Presets can be extremely helpful when working on portraits in Lightroom.
Adobe Lightroom comes with default presets. However, they do not always have the ones you need. Thankfully, you can find tons of Lightroom presets online without paying for anything.
Now let’s check out the 25 best free Lightroom presets for portraits to download!
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What Is a Lightroom Preset?
Before we dive in, let’s find out what a Lightroom preset is and what you can do with it.
You can think of Lightroom presets as filters. They change the colors and other exposure settings of your image for creative effects.
Lightroom presets create a mood that further improves your portraits. Not to mention that they give your images a coherent look.
So are there free Lightroom presets? The simple is yes, and there are tons of them out there.
So what’s the catch? A lot of photographers share them to help market their name. Meanwhile, others use them to introduce you to paid versions that are better.
Most free Lightroom presets are easily downloadable. While some require you to subscribe to the creator’s website or social media channels.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best free Lightroom presets for portraits on the web!
If you want to add subtle touches to your portraits, then this preset collection is worth a try.
This preset package creates a soft glow on the skin without changing the skin tone. At the same time, it makes the colours in the images look vibrant.
The effect it creates may be subtle, but you’ll definitely notice how it makes you feel: Light and airy.
PresetLove’s Warm Cinematic is the best option for photographers who love that moody look in some movies.
Warm Cinematic deepens the shadows and creates beautiful contrasts. It also uses a warmer colour temperature to produce a sunny atmosphere in your images.
This preset is perfect for photos with bright lighting. Using it on dimly lit images may produce dark and grainy results. Furthermore, it tends to make some pictures look muddy. But thankfully, you can easily fix all these issues with a few adjustments.
People like to use the term “professional” a lot these days to make their products seem legitimate. But more often than not, many of them fail to deliver quality results.
Thankfully, Creative Tacos really meant what they said about their 10 free professional presets. Each variation delivers quality tones and realistic effects that real professionals deserve and love.
The collection gives you a variety of choices from adding a soft look to creating realistic film effects. And each option produces vivid colors and beautiful contrasts that don’t scream “it’s a filter!”
Needless to say, this collection of free presets is definitely one of my favourites!
If the colours in your images always look dull, Creative Presets’ Ultra Pop needs to be in your preset collection.
Surprisingly, this collection of eye-candy presets now sell for $29 on Creative Presets’ website. But you can still get a free version at Pixelbuddha which we linked above.
Ultra Pop does a great job making the colors in your images vibrant. But at the same time, it doesn’t oversaturate your image to the point that everything looks radioactive.
You may have to tweak your contrast and other exposure levels every once in a while. But for the most part, Ultra Pop renders colors accurately.
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.
Prepare yourself for an impressive image transformation as soon as you click on this free preset.
It’s not for all types of photos, 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. Nine of them are color presets and one is White & Black.
The color presets have a variety of effects. You can use them to either warm the colors of your portraits or cool them down.
These free Lightroom presets also enhance the browns or the blues of your portraits. The result creates a subtle retro look.
A nice thing about this pack is that you can find descriptions on the website. This way, you will know beforehand which exact effect each preset will produce.
And the best part? You can download these Lightroom presets at once (no need to use your email address).
The website PresetLove offers many free Lightroom presets for portraits. And the Warm Retro Preset is one of its most popular collections.
You can download the free preset by itself, but you do need to give them your email address.
Once you subscribe to the newsletter, the website will send you the file to your mailbox.
Warm Retro gives your portraits a soft vintage 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’s also 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.
If you prefer, you can also download a bundle of 290 Lightroom presets from the website. The catch is that it’s not free.
In my opinion though, Warm Retro would be enough for most of your photos.
This is another one of the free lightroom presets for portraits from Presetlove. But it’s totally different from Warm Retro.
Urban Cool 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 saturates the warm tones. 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 of these adjustments result in dramatically dark photos.
The “tough and dangerous” look it creates makes it perfect for urban photos. And did we mention that it’s perfect for competitive or extreme sports photographers, too?
When you use this preset, keep in mind that it pulls the mid-tones towards the extremities (especially to the dark). Furthermore, it also creates a tint of magenta in the image.
Photos with a widespread histogram are perfect for this free lightroom preset. But you should also make sure that your photo doesn’t have too much purples and magenta.
If you want to give your portraits an 80s twist, should check out Presetlove’s “All Gold Everything” preset. This is one of the free Lightroom presets that nostalgic millenials will absolutely love.
All Gold Everything brings 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.
This is another one of those free Lightroom presets that create 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, this preset’s sepia tone enables the viewer to see more hues in the image. It completes the effect by increasing clarity and whites.
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 Lightroom presets. They offer you 39 stunning options and most of them work great for portraits.
I like most of the 39 free presets for portraits. But my favorite would have to be the Luc Besson. Its name comes from the famous French director famous for his distinct movie look.
