Adobe Lightroom comes with default presets. However, they do not always have what you are looking for. In this case, you can find free Lightroom presets that other photographers have already created.
In this article, I will show you 21 best free Lightroom presets for portraits to download.
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This free Lightroom preset covers your photos in a beautiful, cool, hazy look. We recommend to use it on portrait photos where the light is soft and warm, or neutral.
Be prepared for an impressive transformation of your image as soon as you click on it.
It’s not for all types of images, but when it works, it really works.
You can access the free preset by submitting your email address.
Altphotos has created a pack with 10 free Lightroom presets for portraits. These will help you enhance many of your images. Nine of them are color presets and one is White & Black.
The color presets have a variety of effects. You will be able to warm the colors of your portraits or cool them down. Or you can enhance either the browns or the blues or darken the color. It even offers a couple that give a subtle retro look.
A nice thing about this pack is that you can find preset descriptions on the website. This way, you will know beforehand which exact effect each free preset will produce.
You can download them all at once too (no need to use your email address).
This Lightroom preset belongs to the PresetLove collection. This website offers you many free presets for Lightroom. Most of them are suitable for portrait photography.
You can download them one by one but you do need to give them your email address. They will send the preset to your mailbox and you will be subscribed to their newsletter.
If you prefer, you can also download a bundle with more than 290 presets, but this one is not free.
One of my favorite presets from their big collection is Warm Retro. It gives your portraits a vintage soft look. It increases both warmth and brightness and mutes the colors slightly.
The difference with other muted presets is that Warm retro enhances the sharpness of the portrait. It is crisp and detailed.
I recommend this preset if you are looking for a charming retro look and want to keep the natural look of your images.
This free preset is also from Presetlove, but totally different from the previous one. This free preset is perfect for urban and street portraits. It enhances the cool colors by adding greens, blues, and violets to the shadows.
To balance the cool colors, it also saturates the warm tones, achieving in this way a balanced image. It also increases the clarity and sharpening, giving a pop to your photos.
The great thing about this preset is that it adds a film look to the urban backgrounds of your portraits. At the same time, the skin color remains natural.
Presetlove’s “Shadow Crusher” saturates a portrait with intense tones. This increases both the exposure and the shadows and adds a dark vignette effect. All these result in a very impressive dark and dramatic photo.
This portrait preset is perfect for urban photos, for giving a “tough and dangerous” look to your subject. It makes it excellent for competitive or extreme sports practitioners.
When you use this preset, keep in mind that it pulls the mid-tones towards the extremities (especially to the dark). And it pulls the tint of the image towards the magenta.
You want to use it on a photo with a pretty widespread histogram. Check that there aren’t too many purples and magenta colors in the photo.
The 80s and 90s were a great time for analogue photography. With the rising popularity of that era, it’s not surprising that people try to recreate it in digital ways.
If you want to give your portraits an 80s twist, should check out Presetlove’s “All Gold Everything” preset. This free Lightroom preset will bring up the warm tones in your images and give them a yellow cast. It will make them look as if they were captured on a Kodak Gold film.
If you want to take a Stranger Things Style photo, give this free Lightroom preset a try.
The lightroom preset creates a beautiful old and vintage look. But it keeps and even enhances the details and sharpness of the image. Unlike black and white monochromatic presets, the orange-brown tone of the sepia enables the viewer to see more hues in the image. Increased clarity and whites complete this effect.
Keep in mind that this free lightroom preset works better with intricate textures that it can emphasize.
Freelightroompresets is one of the best resources for free presets for Lightroom. They offer you 39 stunning Lightroom presets and most of them work great for portraits.
I like most of the 39 presets, but my favorite preset for portraits is the Luc Besson. This free portrait preset will mattify your portrait while keeping the contrast and brightness.
It lowers the saturation of all the colors, especially greens. This results in a moody effect. The skin tones remain natural and flattering.
The preset also adds a bit of grain, enough to give the portrait a nostalgic touch.
With this free preset, you can add some drama to your portraits. It is a trendy look these days and you can see it in many advertisements and celebrity images.
I don’t recommend it if you want to soften the skin if your models though. This portrait preset is doing precisely the opposite. It sharpens your image quite a lot as well as increases detail and contrast and emphasizes textures. This makes skin imperfections and shadows stand out more.
To get these free Lightroom presets for portraits, you need to join their Explorers Club and give them your email address.
The most interesting thing is that they give you access to the Freebie Library. You can find presets packs and other resources here such as ebooks.
This pack consists of 10 Lightroom presets for portraits, 5 in color and 5 Black and White. They have straightforward names, so you know which effects you will achieve.
These presets are a perfect base for editing any of your portraits. They are versatile and subtle, so they will work for almost all your portraits, giving them a natural look.
If you would like to put some glamour into your portraits, check out this free Lightroom preset collection. It’s inspired by old Hollywood movie posters. If you buy the collection, you will get 70 presets.
You can also get two of these Lightroom presets for portraits for free. You don’t even need to give them your email address or subscribe to their site.
These two presets affect portrait colors. With the Technicolor preset you can get a nice, soft, warm look. It has an orange-yellow tint in the highlights and blue in the shadows.
The Stage preset is more dramatic. It lowers the vibrance of all the colors to zero. It works well for indoor portraits with artificial lighting. Keep in mind that it also turns the blues to purples.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to give your portraits a dark and moody touch, Signatureedits.com offers this free Lightroom preset. The great thing about it is that it comes with a tutorial that explains exactly how it was created.
This is helpful if you want to adapt the preset to your own style. This preset adds a bit of contrast to your portrait while having a dark faded mood.
