How to Make and Sell Lightroom Presets in 2024

Lightroom presets are an excellent product for creating passive income, and the market for presets is only growing. Just about everyone has a phone with a camera that they’re using to snap and post photos continuously.

How to Make and Sell Lightroom Presets

Social media is not just social. It is also visual. Regardless of the platform, a photo is what typically gets you to stop the scroll for a closer look.

Influencers, photographers, and bloggers depend on high-quality photos to attract the attention of new followers, customers, and readers. But, even people simply sharing photos with family and friends often want them to look effortlessly professional. Who doesn’t want to look as good as possible in their pics?

Using photo software such as Lightroom, Instagrammers use a preset to create those stunning photos you see in your feed. Presets go well beyond what an Instagram filter can do to a photo and can take a lot of time to create. So people are more than willing to pay for premade presets.

Creating and selling Lightroom presets can be a good side gig for people with a creative eye and a little technical know-how. You don’t even need a website to do it.

This guide on making and selling lightroom presets explains everything you need to know to get started.

What Are Lightroom Presets?

If you are new to presets or Lightroom, here are a few things you’ll need to know.


Photo presets are nothing more than a series of adjustment settings that you can apply to a photo in one click.

Think of it as putting a mask over the top of your image. Or, if you’re familiar with Instagram filters, a preset is a filter. A preset might adjust individual colors, color saturation, temperature, contrast, etc.

adobe lightroom

Adobe Lightroom

You can make presets in a few different photo programs, but Adobe Lightroom is the most widely used. You can use it on any device, and the latest versions are very user-friendly.

Adobe Lightroom allows you to do much of professional photographers’ basic photo editing. People unfamiliar with the photo editing process can import presets into Lightroom and become instant editors. You can also apply additional edits to presets if necessary.

Most people buying presets use Lightroom to apply them to their photos.

How Lucrative Is the Market for Selling Lightroom Presets?

With the popularity of photo platforms such as Instagram, creating and selling presets has become an excellent income source for people skilled in photo editing.

You can put the work into creating one set of presets and sell them to multiple people generating hundreds of dollars in passive revenue on one preset pack. Many people have created an excellent side hustle selling their own presets, with some making over six figures.

Who Buys Lightroom Presets?

Everyone from influencers who use presets to brand their photos to moms who want their kids’ pics to look professional are buying presets. A unique editing style is essential to them.

Even photographers who don’t have the time or know-how to do their own editing buy presets.

Bloggers rely on professional images to draw readers back to their websites and sell products. Bloggers of all types buy presets. Travel bloggers and food bloggers primarily rely on stunning photos and presets.

How to Create Lightroom Presets

Creating a preset begins with photo editing. You make all desired edits to a photo and then save these settings in a preset. This tutorial explains the basics of creating and exporting a preset but not how to edit photos.

If you are new to photo editing, a better tutorial to start with is How To Make Instagram Filters for Lightroom.

Choosing a Preset Theme or Mood

Choosing a Preset Theme or Mood

Before you begin creating a Lightroom preset, you need to decide on a mood or theme. Selling Lightroom presets around a specific theme or for a particular type of blogger or influencer is much easier to market than a random pack of presets.

The preset settings you choose should match the theme or mood, so you want to begin with one in mind.

A preset for wedding photographers isn’t likely to be dark or gloomy unless you want to achieve a specific look. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box when choosing a theme. Just match the preset settings to it.

If you’re struggling to come up with a preset theme, go online and look at photos and presets to find one that catches your eye. Then think about how you can put a different twist on that theme or create something completely different than what others are doing.

You can also create presets around a particular use or group of users. Here are just a few examples:

  • Instagram
  • Family photos
  • Boudoir photos
  • Wedding photos
  • Outdoor portraits
  • Travel photos

Selecting Photos for Creating Presets

You’ll need a photo to edit to create a Lightroom preset. You cannot simply go into Lightroom and kick out presets without first applying the settings to an image file. Keeping a few things in mind when selecting photos will save you time.

