Free Lightroom presets are a great way to save time on image editing, without spending any cash. So in this article, we've gathered together the best free Lightroom presets available today, for use on a wide range of pictures, from portraiture to landscape to still life.
Whether you're a beginner at image editing, or an old hand, these free Lightroom presets are a great opportunity to test the waters before committing to the best premium Lightroom presets. Alternatively, they can just be a fun way of trying things out in the best photo editing software.
So, if you're ready to cut down on your editing time, it's time to dive into these free Lightroom presets, which in total give you more than 1,000 free Lightroom presets for you to explore. They've each been handpicked to help you take your photography to the next level.
What is a Lightroom preset?
Lightroom presets are a one-click solution for your editing, instantly applying pre-set effects and adjustments to your photos. This means that you don't have to spend your precious time fiddling around with all the different Lightroom options to get the look you want. You can try out different styles for your photography without having to spend hours trying to guess which combination of contrast, saturation and exposure will achieve what you want.
The best thing about free Lightroom presets is that they're all customizable as well. This means that if you like an effect, but it's making your image slightly too dark, for example, you can simply use the Exposure slider to perfect the look.
If you want to expand your Lightroom knowledge, you might want to check out our free series of Lightroom tutorials. Haven't got Lightroom yet? You can find out how you can subscribe to it here as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
How to download and install Lightroom presets
- DOWNLOAD THE PRESETS
Presets are just processing instructions, so the files are quite small, even if they are grouped together in sets. You may need to sign up to a newsletter first before you can get the download. This will typically be a small .zip file containing the preset files and often some instructions or upgrade information.
- OPEN THE LIGHTROOM PRESETS PANEL
You will need to be in Develop mode (Lightroom Classic) or editing an image (Lightroom CC) to see the Presets panel. This has a button for importing new presets. Click this and then navigate to where you've downloaded the presets. Here you can import a whole .zip archive (see above) to import the presets as a new group, or import them individually.
- IMPORT THE PRESETS
Lightroom can import presets direct from .zip files, unless there are other files in the .zip archive too. If Lightroom says it can't import the presets (next step), try unzipping the download first and importing the presets as individual files. If you do this they will appear amongst your regular user presets, but you can organise them once they are imported.
- ORGANIZE YOUR PRESETS
You can do this from the Presets panel too. If your presets have imported individually you can create and name a new presets 'group' and move them into that.
Free Lightroom presets for portraits
1. Nicolesy's Matte Presets
If you want to give your photos a vintage, "faded with time" matte look, then check out this selection of eight free Lightroom presets by Nicole S. Young, a.k.a. Nicolesy. Each preset softens the blacks and adds a slight split toning effect.
2. Strong HDR
Want to give your portraits a dramatic transformation, in just one click? This free Lightroom preset from Shutter Pulse will enhance your photos by applying a strong HDR-like effect.
3. Somber HDR
Here’s another of the superb free Lightroom presets available to download from Shutter Pulse. Somber HDR enhances the dynamic range of your portrait shots and slightly desaturates the colors.
4. Altphotos presets
You'll be sure to find something you like in this set of 10 free Lightroom presets, including presets that dull and darken, presets that brighten and warm, presets that increase contrast and blue tones, and presets that give warm, retro finishes.
5. Deep Matte
Creating a nice, smooth matte effect in your portrait photographs needn't be too difficult with this free Lightroom preset. It leaves you with solid definition and great toning to your shots, which can add extra dimension and texture.
6. Sepia Presets
From soft HDR to clear skin and cold shadows, this enormous pack of 300 free Lightroom presets is useful for applying all kinds of options to your pictures. A handy toolkit for adding a quick burst of nostalgia.
7. Color Pop
It's a fine line between beautifully vibrant colors and a garish, unsightly mess. Color Pop help you avoid overstepping that mark. Turn down the natural saturation in your photos, this effect will give a pleasant boost to photos that might be a little lackluster straight out of camera.
This free Lightroom preset by Silky Presets offers an easy way to lighten shadows without washing out your picture with a lack of contrast. It's refined, controlled and a good effect to use on a portrait.
9. Warm Retro
Warmth can be tricky to add to your pictures. Too much and you run the risk of an orange overdose; too little makes images look washed out. This free Lightroom preset will help you hit that sweet spot between the two.
10. Cole's Classroom presets
With added haze, crispness, summer and black-and-white presets included in this pack of 15, Cole has covered all bases with a fun set of presets. Our personal pick? Big Bold Color.
11. Silver Lining
If you're looking for a black-and-white look but want to avoid high contrast, this glassy, silver lining preset might be just what you need. It takes the color out of your photos and leaves a classy monochrome finish.
12. Hollywood presets
If it's glamour you're after, these free Lightroom presets are the ones for you. With gorgeous toning in a range of styles, you'll feel like a Hollywood superstar in no time. The paid-for Pro version contains 70 presets in total, but you can grab two for free to start you off.
