How To Create Custom Photo Filters: Lightroom Presets Tutorial

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I get SO many questions about my photo toning and what filters I use on Instagram. The short answer is I don’t use any apps to apply filters. My filters of choice are Lightroom presets that I’ve carefully experimented with and developed over some span of time.

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There are about seven presets that I use for my photos, depending on the exposure of the picture and the undertones/lighting. All of them have the same basis and the same filter that gets applied in Photoshop. Yes, I also have a Photoshop action that I use after the Lightroom preset.

That’s a super minor adjustment though with selective colors and an overall “softening” effect. Let me know if you want me to do another tutorial on how to create Photoshop actions, and I’d be happy to!

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Lightroom Presets Tutorial:

1. Open up the image you want to work with and use as the baseline filter.

How to Set Up Lightroom Presets for Instagram Filters
2. Click “Develop” on top to start setting the filter settings. Do what you normally do to adjust your photo settings (i.e. white balance, exposure, contrast, curves, and whatever else you might want to do).

How to Set Up Lightroom Presets for Instagram Filters
3. Click on Develop on the menu bar and click on “New Preset” to save your preset.

How to Set Up Lightroom Presets for Instagram Filters
4. Leave all the defaults as they are in the new pop-up screen. These ask you what adjustments you want to be saved in the new preset.

How to Set Up Lightroom Presets for Instagram Filters
5. Name your new “filter” and hit save. It’ll be under “User Presets” section on the left-hand side.

How to Set Up Lightroom Presets for Instagram Filters

Congrats! You can now apply that filter to any of your photos! You’ll notice that it won’t have the same effect on all the photos across the board.