In this guide, we’ll show you how to get the most out of our Lightroom presets once they’re applied to your photos.
You may already know this, but you can’t just buy one preset and hope to use it on any photo.
It just doesn’t work and you risk not getting the desired effect.
Presets are not universal filters and, the more beautiful and particular they are, the more specific the conditions in which they were made.
This means they must be used on photos that are equally specific in composition, colors and lighting conditions to achieve an effect similar to promised.
Read also: Selfie Poses – 7 (professional) Tips to Know
What are the adjustments to be made?
First of all buy the right preset pack.
The presets you find on thesellfie.com are all designed mainly for selfie, face, portrait photos that is where the main subject is a person.
Understanding how to use Lightroom presets starts with choosing the right preset.
Remember, you need to have in mind what end result you want to get from your photo.
Do you want a warm and delicate photo or a bold and saturated color?
At this point, to use the preset at its best, you need to take photos that are as close as possible to the one proposed in the preset preview.
Each preset pack you find on our site, before being put on sale is tested with many differents photos, the best results are included in the preset pack page, to give an idea of what kind of photo you needed to obtain that specific result.
This means if preset “X” was presented with a foreground photo, with a green background you will get an optimal result on such a photo.
If you apply the preset to a photo with a person in the distance and a red background it will hardly get the result shown.
Not all presets can be used on all photos.
It might also work on different images, but if you want to play it safe, somehow mimicking the light, composition, background of the sample photo from the preset is a great way to get a great result.
Remember: you must have the right photo to apply the filter to!
Here’s what to adjust once you’ve applied the preset to the photo
1. Adjust the exposure
Do you like darker, darker-toned photos?
No problem, the first thing you need to do once you’ve applied the preset to your photo is to adjust its brightness.
Everyone likes images with a different exposure and it is therefore necessary to adjust it personally.
Just open the photo in Lightroom and move the Exposure slider.
In the Lightroom desktop program, you find it by going to the Develop module and the Basic panel on the right.
In the Lightroom Mobile app it can be found by clicking on the Light button, as you can see in the screen above.
2. Adjust the White Balance
The solution is very simple, just adjust the Temperature slider to your liking to get the effect you like best.
The cursor can be found immediately above Exposure from Lightroom Desktop and in the Color section of the Lightroom Mobile app, as shown in the screen below.
If you are dealing with sunsets and the photo is a bit cold, all you have to do is move the temperature to the right.
3. Adapt the preset to your skin color
Presets are made from a single photo and for a specific condition and this also applies to the skin.
Solving this is very simple.
Go to the color panel and adjust the hue, saturation and lightness of the Orange color (and Yellow, if needed).
This acts directly on the skin color and it is possible to adapt it for any condition.
If you have dark skin and the preset was created on fair skin, you will probably not see the desired effect.
Just move the slider and try to slightly increase the brightness of the orange color and decrease the saturation to get a more natural effect.
In Lightroom Desktop you will find the color panel on the right side of the development module.
In Lightroom Mobile, you will need to click on Color in the bottom bar and then, at the top right on Mix. The panel in the screenshot below will open.
4. Change the contrast of the photo
If after the previous points you are still not satisfied with the result, here is the last step you need to do to improve the result.
You have to redefine the contrast of the photograph.
Playing with the Shadows and Blacks sliders to increase or decrease the contrast.
For example by moving the Shadows and Blacks sliders to the left to give more intensity to the dark areas of the image.
If you want to get the most out of your preset and also give your photos a personal style, don’t just apply the filter to the photo but use the tricks described in this tutorial: Adjust the exposure, Adjust the White Balance, Adapt the preset to the color of your skin, Change the contrast this way you will surely get the desired effect.