Photo editing presets are great for influencers, but you'd better create yours


Adding filters to Instagram photos is a practice that dates back to the beginning of the application. If you were one of the first users, go back to your first posts and you will probably find pictures that you have published with the elegant and faded Valencia filter. Since then, however, the default Instagram filters are losing popularity, but many popular accounts still have some visual consistency in their posts, some looking great, while others are strange for style reasons. . In fact, the filters have been replaced by presets: sets of predetermined image adjustments, created and implemented using Adobe's Lightroom photo editing software.

The Atlantic has a good overview of the latest trend of Instagram influencers that sell predefined picture settings allowing followers to give their photos the same overall look. Adobe has given the mobile version of Lightroom the ability to use custom and purchased pre-defined settings, even though photographers have been using them for years on computers.

You can use the presets of photography companies such as Mastin Labs, making them excellent presets designed to mimic the look of silver photography. VSCO uses a similar approach, but its interpretations of film appearances are less authentic and more stylized. But these companies have been around for years. Photographers also sell their own custom presets.

But now you can also buy presets from makeup companies or YouTube personalities. Or, you can simply do it yourself. Here's how

You will need access to Lightroom, which is part of Adobe's Creative Cloud. You do not need the full subscription to Creative Cloud, but the $ 10 per month Creative Cloud for Photographers package, much cheaper, which includes full versions of Photoshop and Lightroom.

You can create presets in the application or desktop version. Here is a quick guide for everyone.

Creating presets in the Lightroom CC application

Open a photo and edit it for the desired look by adjusting the contrast, brightness, and saturation. Then scroll down to the Presets tool at the bottom right of the screen. Once in this screen, click on the three dots in the upper right corner. This gives you the ability to create a preset. Once you click on it, all the settings you have made will be saved. You can then apply them to other photos.

You can choose the types of settings you want to include in the preset. So, if you want to change the color of the pictures but not the brightness or the contrast, you can do it.

Creating presets in the desktop version

The process is simple here too. Click the Presets tab at the bottom right of the screen to display the list of default presets. Open and edit an image to get the result you want, then click "Create New Preset". From there, the process is the same as creating a preset in the application.

Get the good look

It is a process of trial and error. It is therefore likely that your first preset will not look good when you try to apply it to various photos. Once you know what your look will look like, you will probably want to start taking pictures that lend themselves to that look. Therefore, if you want brighter and brighter images, you must expose your original photos so that they are adapted to that style. If you like bright and contrasty colors, look for items that will look good when you increase them. Graffiti walls look great with a lot of contrast, but most human faces do not.

Many influencers and companies team up with companies or photographers who master the various settings of the application to help them define the style, but you can do it by experimenting if you wish. Here is a simple overview of what each cursor does on a photo.

As a last tip, be careful not to have too heavy hand during editing. A saturation or a lot of "clarity" (that's a word used by Adobe to describe the "downtown contrast" that is nice in small doses, but gives a gritty look to the excesses).

Now you are ready to become rich

Once your preset is ready and you are already famous on the internet, people will buy everything you are trying to sell, especially if they think it will give you access to some of their fame. You can export your presets as files and sell them via any online store like Shopify or Squarespace. There is also a very active market for presets on Etsy, where some parameter packs can sell for hundreds of dollars, depending on the designer's look or fame.