13. Blood Brothers
If you're looking for deep dramatic blacks, subtly purple-toned highlights and nice warm skin tones, give Blood Brothers a try. This free Lightroom preset gives you plenty of room to get creative with your colors, without going overboard.
14. BeArt presets
The BeArt collection is one of the best free Lightroom preset packs for beginners around today. It also contains some great effects that enthusiasts might want to call upon from time to time.
15. Insta Look
These free Lightroom presets provide a lovely bright and airy effect by erasing shadows, lighting highlights and brightening the image as whole. Blues are transformed into light cyans and greens are nicely desaturated in this staple Instagram look.
16. Urban Presets
If you're not really looking for HDR, but you're still seeking a clarity boosting preset, this might be the one for you. This set of 10 grungy urban presets do a great job of making the gritty pretty, and is ideal for edgy street portraiture.
This suite of 15 crisp, punchy presets is ideal for just about every kind of portraiture. From muted, matte-look tones to moody mono treatments and crunchy color boosts, it’s sure to add some pep to whatever portraits you throw at it.
18. Photoshoot Preset
This soft, faded, dreamy look of this free Lightroom preset will add a hint of vintage elegance to any image. It is particularly suited to portrait photography, though, with its muted contrast and soft colors that recall the look of the old camera lenses your parents used to shoot with.
Free Lightroom presets for landscapes
19. Landscape Vibrations Presets and Brushes by Sleeklens
This pack of 30 Lightroom presets by Sleeklens provides a great range of looks for all types of landscape photos. And that's not all: you also get 16 brushes for performing local adjustments.
Download Landscape Vibrations Presets
20. Very Dynamic
Very Dynamic from Presetpro.com includes dynamic base settings to balance extreme light and dark areas in your photo. This free Lightroom preset is a great choice for cityscape and landscape images.
Download Very Dynamic
21. Narrow Streets
Narrow Streets is one of the best free Lightroom presets for that classic street photography look. Applying a high tonal contrast to images, it was developed specifically by Viktor Elizarov for editing shots captured in urban environments.
22. Matt Kloskowski's Spotlight Presets
This pack from photographer and blogger Matt Kloskowski features a set of 12 free Lightroom presets. Each takes advantage of the Radial Filter effect in Lightroom to control the area in the photo you want to highlight.
While it has nothing to do with James Bond, it has everything to do with pale pink skies and low contrast – so these Skyfall textures can give a soft subtlety to your images. They work well with a number of genres, but are particularly suited to landscape shots.
24. High Tide
These High Tide effects look gorgeous when applied to bright, summery photos. Combine the 12 free Lightroom presets with your seaside images, sunburst shots and sandy beach photographs for a warm, fresh finish.
25. Vintage Film
In the age of Instagram filters and Polaroid-style photos, there's never been a better time for a vintage film preset that replicates the same kind of effect. This one is a particularly strong effort and adds a wonderful tonality to your images.
26. Autumn Color boost
In many ways autumn is pretty, but in other ways, it can be kind of bleak. The skies become greyer and the temperature drops. Well, you needn't worry about that side of the season anymore; this preset is perfect for keeping the yellow, red and brown tones popping in your images, while negating the dreary grey.
27. Beautiful Sunrise
When captured well, a sunrise can prove to be the most beautiful shot in your portfolio. This preset can help to boost it just that little further with added saturation, brightness and clarity to boot.
28. Light Leak presets
If you don't fancy shooting Lomography style, or risking dirt getting into your camera by shooting while freelensing, these light leak presets create a lovely splash of color and brightness in your images, and look great in a bright, summery scene.
29. Blue Haze
Want some gorgeously moody blue-toned landscape shots? You might want to give the Blue Haze preset a whirl. This dramatic preset comes as part of a set of 11 free landscape presets – and each one is impressive in its own right!
30. Winter Wonderland
The suite of 20 Winter Wonderland free Lightroom presets via ON1's website is perfect for bringing a chilly snap into sharp focus. It ups the clarity, fixes the contrast and gives a vivid feel to your final image.
31. Let's Get Lost
When it comes to toning your images with a sense of social media adventure, the Let's Get Lost preset is great for a once-over. It turns landscapes and lifestyle images into hipster-style shots and it's very versatile.
32. Dark Presets
Brightness is all well and good, but sometimes it needs toning down. That's where these 10 darker presets come in. Great for dramatic scenes, but also a necessary tool in tone control, making it a useful tool for moody landscapes.
33. Polar PX - Rough
This effect will create worn, vintage-brown casts to overlay on your pictures, without losing any color. They're great for achieving a grungy effect to exaggerate textures, and work with any photo – though it lends itself brilliantly to landscapes.