You want to test your preset on several photos to ensure it works as intended on most photos. Additionally, you’ll need before and after images that showcase your preset for marketing it.

Once you have a theme in mind, get at least 5 to 10 suitable photos that you can use for creating and testing the preset and for your before and after marketing pics.

For instance, you will likely not get good results trying to create a wedding photo preset on a picture of a fruit bowl, nor would you want to use a fruit bowl pic to market a wedding preset.

You can use your own photos or stock photos. Just make sure you use stock photos that allow for commercial use.

How to Create Presets in Lightroom

How to Create Presets in Lightroom

There are three versions of Lightroom: Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC (a cloud-based software designed for use on desktops or laptops), and Lightroom mobile (an app). The settings, menus, and buttons are in slightly different places in each version. Here are the basic steps for creating a preset in each.

Remember that this does not cover how to make presets with the actual edits saved in your preset. Also, these instructions may vary slightly depending on if you are using a Mac or Windows computer or an Apple or Android phone.

Creating a Preset with Lightroom Classic

  1. Import an image.
  2. Edit the image using the Develop Module.
  3. Create the preset by clicking Presets>Create Preset. The New Develop Preset box will open.
  4. Select all of the preset settings you want to save.
  5. Enter the Preset name.
  6. Save the preset.
  7. Test the preset on your other photos. Remember to export copies of your before and after photos.

Creating a Preset with Lightroom CC

  1. Import an image.
  2. Edit the image using the Develop Module.
  3. Create the preset by clicking the Presets button and then the Plus icon. The Create Preset box will open.
  4. Select all of the preset settings you want to save.
  5. Enter the Preset name.
  6. Save the preset.
  7. Test the preset on your other photos. Remember to export copies of your before and after photos.

Creating a Preset in Lightroom Mobile

  1. Import an image.
  2. Edit the image using the Develop Module.
  3. Create the preset by tapping the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and tapping Create Preset. The Create Preset box will open.
  4. Select all of the preset settings you want to save.
  5. Enter the Preset name.
  6. Save the preset.
  7. Test the preset on your other photos. Remember to export copies of your before and after photos.

As you create your Lightroom preset, keep in mind that you will want before and after samples of at least five photos that you can use for marketing. While you are in Lightroom, go ahead and kick these files out.

How to Export Presets

How to Export Presets

After creating a preset, you will need to export it out of Lightroom to send the file to buyers.

You will see Lightroom presets for sale in three file formats: .lrtemplate format (for Lightroom Classic), .xmp format, and .dng format. The .xmp format and .lrtemplate format are not intended for Lightroom Mobile. The .dng imports easily into Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom CC.

Some people only sell the .dng format. Others sell all three. You will have to decide if your intended market is all Lightroom users or only those using Lightroom mobile or CC.

You cannot export all three of these file formats from one version of Lightroom. For instance, you cannot export a .dng file using Lightroom Classic. However, you can get converters that will convert file formats for you if you want to sell all three.

To export from Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC (whichever desktop version you use), select: File > Export with Preset > Export to DNG (or your file format of choice). This will export the file to your computer.

To export from Lightroom Mobile, tap the Share icon > Export As. Set the file type to DNG. Then tap the checkmark. If you need to send the file to your computer or other device, you can share the file.

How to Package Presets for Sale

You can sell Lightroom presets individually or in packs. Most sellers offer a pack. Your pack will include the preset files and instructional files. Here are the steps to package your presets for sale.

Creating an ‘Import Instructions’ Document

Some buyers will need instructions on how to import their new presets into Lightroom. You’ll want to include instructions as part of your preset package.

You can create instructions in whatever program you’d like, but it is best to deliver the file to customers as a pdf.

If you do not feel confident that you can write clear instructions or don’t want to write instructions for each version of Lightroom, you can simply create a list of links to sites that provide good instruction.

