Scroll social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook nowadays, and there’s no denying that many people feature beautiful and professional-looking profile pictures. Whether from photographers, influencers, brands, or your average internet browser, today, it’s possible for anyone to offer a sleek profile photo that stands out.
But how do people make their photos look so bright, beautiful, and professional?
Many people turn to Adobe Lightroom presets to add some oomph to their profile pictures. Presets are similar to filters and can drastically improve the quality of an image. Once you choose a preset you love, you can develop a style that works best for you and your social media feeds.
If you’re looking to create a theme or style for your feeds, using Lightroom presets helps produce that clean and cohesive look, especially on Instagram.
But how do you use Adobe Lightroom presets to create a great profile picture? We’re here to spill all.
What Are Adobe Lightroom Presets?
First, let’s cover what Adobe light presets are in a bit more depth.
Adobe Lightroom presets are one-click photo editing tools that plug into the Lightroom app. They can speed up your editing workflow and can give your profile picture a professional look in a style of your choice.
Lightroom presets are very similar to photo filters, except you have lots of control over them. You can adjust pretty much anything you like in your photo. This includes changing the saturation or boosting the hue of specific colors in your photo.
Many Lightroom presets are bought in bundles, packs, or collections. That way, you can choose your presets from a bundle rather than being limited to one choice. There are plenty of Lightroom preset bundles to choose from with different themes to suit types of photos.
For example, you may choose an ‘adventure’ theme for an activity photo or a ‘Bali’ theme for a more relaxed and carefree image style.
Choose a File for Editing With Lightroom Presets
Before you buy Lightroom presets, you need to know what file format you’ll use for your photographs – RAW or JPEG.
If you’re using a DSLR camera, you may prefer to shoot in RAW. A RAW file protects most of the information from your camera, including the contrast and sharpness of an image. It doesn’t compress that data in the file.
A JPEG is what most cell phones shoot in. But some photographers prefer to use JPEG using their camera too. It’s a smaller file than RAW, but it doesn’t offer the same detail or quality.
So, if you’re shooting your photos in RAW, you should look for presets created explicitly for RAW photos. Likewise, if you prefer to take pictures in JPEG form, look for presets designed for mobile editing or JPEG.
If you use the wrong type of preset on a file, you may be disappointed with the results. You may have to spend extra time adjusting the colors to get your desired look. But if you choose the right type in the beginning, editing is a breeze.
Choosing to Edit With Lightroom on Desktop or Mobile App
Next, you need to decide whether to edit your new profile photo using the desktop or mobile version of Lightroom.
The desktop version of Adobe Lightroom is software used on your computer. You’ll need to pay a subscription of around $10 a month. If you’re editing RAW photos, you can only use the desktop version.
If you don’t want to pay for a subscription or you’d like to edit straight from your mobile, you can download Lightroom CC Mobile for free on iOS or Android. But, you can’t edit RAW images from the free mobile app.
Editing with Lightroom on Your Desktop
Editing with Lightroom presets on your desktop is different from editing Lightroom presets on your mobile. We’ll cover everything on how to import and sync your presets on both types of devices to how to edit them too.
How to Download and Import Lightroom Presets for Your Desktop
First, let’s cover how to download and import Lightroom presets so you can edit them on your desktop. When you buy a Lightroom preset pack, you should receive instructions on how to import them into Lightroom.
Most presets are sent to you via email to download as zip files. Once you’ve downloaded the file, you should unzip it to gain access to the .lrtemplate file attached. This is your preset.
Either double-click the file to open it with Lightroom or you can import it to Lightroom itself.
Once the file is open, it’s time to start editing your new profile picture.
Choosing Your Lightroom Preset on Desktop
From your media library, open the profile picture you want to edit. Ensure that you’re viewing and editing your files using the Develop tab. This area offers all the tools, features, and editing bars you’ll need to adjust your image.
Your Lightroom presets are in the Presets toolbar found on the left-hand side. All you need to do is select the preset you want to use for instant edits.
If you have more than one preset to choose from, you can click on each preset to have a preview of what your profile picture will look like once it is applied. Editing with presets will be productive, saving plenty of time, but it usually won’t be a one-click-and-go type of edit.
Every image is different, after all. The lighting, exposure, colors, and location of your photos are diverse, so when it comes to editing, they’ll all look different, even with the same preset applied.