Another important thing in this preset is the color edit. On one side, it warms both yellows and the greens, and on the other, it desaturates them.
As the last step, it adds an orange coloring to the whole image using the calibration panel. This really contributes to the dark mood. The preset works great if you want to give your photos an autumn or winter feel.
It will also be useful if you want your photos to have a bit of a gloomy, melancholy vibe. As the author says, it might not work with all your portraits, but it will give you a nice start.
Creativetacos is a website that offers you a lot of well designed presets for Lightroom. One of my favourites is the Sunset Desert. This preset, which is also suitable for Mobile Lightroom, adds a beautiful warm glow to the image.
It is very versatile, and you can use it with a lot of portraits in different scenarios. This includes weddings, travel photos, urban photography and many more.
It’s perfect for portrait shots when the sun is low on the horizon, during the golden hours.
You will see the natural warm colors pop while keeping the skin tone natural.
This preset is quite original and different from other wedding presets. It adds brightness to the image while increasing the contrast a bit.
It also enhances the whites, making them pop. This is usually nice for wedding photography, at least if the bride is wearing a white dress.
The free Lightroom preset creates a slight matte effect, to give a bit of mood, but without exaggerating it.
The only problem I found with this preset is that it might change some colors quite a lot, for example, the blues. Think ahead if these color changes are relevant or not before applying the preset.
You don’t want to change the color of some family member’s suit or dress!
Chicpreset’s “Elegant Wedding” free Lightroom preset will help you to improve your wedding photos. It keeps a classic look that will make your photos timeless.
It brightens up your image, enhances the contrast and vibrance and sharpens the details in it. This free Lightroom preset is useful for photos taken on cloudy, grey days if you want to give them a bit of extra light.
What makes this preset especially useful for weddings is that it keeps the original colors of the image. You don’t need to worry about making changes to the clothes of the wedding guests or the flower decorations.
If you are a night portrait photographer, you are going to love this free lightroom preset by Creativetacos. It is good for nightclubs, concerts and street photography. You can also use it for your wedding photography for the party photos.
This preset enhances night lights, making them pop. It increases contrast and modifies the colors to emphasize blues and warm colors. It also recovers details from both the highlights and shadows.
If you are starting out with night photography, this free Lightroom preset might be good for you. Portrait photography editing can be frustrating at first. This free preset will give you a nice place to start.
If you want to give your images a nostalgic, vintage effect, you should check out the Grainy Matte preset. They even have a tutorial on how to create the effect by yourself.
They also offer a pretty cool preset for you to apply on your images and save your time. The main effects that you will see in your pictures are an increase in grain (noise) and a washed effect that you usually see in old photos.
As with all presets, you might need to make adjustments to fit your image and taste. But this free preset gives you a good starting point.
This preset will make the colors in your images more vibrant. It will give your images a sharp, clean look and a sense of depth.
This effect can liven up your image. This is especially true if you had to take the photo on a cloudy day or in adverse lighting conditions.
This free Lightroom preset is excellent for nature and urban portraits. You can create an impressive effect if you convert the image to black and white. And then combine the preset with a mask to have only one item in color.
You should keep in mind that this preset also decreases the luminescence of blue and aqua colors. It might not be the best choice for seaside photography.
This free Lightroom preset for portraits by Fix the photo is perfect for outdoor photos and weddings.
The free preset will give your photos warmth and clarity and create an awesome sunny effect. This preset is meant for outdoor portraits. Fix the photo advises not to use it for indoors photography to avoid an artificial-looking photo.
To download this preset, you need to provide your email address. The preset will be sent to you to download within a few minutes.
If you like Black & White photography, Fix the photo has 10 great free lightroom presets for you. This bundle covers a lot of the needs of a portrait photographer.
Both the Soft and Soft skin presets will make the skin of your subjects look softer. The second preset in the bundle even applies a skin color correction.
You will also find presets to soften your portraits, adding an elegant pinkish tone or a matte effect. Others add drama, create an HDR effect or enhance photos taken in harsh light.
You even have Lightroom presets for elegant and artistic effects, such as the Chocolate or the Old Film.
Photos with predominant colors of teal and orange are trendy these days. They are usually photos that include great landscapes.
Sometimes these photos have a person in them too. But the main focus in them is the grandeur and contrasting colors of the landscape.
In their free preset “Amber”, Fix the photo use contrasting oranges and blues with high exposure and sharpness. These help you to give more life to your portraits.
This preset means to vitalize portrait photos that appear lifeless and flat.
What Is a Lightroom Preset?
A Lightroom preset is a previously saved combination of edits. In a single click, you can apply certain effects and edits to an image, without individually adjusting each adjustment slider on Lightroom.
Are There Free Lightroom Presets?
The good news is, YES, there are plenty! You might be wondering,
How Do I Download Lightroom Presets?
Don’t worry. It is very simple. When you find a preset you like online, download it onto a folder on your computer. If the file is zipped, unzip it.
Open Adobe Lightroom and find the Presets panel under the Develop Module. Click “+”, and then click “Import Preset”. Navigate to the folder where you saved the downloaded presets and press “Import”. Once that is done, the downloaded presets will appear in the Preset panel, ready to be used!
How Do I Download Lightroom Presets for Free?
There are many sources online that offer free Lightroom presets. Search for ‘free Lightroom presets’. Then, follow the steps above to download them.
Presets are a great tool to make your editing workflow quicker. You can use them as a base for editing your portraits and adapt them to your photos and personal style.
These 21 best free Lightroom presets for portraits will suit almost any portrait scenario. For most of them, you just need your email address to get access to amazing free Lightroom presets for portraits.