Lightroom Presets -5 Myths Holding Back Your Photography

Five Lightroom Preset myths that are holding you back from creating your best work. Improve productivity and break free from the normal

Matt By Matt
4 Min Read

Ever heard of Lightroom presets? They’re not just tools; they’re your creative toolkit that can transform relatively standard shots into masterpieces.

It’s like having a magic box of tricks for your photography workflow.

But, let’s break it down: what are these mystical tools, and how do they redefine photography’s future?

The Essence of a Lightroom Preset

Imagine a concoction of settings, a secret sauce, that you can sprinkle over your photos with one click in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Lightroom Mobile, or Adobe Lightroom Classic.

These presets are visual recipes—powerful starting points that make tweaking everything from shadows to highlights and saturation much easier.

They work behind the scenes, adjusting Lightroom’s sliders to paint your photos with pre-defined styles. From turning night scenes into vibrant spectacles to giving street photography a gritty edge, Lightroom Presets are a must-use tool for any serious amateur or professional photographer.

Lightroom Presets can combine the following settings into a single package:

  • AI Masks
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Clarity
  • Vibrance
  • Tone Curve

Busting Myths and Setting the Record Straight

Myth 1: Using Lightroom Presets Limits Creative Expression

Who said presets stifle creativity?

They’re the sparks, not the shackles.

Presets give you a canvas, inviting you to dab, adjust, and morph them into something uniquely yours.

They’re your springboard to creative exploration, not a box that confines you.

Myth 2: Presets Are a Generic Solution That Won’t Work for Every Photo

The idea that presets can’t be tailored is like saying a chef can only cook one dish.

Presets are adaptable and extensible, ready to be twisted and turned until they fit your photo like a glove.

They’re the Swiss Army knives in your toolkit, versatile and ready for action.

Myth 3: Relying on Presets Means Skipping the Learning Curve of Manual Editing in Lightroom

Presets aren’t a backdoor to bypass learning; they’re the roadmap.


By dissecting a preset’s effects, you dive deep into the mechanics of photo editing, turning each click into a lesson in visual storytelling.

They’re your cheat sheet for becoming a Lightroom master.

Myth 4: Only Beginners Use Presets

Think presets are just for beginners?

Tell that to the pros, who wield them like master craftsmen’s tools.

Presets are the secret ingredient that keeps the pros returning for more, whether for projects on a tight deadline or ensuring brand consistency.

They can also boost your productivity, especially if you create your own presets to give your photographs a consistent look and feel across multiple projects.

I love using Lightroom Presets in my portrait photography. Over time, I’ve created a collection of presets that carry my signature look across different client projects.

Myth 5: Relying Heavily on Presets Hinders the Development of Individual Editing Skills

Using presets doesn’t mean your editing skills are on autopilot.

It means you’re smart.

Starting with a preset and adding your touch is like a chef tasting a dish and adding their flair.

It’s about blending efficiency with your signature style.

Embark on Your Creative Journey with Lightroom Presets

Lightroom isn’t just software; it’s the starting point and foundation for infinite creativity.

Combined with the power of presets, you can quickly turn the mundane into the magnificent.

Ready to see your creativity soar with my specially crafted Lightroom presets?

Check out my set of Lightroom Presets I’ve produced. Now available on my Etsy shop.


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By Matt
I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.