Every single day, I receive countless DMs asking how I edit my images, what presets/filters I use, or what apps I use. Currently, on my Instagram account, I use a custom preset in Lightroom that I created by combining two of my favorite presets. No, I don’t sell it and no, I don’t plan on ever selling it.
Using presets correctly can help take your photos to the next level – and give you a stunning and cohesive look. I am so excited to share my favorite presets for Instagram and a few tips I’ve learned about using presets in Lightroom. Hopefully this will help you make a decision about which presets to purchase and help get you started with editing beautiful photos!
Tip #1: Presets are not made for one-click editing. After I apply my preset, I still have to make major adjustments to the photo depending on the location, lighting, etc. Sometimes I only need to make a few quick adjustments and sometimes I need to make a ton. Practice makes perfect – it definitely gets easier the more you use them!
Tip #2: Presets do not give you a cohesive feed (which is a common misconception). In addition to applying my preset, I make sure to shoot in similar locations with similar coloring for every photo. For my scheme, I try to have brown/tan and green/yellow in every shot. Your color scheme will just depend on your personal style and what looks good with your preset.
Tip #3: All presets are NOT created equal. Make sure you do your research before purchasing. And once you purchase, make sure you test it out on 20+ photos before deciding to go for it on your Instagram feed. Some presets will look amazing on certain photos and hideous on other photos.
Tip #4: You can use Lightroom on your computer and on your phone. I always upload the presets on my computer and then sync to mobile so I have the option of editing them wherever it’s most convenient. Some preset brands have cheaper options for mobile only presets, but I like being able to edit them on my computer (for blogging purposes) as well.
Below, I’m sharing FIVE presets that I’ve purchased myself and use often.
The first photo in each collage is the original and the second is after preset application and tweaks.
This preset is one of my favorites for a feminine, desert vibe. It’s a collaboration between Kikhaly and Cosmic American and works best on desert-y, nature-y photos.
This preset is incredible for DSLR shots. It makes all the right colors pop. And I love that it makes iPhone photos look more professional. If you’re looking for a bright, but moody vibe – this is the one for you.
This preset is amazing for muted tones. It’s great for feeds that feature tan skin and muted clothing. This preset won’t work if you have a lot of orange and reds in your photos. It works best on desert-y scenery.
This preset is super popular on Instagram. It makes most photos seem cohesive, regardless of the color schemes which is really cool. I highly suggest turning down the oranges and yellows after applying the preset.
This preset is great for feeds with colorful photos. It gives a bold appearance and makes the colors POP! Blues and greens are stunning with this preset and I love how it looks on both indoor and outdoor photos.
Other presets I’ve seen recommended (but don’t personally use):
I hoped you found this post informative and helpful! If there’s any other questions you have, you can DM me on Instagram.