34. Helene In Between
This set of presets gives a beautiful balmy haze to your outdoor images. The blues become a little more cyan, while the yellows soften up nicely. It's great for your beach and city shots, especially with a little kiss of sun.
35. Cinematic HDR
HDR presets are some of the most popular and readily available online, but these ones are particularly good for their clarity and contrast. Apply them to your landscape photographs to get them to their best.
Free Lightroom presets for weddings and holidays
36. Warm Cinematic
Seeking a classic or vintage film aesthetic? Adding a dramatic warmth to your images, this preset from Preset Love creates tones and colors similar to pictures shot on analog cameras, Use this free Lightroom preset to imbue any scene with a unique cinematic atmosphere.
37. Rich Film
Want to give your digital images the look of traditional film? This free Lightroom preset from Shutter Pulse is one of the most entrancing we’ve seen in a long time. Give it a try!
38. Vintage Vixen
What’s old is new, and that’s certain the case with the vintage look. This portrait preset creates soft tones, a nice brown overlay and added warmth, which can help give you a classic movie star feel to your shots without any loss of quality.
39. Greater Than Gatsby
Perfect for beginners and professionals alike, this set of 12 effects is lifted from a range of Greater Than Gatsby's presets, with the slant towards soft-focus portraits, weddings and shots of kids.
40. Blood Sugar
Filled with bright, punchy oranges, intense blues and muted, cool-toned greens, this versatile preset can be used on landscapes, portraits, still life photos and more for a bold, unique and stylized look.
41. Mini Enlighten presets
The Mini Enlighten presets are great for controlling your exposure and offer great overlays for a professional finish. They make your colors pop without overcomplicating the effect and work really well with portraits in particular.
This free Lightroom preset is perfect for making subtle improvements to your image while making the most out of its natural colors. It's designed to create a soft pastel look and make your subject pop – but it leaves you plenty of room to make your own adjustments too!
43. Grain and Film
For anyone looking to add that filmic effect to their pictures, look no further than Contrastly's Grain and Film pack, via the On1 website. These 10 presets are wonderfully easy options for adding noise and texture to your images without it being overbearing.
44. No Man Before Travel presets
If you're hoping to show your friends and families all the places you've been on holiday, you need these four free Lightroom presets. Perfectly designed for getting the best out of your travel shots, they add a pretty glow to your images.
Free Lightroom presets for Instagram
45. Fujifilm Neopan
As free Lightroom presets go, this one is pretty darned specific. It will transform your color images to highly defined black-and-white ones, based on the look of Fujifilm Neopan film. They’re not 100 per cent monochrome though, but tinted with deep chocolate browns, making for a mood that’s similar to sepia, but darker and more dramatic.
46. AGF Ultra
If you're looking for a little something to give you some added clarity, to tone up your images and keep them looking bold and impactful, this strong but subtle free Lightroom preset is the one for you.
48. Intense Warm
Intense Warm does exactly what you might expect it to, but the great thing about it is that it retains a sense of subtlety that can easily get lost in a vibrant, slightly orange image. This is a great start point for a thorough, summery edit.
49. We Eat Together Food photography presets
These are not just any old presets: food always looks more appetizing with a little contrast, vibrance and clarity applied, and these five presets are good for making the scrumptious look truly mouthwatering.
While bright and colorful presets will always have their place, sometimes we all crave something a bit moodier and more dramatic. The suitably titled Moody preset ticks both of those boxes. Lifted blacks perfectly complement the heavy shadows, while the desaturated colors give you a fantastic vintage-inspired effect.
If the summer presets are a little too warm for your tastes and the colder tones aren't quite cutting it, you'll appreciate the middle ground offered by this preset. It's soft and bright, with just a touch of extra color.
52. Shotkit bundle
This bundle of 25 presets includes a handful that aim to replicate some of the most popular and well loved film emulsions, such as Agfachrome RSX II 200 and Kodak Ektacolor Pro 160. Definitely one to check out if you love old film stock. You get this as one of several freebies when you sign up to the Shotkit mailing list.
53. PHLearn sample pack
This sample pack has some beautiful effects for you to try, including selections from PHLearn's Minimal Blogger Preset Pack. With 10 sampe presets, this sample selection is worth delving into to add some creative flair to your shots.
55. Car presets bundle
Every motor enthusiast likes their car to look clean, sharp and smooth when they're out and about, and these 300 presets will help make your car look even brighter, crisper and more toned than it does in reality.
56. Summer Breeze
Not to be confused with the earlier Summer Breeze LR collection at number 52, this is another pack of presets that are also warm, hazy and perfect for beach shots. If you're looking for a color boost, both are worth downloading.
Sometimes less is more. With no significant adjustments to exposure, this preset doesn't dramatically change your image, it just subtly enhances the colors for a bigger impact on your viewer. Download and enjoy the colorful effect!
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