How to Edit Beautiful Instagram Photos in Lightroom

How to Use Lightroom for Instagram

How to Edit Beautiful Instagram Photos in Lightroom

Instagram is one of the most important and popular places to share and interact with images!  So of course we all want our Instagram page to look its very best!

One of the best tools to help you do this is Lightroom - a fantastic software program that is easy to use for editing all images you share and promote online.   And Lightroom Presets, which are filters you can use in Lightroom, are the perfect way to speed up your editing time and help you create a beautiful and cohesive Instagram profile quickly and easily!

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Why Use Lightroom to Edit Instagram Photos?

An important part of any photographer's social media presence are beautiful photos.  Images posted on Instagram should be eye-catching in these photo saturated times we live in and post-processing is one of the best ways to help photos stand out from the crowd. 

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular post-processing software programs and provides one of the fullest package of editing tools available.  Even better, Lightroom now has a free Mobile App that allows you to edit on your mobile phone using professional quality software.

Why Use Lightroom Presets on Instagram Photos?

Lightroom presets are editing filters that are specific to Lightroom.  These simple to use, one-click editing tools will simplify your editing process and will help give your images a cohesive look that will result in a high-end, curated Instagram feed.

Keep in mind other adjustments may need to be made before or after using a Lightroom preset depending on the exposure and the lighting conditions present when you took the photo (I will cover this below).

Let's go over the 3 Steps for Editing Instagram Photos in Lightroom Mobile below:

Lightroom Instagram Edit

3 Steps To Edit Instagram Photos in Lightroom Mobile

Editing your images for Instagram using Lightroom's free Lightroom Mobile App is simple.  First, you will want to purchase and install your presets. 

Pretty Presets has three of the MOST POPULAR Lightroom Mobile Preset Collections:

  1. Dark & Moody Millennium Preset Collection
  2. Light & Airy Millennium Preset Collection
  3. Clean & Colorful Millenium Preset Collection

All 3 collections are VERY popular with instragram users and fit many current styles!

Step #1: Install Your Presets

The easiest way to download and install presets is to download and unzip them on your computer, upload them to Dropbox or Box (a cloud service you can access from your phone), and then install then to Lightroom Mobile.

Downloading and unzipping your purchased presets isn't something your phone is super good at.  There are ways of doing this and we have outlined the steps on our Mobile Preset Install page and guide

For the best results though, we recommend downloading to your computer and unzipping the files there first.  After unzipping, you should have a folder of DNG files.  These DNG files, are the ones that will work on the free Lightroom Mobile App.

Once you have the files downloaded and unzipped on your computer, upload them to your favorite cloud service that you can access from your phone.  Our personal favorite is Dropbox because of how easy it is to access and use on a mobile phone, however most cloud services should work.

Next, open the Lightroom Mobile App on your phone and follow these steps:

  1. Click on the three dots (...) in the upper-right corner of the Lightroom App.
  2. Choose the “Add Photos” option.
  3. Next, choose the location of your photos. Since we are using a cloud service choose “From Files” and navigate to where you have stored the DNG files.
  4. Select one of the photo/DNG files you just added and click the three dots (...) in the upper-right corner of the app.
  5. Choose “Create Preset.”
  6. Give the preset and name (we recommend the original one) and put it in a Preset Group named for the preset collection to keep them organized.
  7. Follow these steps for each of the DNG files.

Lightroom Instagram

Step #2: Do Some Editing Basics

Editing basics are the things that a Lightroom preset can't account for.  For example, a Lightroom preset can't account for every exposure or lighting situation.  For example:

  • Some photos may be brighter and some photos darker. 
  • Some photos may have a blue tint and other an orange tint.

A Lightroom preset can't correct these issues, but you can easily take care of this by adjusting the exposure and white balance in Lightroom.

Adjusting Exposure in the Lightroom Mobile App

To find the Exposure slider, select your photo and then tap on the Light icon below the image.

  • Drag the Exposure slider to the right to brighten your image.
  • Drag the Exposure slider to the left to darken it.

Adjusting White Balance (Color Temperature) in the Lightroom Mobile App

To adjust white balance, tap on the Color icon.  This will give you access to the Temp and Tint sliders.

The Temp slider will adjust how warm or cool your image is:

  • If the photo is too warm, drag the slider to the left. 
  • If your photo is too cool, drag the slider to the right.

The Tint slider works similarly:

  • If your image has too much red, drag the slider toward the green side (left).
  • If your image has too much green, drag the slider toward the red side (right).

The color that will increase in your image will be shown on the slider.

If you are struggling with seeing the color issues in your image (and most beginners DO struggle with this), tap the little eye dropper at the top right of the White Balance options and move the circle over a neutral white or gray area.  This should help you get the white balance closer to how it looked in real life.

Instagram for Lightroom

Step #3: Apply a Lightroom Preset

To apply a Lightroom preset, scroll your icons to the left and tap the Presets icon.  This is where you will find all the presets you have installed.  Scroll through to find the one that you like the best.  A small preview of what your image will look like with the preset added will appear next to the preset name.

Just tap the image or preset name to apply the preset.  You can tap as many as you want until you find the preset you like.  Mobile presets will generally NOT layer on top of each other.  Instead, the new preset will cancel out the adjustments made by the previously selected preset.

When you find the preset you like best, tap the "check mark" on the bottom-right of the preset panel to finalize your choice.  And just like that you have a finished photo!

If you find that you need to make some additional adjustments to the editing basics you previously made, just tap on those icons again to make changes.

how to make an instagram edit in Lightroom


The creative possibilities are endless when using Lightroom as your mobile editing tool for Instagram photos.  Using professional quality Lightroom Presets will help you create those beautiful photos that will stand out from the crowd and help get your images noticed on the image saturated platform that Instagram is.  

And don't we all want our photos to look their very best, maintain a cohesive aesthetic and help convert those Instagram visitors to followers?

Do you have any questions or comments about Editing Instagram Photos in Lightroom?  Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you.  And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

Lightroom Presets