How to Edit Indoor Portraits in Lightroom

Lightroom, along with MCP's Lightroom presets, will help you enhance any indoor portrait within a couple of minutes. See how!
Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

How to Edit Indoor Portraits in Lightroom

Now that the winter months are here, it’s difficult to take well-lit photographs outdoors. Gloomy skies and cold weather have compelled many enthusiastic photographer to experiment with indoor portrait photography instead. Beginners may find this time of year very discouraging, since unnatural light isn’t always easy to work with.

If you don’t own professional lighting equipment, you may be intimidated by the yellows, reds, and oranges that indoor light creates. Lamplight, for example, can look intense regardless of any in-camera changes. Don’t let this stop you from taking photos when you don’t have the chance to go outside; Lightroom, along with MCP’s Lightroom presets, will help you enhance any indoor portrait within a couple of minutes. These changes can then be saved as a single preset and applied to every photograph taken during the same shoot. Quick, easy, and effective!

To recreate this look, all you need is Lightroom and MCP Enlighten Presets. Let’s begin!

lightroom presets panel
1. Let’s get to know the presets first. The Enlighten preset pack consists of 4 folders: Prep, Style, Enhance, and Complete. The presets within each folder can be stacked on top of each other. Certain changes can also be reset individually without losing everything. Stackable presets like these are exceedingly handy because they guarantee a smooth editing process that will complement any image. If you’re not sure what any of this means, don’t panic! The pack comes with clear instructions that will help you install and use the presets easily.
editing in lightroom
2. I chose this image because I liked the composition, pose, and expression on the model’s face. I knew I’d be able to fix the colours later on, so I wasn’t disappointed when the results looked even more saturated than I had imagined. Keep this in mind when you take photos indoors – if you shoot in RAW, it will be easy to fix all kinds of mistakes in Lightroom. Don’t delete a photo just because its colours look strange.
inside lamplight
3. The first folder, Prep, is optional, but I’d recommend it to anyone working with indoor photographs. Prep consists of colours that will serve as helpful foundations for photos of any kind. There are presets for photos taken at noon, midnight, and so on. I used a lamp to light this photograph, so I’ll select preset 1b inside: lamplight.
desaturate the model's skin in lightroom
4. The second folder, Style, has a variety of interesting looks. I selected 1b – Calm to desaturate the model’s skin a little more and to create a smooth base for the presets I’ll be using in the next steps. Feel free to experiment with these as much as you like. If you’re unhappy with a look, simply click on 1o – reset style only.
great atmospheric options for photos
5. The Enhance folder is filled with great atmospheric options. The descriptive names – Ginger, Jasmine, Fog, Honey, and so on – will give you a good idea of what you want your image to look like. I chose 1r overlay: Lemon Zing to give my image a cozy, warm atmosphere.
6. The final folder, Complete, will give you a chance to make subtle changes within a few seconds. Here, you can control your image’s highlights, shadows, midtones, contrast, and more. This folder even has a noise reduction tool for photos that are too grainy. You don’t have to use every presets in this section – as you can see, I made a few changes that significantly enhanced certain parts of my image.
7. If there are any final changes you need to make, you can work on them now. I fixed a few highlights, shadows, and colours in this photo.
8. That’s it! If you don’t want to spend minutes editing every photograph from the same photoshoot, save these changes by either clicking on Copy underneath the Presets window or clicking on the + next to Presets. Either option will help you apply your new changes within a very short period of time.

If you’d like to try out MCP Enlighten Presets for free, download the mini pack here.
If you’d like to purchase the full set, go here.

Happy editing!

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Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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How to Edit Indoor Portraits in Lightroom