This wonderful Lightroom preset mattifies your portrait while maintaining the contrast and brightness. It also lowers the saturation of all the colors, especially greens. At the same time, it does a good job keeping the skin tones natural and flattering.
And if you’re fond of grain, this is one of the free Lightroom presets for portraits that delivers.
Dramatic colors and lighting is a trendy look these days. And Photonify’s Portrait Preset is one of the best free Lightroom presets for portraits you can use to achieve that edgy look.
I don’t recommend it if you want to soften the skin if your models. Because this Lightroom preset is doing precisely the opposite. It sharpens your image quite a lot as well as increases detail and contrast and emphasizes textures. In other words, this makes skin imperfections and shadows stand out more.
To get these free Lightroom presets for portraits, you need to join Photographyconcentrate‘s Super Preset’s Explorers Club. That means you need to sign up and register your email. But that’s a small price you pay for what you get from the website.
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. It includes 5 color presets and 5 Black and White presets. They have straightforward names, so you know which effects you will achieve.
These free Lightroom presets for portraits are versatile and subtle. They work with a wide range of skin tones, giving them a natural look.
If you would like to put some glamour into your portraits, check out this collection of free Lightroom presets.
If you want to get the entire collection of presets for Lightroom, you’ll have to buy it. But at least you get 70 varieties inspired by old Hollywood movie posters.
But even if you don’t have the budget, you still get to try two free Lightroom presets for portraits. 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.
Signatureedits.com is one of the best sources for free Lightroom presets for portraits. The great thing about it is that it comes with a tutorial that explains exactly how it was created. The tutorial is helpful if you want to adapt the preset to your own style.
The Moody Lightroom Preset adds a bit of contrast to your portrait while having a dark faded mood. Beware that it creates a cooler look in images. On one side, it warms both yellows and the greens. But it also desaturates the pictures.
As the last step, this preset 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.
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 free Lightroom presets for portraits. One of my favourites is the Sunset Desert.
As the name suggests, this preset adds a beautiful warm glow to photos. It’s perfect for portraits shot 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.
Sunset Desert is one of the most versatile presets for Lightroom out there. You can use it in wedding photos, travel photos, urban photography, and many more. And did I tell you that it’s also suitable for Mobile Lightroom,
This preset is different from other free Lightroom presets for portraits and weddings. It adds brightness to photos while increasing the contrast a bit.
This preset also enhances the whites, making them pop. This is usually nice for wedding photos, at least if the bride is wearing a white dress.
The free Lightroom preset creates a slight matte effect. As a result. it gives portraits 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. You’ll notice it especially with 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” is one of those free Lightroom presets for portraits that improve bland wedding photos. It keeps a classic look that will make your snapshot look timeless.
Elegant Wedding brightens up your photos, enhances the contrast and vibrance, and sharpens the details. This free Lightroom preset is perfect for photos taken on cloudy and 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 photos. 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 perfect for nightclubs, concerts, and street photos. You can also use it for your wedding photography for the party photos.
This preset enhances night lights, making them pop. It increases contrast in photos 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 is one of the best presets for you. It gives you a starting point where you can experiment with the colors of your portraits and night shots.
If you want to give your photos a nostalgic, vintage effect, you should check out the Grainy Matte preset. As the name suggests, it increases the grain (noise) in your images. But it also creates a washed effect that you usually see in old photos.
As with all presets, you might need to make adjustments to fit your portrait and taste. But this little free preset gives you a good starting point.
This is one of those vibrant presets that make your photos pop. Its specialty is livening up photos taken on a cloudy day or in bad 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 free preset with a mask to have only one item in color.
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 is one of the best free Lightroom presets for portraits for outdoor photos, travel photography, weddings, etc.
As with most free presets, you’ll need to provide an email address to download it. But it’s worth it especially if you like takin sunny photos a lot.
The free preset works perfectly for outdoor portraits. It gives your photos warmth and clarity and create an awesome sunny effect.
You don’t want to use this preset though or you’ll end up with artificial-looking photos.
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.
If you want to try the orange and teal look, then the Amber preset is for you. As you can expect, it uses contrasting oranges and blues together with high exposure and sharpness. These help you to give more life to your portraits.
This preset works for portraits as well. But you may have to do a few adjustments to get the skin tones accurately.
How Do I Download Lightroom Presets?
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.
Can I Apply a Single Preset on All of my Images?
Technically you can. But some presets work better than others in certain areas. For instance, some options may be better for portraits, while others perform well with landscapes.
You may have to use a variety of presets to achieve the best possible results. If you want a coherent look, you may need to get preset bundles. That way you have better options for different types of images.
Can I use my Presets on Lightroom Mobile?
Yes! All you have to do is sync your Lightroom desktop with Lightroom Mobile. If the process went smoothly, you should see the new preset in the collection.
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 25 best free Lightroom presets for portraits will suit almost any portrait scenario. For most of them, all you need to do is offer your email address, and you get access to amazing free Lightroom presets for portraits.