The portrait, for rather obvious reasons, is one of the most popular formats currently practiced in photography. The portrait is the closest we can get to the people, the most intimate way of perpetuating the faces of our loved ones, and the most convenient way of snapping a quick selfie. Although it is tough to remain objective regarding the quality of such images (since they mostly feature ourselves or those dear to us), at times, it can be a rather sub-par picture. Apart from that, portrait photos can also end up being plainly dull with no ambiance, strong emotion, or feeling to convey. No worries though, as this can be easily fixed with a couple of post-production tricks and Adobe Lightroom presets – free, ready-made cosmetic attachments. Here are some of the best!
A simple and aesthetically reserved preset, Soft Look is so appealing exactly because of its refusal to be corny or obvious. Adding to your portrait photo a bit of moodiness and cinematic feel, it’s a preset that keeps it natural yet totally alluring. A soft background and equally soft focus on the central objects, it’s a quick way of acquiring a marvelous portrait photo in just a few clicks.
Have you ever wondered how to acquire that amazing vintage infused “Cannes-during-mid-60’s” look? It is not just about seating the person before the lens on a retro Vespa. Bold Film is the answer to all your questions as there’s no better way to get that immediate analog aesthetic. It is perfect for summer trips, sunglasses, smiles, and sun hats. Add a bit of Audrey during her holiday in Rome.
For a more pronounced impact, urban edginess, and attitude, a preset called Modern Films will be just what’s necessary. Relying more on the dark and cold hues of the spectrum, this preset will suit a conceptual fashion shoot set within interesting environments. Also providing a distinct, cinematic feel (think Christopher Nolan), it’s a minimalistic, clean-cut look sure to infuse a certain character wherever it’s lacking.
A real treat for all those in favour of tastefully muted photography, Elegant Fade is pretty much a self-explanatory preset as it does exactly what its name says. For all the fans of Kinfolk-esque flat lay photos, this preset is completely safe game. The vintage flair is instantly there, making even somewhat dull images exciting.
Somewhat similar to the previous preset intention-wise, Grainy Matte Effect is another way of endowing your portrait photo with a restrained, yet notable, cinematic look. Their uniting feature? Regardless of the nature of the portrait, both Elegant Fade and Grainy Matte Effect will instantly set in a romantic mood. Thus, it may work well with all kinds of accordingly themed settings- wedding, seaside, crop fields, etc. It is light and feathery!
Although next spring is still frighteningly far away, you can recall how the first warm rays of the sun felt with the preset called Spring Pastel Portraits. Again, it’s a subtle, barely noticeable preset with a big impact! What it adds is an instant radiance and warmth. It is a medicine against moodiness if you like.
And now, for a change of pace, let’s go for something entirely different. This preset, made by the photographer Matty Vogel, is a really dark tale albeit a very tasteful one at that. Although there’s a nice and concise description by the author himself in the link, you can already see where this is going with dark environments and nothing too explosive. This option is good for an atmospheric autumn photo shoot.
Our first exclusively monochromatic pick of the list Eric Kim Monochrome 1600 is a real lesson in how to do B&W in style. Creating a highly stylized look with distinctively deep blacks that’s in many ways reminiscent of the 40’s cinema aesthetic, Eric Kim pushes the art of preset creation a step further. More than a mere enhancement, here, it becomes a creative discipline on its own. For portraits, this means a truly cinematic presentation.
Although with this one you can quickly get into the territory of overdoing, it’s by no means a bad preset in itself. In fact, it might as well be the perfect fit for the snaps from your last trip to any of the Northern countries. With a particular emphasis on blue (as the name already indicates), this preset operates with the shadow areas of your photo while adding a kind of cold yet refined look. Not every portrait will work with this, but those that will are sure to provide you with astonishing results!
You have the whole amazing package right there! Made with humans as the main character in mind, these color and B&W Lightroom presets by Hank & Tank Photography are built for portraits. Providing your photos with the kind of intimacy and heartfeltness you’d expect from professional portrait photography, these will elevate your portrait snaps to new emotional heights!
So this is it for now. Amongst thousands of free Adobe Lightroom presets available on the web, there will surely be some that are perfect for your portraits. Search, combine and adjust- the world of Lightroom presets is truly beautiful in its abundance. And, don’t forget to give the results a proper platform for an exhibition! Our wall decor section is full of worthy candidates.