To make your profile photo look the best it can be, you’ll want to fine-tune and adjust the setting on your preset.
Editing With Lightroom on Desktop
Once you’ve applied your Lightroom preset to your profile photo, you can use the editing tools in the Develop tab to experiment with all the elements in your image. This includes adjusting the temperature, shadows, exposure, contrast, and more.
One of the highlights of using Lightroom instead of other photo editing apps is the level of detail you can achieve with editing colors. For example, you can make the ocean’s color behind you in a profile photo pop to make the image more exotic.
There’s so much you can do by adjusting photos in Lightroom. Play around with the tools until you find a look of your profile picture that you love. If it’s your first time using the software, you may end up spending a while experimenting.
Once you’re happy with your new profile pic, it’s time to export it from Lightroom. Navigate to ‘File’ and select ‘Export.’ From there, you can also edit the size, name, and file type.
Editing With Lightroom on the Mobile App
Many people prefer to use the mobile app, especially if they don’t own a DSLR or use their cell to take images.
The Lightroom CC mobile is easy to use, quick, and 100 percent free. Start by downloading the app either from the App Store or Google Play, depending on whether you have iOS or Android.
Then, you’ll need to buy Adobe Lightroom mobile presets and set them up on your device.
How to Download Lightroom Presets for Mobile
Like desktop presets, mobile presets must be downloaded onto your desktop first. Once you’ve bought and downloaded your mobile presets, you’ll receive a zip folder. Inside the folder will be a .DNG file.
This .DNG file is your new mobile preset. You’ll need to send it to your mobile device using a tool like AirDrop, Dropbox, Google Drive, or email.
Once the .DNG file is downloaded onto your mobile device, it may open as a photo in your files. Other times, it won’t show a picture at all. It could also look like an unedited photo.
Whatever it displays as don’t worry. The file does have edits attached to it, and it will act as your preset once it’s running in the Lightroom app.
Next, you should import this image to your Lightroom CC mobile app. Select the bottom right-hand corner and click the Add New Photo button to browse your camera roll. Choose the profile picture you want to edit and then click ‘Add Photos.’
Don’t panic if the image looks a little strange. It may be too dark, overexposed, or generally look a bit funny. That’s normal.
The preset applied by itself and the edits used on that image may not be what your final image will look like once you’ve made your adjustments. The preset is simply your base ‘filter’ or template, and in most cases, you’ll want to change it once it’s applied.
To adjust photos on the Lightroom mobile app, you’ll copy the preset settings from the first image and will paste them onto the profile photo you want to edit.
If you have an Adobe Lightroom subscription, you can move the presets from your desktop version to your mobile device for quick editing.
Editing with Lightroom Mobile App
Once your original preset photo is installed, you can add the profile photo that you want to edit from your camera roll or another album. Once you’ve imported your images, you’ll want to source the original preset photo because you’ll be duplicating these settings.
A good idea is to create a folder in your mobile Lightroom app for each preset. That way, you can quickly source the right preset image to copy the settings across.
To duplicate the settings on your preset photo, select the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the image. Then, choose ‘copy image settings.’ Make sure everything is selected in the box that opens on screen, and click ok.
Navigate back to your all photos folder and open the profile image you want to adjust with your preset. Click on the three dots on the top right-hand corner of the screen and choose Paste Image Settings. Ta-da, now your preset is applied to your profile picture.
Just like when you edit from your desktop, you may want to adjust some settings on your photo. Use the scroll tool at the bottom of your screen to change the settings by exposure, contrast, highlights, and more.
The color button allows you to experiment with specific colors in your photo, just like you did when using the desktop app. Except for this time, it’s free.
Simply click the mix button, and you can choose specific colors and adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of each of the shades.
When you’re finished, you can tap onto the screen and hold it to see your profile photo’s before and after images. Once you’ve made all your adjustments and you’re happy with your new profile picture, click on the export button on the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Then, you can decide whether to save it to your camera roll or files.
Ready to Choose Adobe Lightroom Presets?
Congratulations, now you know how to use Adobe Lightroom presets to create a beautiful profile picture ready to use on social media outlets, your website, and any other space of your choosing. Well done!
If you still need to choose stunning and ready-to-use presets, but you’re not sure where to look, we’re here to help. Here at Hue & Hatchet, we offer a range of preset packs that will give you an Insta-worthy profile picture that will look great wherever you use it.