Bookstagram Tutorials: Lightroom Presets

Ever wonder how all those people on Bookstagram make those pretty pictures with the pretty filters? Most of them use an app like Lightroom….

Want to learn? Keep reading!

The next post in my Bookstagram Tutorials series will teach you exactly that!

Okay, so you read my post about creating a theme or an aesthetic via a preset, so you went and bought one online. But now what the heck do you even do with it? How do you download it? And what do you do if you want to make your own preset?

Before you buy, you need to decide if you’re going to use Adobe Lightroom for mobile or for desktop. The mobile version is free, but the desktop version requires an Adobe subscription to access. I recently purchased the desktop subscription for other purposes, but the mobile version is easy good to use! The only difficulty is transferring photos between your phone and computer if you don’t take them on your phone to begin with.

First, I’ll walk you through how to download a purchased preset from Etsy. There are lots of other places to buy presets, but I got mine from Etsy, so that’s what I’ll walk you through. The steps should be similar, do matter where you get it from though!

Steps to Downloading a Purchased Lightroom Preset

1. Pay the lady. Buy your preset from your preferred shop and checkout. You should immediately get an email with a link to download your purchase. It should be in the format of DNG files.

2. Open the email link on the device you will be using Lightroom on. If you’re using the mobile app, you need to open the link on the phone you will be using. If you didn’t get an email, you can also find the files by going to your Etsy account in your mobile browser (NOT the app) and go to your purchases and reviews tab.

3. Click to download the files.

4. It will then take you to Etsy, with a page that usually also has download instructions. Scroll to the bottom to hit the button with the file name and the little cloud with a downward arrow. Clicky that button next to .DNG files.

5. On iPhone you get a confirmation to download, say yes. 6. You will then see a little arrow in the upper right of Safari. If you click on that it will open the file in your phone.

7. If you don’t have an iPhone or Safari the file will go to your “Downloads” folders. You can also search for it with the file name. It may download a zipped file to your download folder, it will be named with the name as the preset. For example: MOBILE Cozy Holiday DNG.

8. It will probably need to be unzipped. You can click on it, some phones, double click, and it will open.

9. Save it to your phone. Make note where it is saved so you can navigate to it again from the Lightroom App.

11. Open the Lightroom App. Hit the add a photo button. Then choose “Create from Files”

12. Navigate and select your photo

13. This will open what appears to be a random photo, but is actually your .DNG file. Click on the three dots in the top right corner.

14. Select “Create Preset”

15. Name the preset and click the check mark. Now you’re ready to use your preset!

Keep in mind that most photos will need slight adjustments after applying the preset. That’s normal and completely fine!

If you end up getting Lightroom on desktop later, make sure you use the same login as on your phone so you’ll be able to transfer those presets on your mobile app to the desktop app at a later time. If you have questions on this specifically, let me know!

Now, if you’re not interested in buying a preset, let’s talk through how to make your own!

Making Your Own Lightroom Preset (Mobile)

  1. Upload your raw photo to Lightroom

  2. Using the edit options bar along the bottom of the screen, adjust the photo settings to your liking.

  3. Once you’ve gotten your photo how you like it, click on the three dots in the top right corner and select “Create Preset”. Save it under a name you will be able to recognize.

  4. You now have your own preset and you can put it on all your other photos!

This method seems so simple, but unless you have prior knowledge of photo editing, it’s actually quite complex. But you can start here and play around with it, and who knows? You might find something you really like without having to buy one!

I’ve done both, I’ve created my own preset and bought one, and I enjoy them both for different reasons.

Whichever way you decide to go, now you have the knowledge! I hope this helps you out on your photo editing journey, and if you run into issues or questions, please feel free to reach out!

Thanks for reading! Let’s connect!