Zipping Preset Files

Whether you sell individual Lightroom presets or packs, you will have to zip the files to deliver them to buyers. The file sizes are too large to deliver unzipped.

Also, you do not want buyers to have to download multiple files if they are purchasing a pack. Even when selling individual presets, you want to include import instructions and other information to buyers. Zip every file your customer is getting into one zip file.

How to zip files is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Every device is different. However, you can find instructions on how to zip files on most every type of device in this Business Insider article.

You can include ‘unzip’ instructions in the email the customer receives upon purchase.

How to Sell Lightroom Presets

How to Sell Lightroom Presets

Now that you know how to create and package presets, let’s get into where and how to sell them.

Where to Sell Lightroom Presets

When you first begin to sell Lightroom mobile presets, you probably want to start with one of the online marketplaces, such as Etsy or Sellfy. This will save you the time and cost of building your own website or store. While the online marketplace will get a cut of your sales, it is the easiest way to get up and running.

Once you build up a regular customer base, it will make sense to build your own site or use a platform like Shopify.

Here are some online marketplaces to consider for selling Lightroom presets:


Creative Market

Adobe Exchange


How to Price Lightroom Presets

There is no standard pricing for Lightroom mobile presets. Some of it depends on the platform you’re selling on and what other sellers are charging.

On Etsy, you can find preset packs of 10 for as little as $1.88 or packs of 500 for $50. Many Sellfy creators offer packs of 12-15 presets for $25. Most preset packs are worth $15 to $50.

When deciding on your own pricing, don’t sell yourself short. And don’t forget how much time your presets are saving people. You probably put in a lot of time creating your presets. They should pay you for the time you spent and the time you’re saving them.

Make sure you also factor in any of your business costs when determining sale price. Whether your Lightroom subscription or the seller fees on Etsy, you’ll want to cover those costs with your profits.

Marketing Lightroom Presets

Marketing Lightroom Presets

You can create the most stunning presets seen on Instagram, but you likely won’t make much money without some practical marketing efforts. These tips can help you market and sell your lightroom presets, so you see some profits.

Show Them and Tell Them

You need before and after photos that show off your Lightroom presets and a good description of the preset theme. Look at other people’s preset postings on Etsy and Sellfy to get an idea of what makes up a good sales presentation. Remember your before and after photos should match your preset theme.

Think Seasonally

Seasonal preset packs tend to sell very well. Get ahead of the seasons when marketing your own presets. You want yours up and ready for sale before the season. For example, during the summer, you should be thinking ahead and creating presets to market for fall, Christmas, etc.

Be Social

The most effective way to market your presets is through social media. After all, that is where most of your customers will be using your presets.

Invite customers to post their photos on which they have used your presets with a specific hashtag, such as your store name. The hashtag is the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing.

Don’t be shy about asking friends and family to brag about your presets to their social media friends and followers.

Reach out to other preset creators and offer to introduce them to your buyers if they will do the same. This can be especially beneficial if the other seller’s presets are of a different theme than yours or targeted to a different group.


Learn how to advertise on social media platforms. You might find paid ads on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can drive a lot of customers your way for a few dollars and really help you sell your Lightroom presets.

Get Started Making and Selling Your Own Lightroom Presets

Get Started Making and Selling Your Own Lightroom Presets

You don’t have to be a fantastic photographer to create amazing photos, thanks to photo filters and presets.

However, to successfully create presets people will buy, you need a good eye for stunning photography and the technical know-how to recreate it using software such as Adobe Lightroom.

Present your presets in an impressive sales package, and you can make an excellent extra income selling presets.

The great thing about selling your own presets is that you create them once and sell them over and over, just like any digital product. Lightroom presets are an excellent product for creating passive income, and the market for presets is only growing.

Just about everyone has a phone with a camera that they’re using to snap and post photos continuously. And they want those photos to impress. They just might think your Lightroom presets can help them do just that and will pay a pretty penny for pretty photos.

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