If you’re a Photographer looking to scale your work and get more done in less time, it will be impossible unless you leverage the power of the best Lightroom Presets.
By uploading the best presets into your Adobe Lightroom software, you’ll unlock a seemingly unlimited number of settings & combinations. With just one click of a button, you’ll be able to apply the perfect hue, contrast, shadows, and other editable aspects to a photo – something that would otherwise take hours!
Whether you want that moody vibe or you need the top Lightroom presets for portraits in particular – there will be something for you on this list, so read on!
What exactly are Lightroom Presets?
Lightroom presets are an absolute must for Photographers looking to scale their work and grow from a freelancer into a business.
They are essentially pre-configured settings that you can upload and use in Adobe Lightroom – a photo editing software.
By incorporating these presets in your work, you’re able to automate a large chunk of the editing. Specifically, you don’t have to manually configure the filters, colors, hues, shadows, contrast, and other aspects of the photo that you’d otherwise be responsible for adjusting.
Sometimes, these get referred to as “filters”. While they’re similar, they aren’t exactly the same. Technically, a filter is a type of presets – but the best presets actually unlock even more capabilities.
How do these work?
The best part about lightroom presets isn’t just how great the photos you edit with them turn out – but how efficiently you’re able to turn around projects when using them.
Once you’ve found the right presets for the job and have them uploaded to your software, it’s as simple as clicking a few buttons to select the specific preset you want.
From there, you can edit it further, fine-tuning certain aspects of the preset to get the exact look and feel you’re after.
Are the best free Lightroom Presets good enough?
A lot of people don’t want to pull out their wallets for these, and instead opt for the best free Lightroom presets instead.
However, if you’ve been around the photography industry long enough, you know that you get what you pay for. And if you don’t pay anything for your presets – you can’t expect them to really offer you much customization, or produce edited work you’re proud to attach your name to.
That’s why we don’t recommend looking for the best free Lightroom presets, and instead, seek out the absolute best presets for Lightroom possible – invest in your craft, you’re worth it!
Is it worth buying presets for Lightroom?
Do you need these?
No – not necessarily. That is, if you’re content with spending hours to do the work that could be done with the click of a button.
When you first start editing photos for clients, it may make more sense for you to work on your edits manually without presets. For one – you have nothing but time on your hands when first starting out.
But, it also helps you perfect your craft and understand the different elements at play when editing – because there are a lot!
But once you reach a certain point, you’ll need to invest in these presets to allow you to scale your business and service more clients, in less time.
When you consider the cost of hiring another human to edit the photos vs opting for preset packs instead, it’s a no-brainer.
These also have the benefit of teaching you how certain color techniques were achieved. This means you can start experimenting and creating some of your own.
What makes the best presets for Lightroom better than others?
You may be wondering what criteria we used in selecting our list of the best presets for the Lightroom. There are a few factors that go into this, but two of the most important factors are usability and customization.
Are the presets compatible with all versions of Lightroom?
For one – you have to make sure the Lightroom preset pack you’re investing in can even be applied to the specific software you’re using.
There are three different versions of Adobe Lightroom available right now:
- Lightroom Classic
- Lightroom CC
- Lightroom Mobile
Because you may use one of the desktop versions along with the mobile version from time to time, you need to be sure whatever Lightroom preset bundle you go with works with all of them.
It should also be available in all file types, any operating software (windows or mac), compatible with any type of camera. Otherwise, you’re limiting yourself.
Because these are a lifetime download, you want to be sure they’re good for whatever future camera or software you use – when you opt for the best of the best, that’s a guarantee.
Can you further customize your Lightroom Presets?
The other factor you want to look at is how customizable the Lightroom preset collection is. Ideally, you’d have free reign to edit your presets as you please.
This means you can select a preset – and then further tweak its settings needed.
Whether that’s to adjust the color a tad or add a slight shadow to a certain element – all that matters is you should still be able to edit each and every variable in play.
With cheap presets, you are going to be limiting yourself just to what the specific preset allows. This will prevent you from putting your own personal touch on the photos you edit.
With the top presets, you’ll even be able to save your adjusted settings – further automating the work you do on a daily basis.
Other factors that go into choosing a pack of Lightroom Presets
Aside from usability and customizability, you should ensure the Lightroom presets you’re after are a lifetime purchase – so you can use them across your entire career should you choose.
It’s also a good idea to make sure the presets are versatile in terms of instances you can use them – you don’t want to buy a pack of presets that you struggle to incorporate in your work. If you buy one of the presets below, you can rest assured you’ll use them on a regular basis!
