portland Oregon. Her work includes wedding photography and leadership with

Some Older Comments

  • yuliang photography March 28, 2011 01:57 am

    very nice tips mate! i'm gonna save this

  • ron January 17, 2009 12:21 pm

    am a little confused, is photoshop lightroom part of the Photoshop CS4 extended?

  • Avangelist January 14, 2009 08:23 pm

    I didn't really find that a useful bit of information.

    How about 'why presets are a good thing' or how best to use them? depending on how you shot something has an affect on how a preset turns out

  • Murray Edwards January 12, 2009 06:01 am

    Helps in speeding up workflow, thanks

  • Adele Ashley January 9, 2009 11:48 pm

    Is there a way to make a preset if you edit in Photoshop and import to Lightroom?

  • Richard Quinn January 9, 2009 06:55 am

    Thank you for this tip, just today I was wondering how to get a custom preset set up.

  • Michael Warf January 9, 2009 06:11 am

    Presets have saved my workflow in Lightroom. Two of my new favourite presets I use on import is a custom Copyright info preset and the new Nikon calibration profiles in LR 2.2

  • Tanya January 9, 2009 05:20 am

    One thing I have not been able to figure out how to do in Lightroom is create presets that offer a custom adjustment based on the histogram of the image. When you purchase presets many of them have this ability. So how does that work?

  • Lesli January 9, 2009 05:13 am

    I invested in Photoshop Elements 7 --- Is Lightroom worth having as well or is there a lot of overlapping functinality - any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated

  • Wonder January 9, 2009 03:08 am

    lol, "viola"??? good tut though.

  • Brandon Oelling January 9, 2009 01:38 am

    We've published a step-by-step with screenshots as well here:

    GREAT post Christina!

    |Brandon Oelling