Some of the very best presets will even offer regular updates – meaning they get better over time. This is the case with the first two presets we’re going to share with you. So, let’s not waste any more time!
What are the best Lightroom Presets of 2021?
We’re now ready to share our list of the best presets for Lightroom in 2021. Keep in mind that this list is not “one size fits all”, and you may not find the right one for you here – and that’s ok!
However, we feel incredibly confident that if you read through our list of the five best light presets in 2021, you’ll find the right one for you.
We’re going to start with our #1 favorite, and the one we recommend every photographer or editor has in their arsenal.
Lightroom Presets Master Collection by Bounce Color
Without a doubt, the Lightroom Presets Master Collection is the best preset pack on the market today. It’s not close, either.
Offering an astounding 30 different unique presets, you’ll unlock more possibilities than with any other pack out there. And, these are compatible with every version of Adobe lightroom – desktop or mobile.
No matter your camera, no matter your format, no matter your operating software, you can gain complete automation of your work with these presets. Here is a list of the styles included:
- 10 Tanzania Jungle Presets
- 10 Filmic Tone Presets
- 10 Summer Presets
These are as good as it gets, crafted by industry professionals with over a decade of experience in producing quality photography and videography assets.
Achieve visual perfection with this master collection, and start producing your best work to date today!
Filmic Tone Lightroom Presets
If that last option is a bit much for you, and you want to start a bit smaller – we recommend the Filmic Tone Lightroom Presets.
This offers the very same quality and usability as the master collection while allowing you to dip your toes in the water at half the price. It includes 10 of the best Lightroom presets you can use.
Just take a look at some of the photos with these presets applied by clicking the link above and checking out the product page – the mood you can convey with these is incredible.
Ocean Preset Pack by Seaker Studio
If you’re trying to convey a summer vibe with beautiful blue tones, these are your presets. The Ocean Preset Pack by Seaker Studio is a perfect fit.
These are the perfect Adobe lightroom presets for portraits, lifestyle images, and even travel photography.
Plus, these 12 presets can be used in any software – and they even come with 45 Adjustment Presets Tool Kit (20 exposure values, 5 sharpening presets, 4 grain presets, 4 vibrance adjustments, 3 saturation adjustments, 3 custom white balance presets, 2 vignetting presets, 2 noise reduction presets, 1 reset grain preset and 1 reset all preset)
This pack can be used in Classic Desktop Lightroom, CC Desktop Lightroom, and even the Lightroom Mobile App – no matter how you edit, you can gain all the benefits these presets have to offer.
Moodytones Lightroom Presets Pack
There will be times where you need to draw on a moody vibe for your work – and that’s where the Moodtytones Lightroom Preset Pack comes in.
This is one of the best presets for Lightroom out there, offering a rich, deep aesthetic look to cultivate a brooding, moody vibe.
Paint an emotional picture using these presets on your photos, and you’ll be shocked at how amazing your photos come out. This preset collection belongs in every editor’s toolbox – and we don’t say that lightly.
This preset pack – like all the options we’ve shared on this list thus far – is available as an instant download, so you can get to work immediately after checking out.
It also can be used in any Adobe Lightroom version. Mobile, Classic, CC, & ACR – you name it, you can use it!
Plus, these are fully customizable, so you can tweak any of the included prests in this pack to achieve perfection.
We all know how important the tiny, intricate details of a photo are, so don’t waste your money on a preset collection that limits you!
Men’s Lifestyle Desktop Lightroom Presets by 123 Presets
These are specifically geared towards those who try and convey the modern lifestyle. Featuring a beautiful tone that suits many fashion scenarios. You can’t go wrong with Men’s Lifestyle Desktop Lightroom Presets.
They work on both desktop and mobile, another reason they are so commonly used by the Instagram influencer crowd.
You can easily shoot a photo on your phone, upload it to Lightroom mobile, and apply the preset you want – easy as that!
While it isn’t necessarily completely free-of-charge, these Lightroom presets are worth every penny.
Final thoughts on the best Lightroom Presets packs
Now you are aware of all the best Lightroom preset pack options out there – it’s just a matter of choosing which one is right for you and your work.
One thing to keep in mind is that even the best Lightroom presets won’t help a terrible photo – make sure the raw files you are editing are well shot in proper lighting, or you’ll be putting makeup on a pig – and everyone can see through that!
However, once you get some experience matching photos with presets, you’ll find that you can produce higher quality work in less time.
This means you can take on more clients without stretching yourself too thin while charging higher prices! When you look at it this way, investing in a preset pack or two is the best decision you can make.