4 Best Lightroom Presets for Dark Skin

4 Best Lightroom Presets for Dark Skin

Finding the right presets for dark or tan skin can be a challenge. Some of them look too orange, others do not pop enough, some look overdone. 

This is exactly why I created a list of lightroom presets that look great on darker skin. Bright & Airy, Minimal, Clean and Husky presets focus on natural-looking, smooth and luminant photos. All of these presets have their own unique style. From few colors to dark and moody look. 

I have also included a bonus tip at the very end of the article which helps you enjoy your photos even more. In photography, every detail matters in order to capture the moment and create a magical feeling around it. 

Great dark and tan skin presets have:

  • Less vibrant orange tones 
  • Increased luminance 
  • Multiple options for different shooting conditions
  • High contrast & carefully chosen colors that look the best next to dark skin

So now that you know what we are looking for in the best presets, let me present 4 lightroom presets that are praised by our clients.

1) Bright and Airy Lightroom Presets

The transformation from normal everyday photos...

African american woman portrait

...to stunningly vibrant portrait. 

Stunning African american woman portrait

Bright and airy presets focus on: 

  • Dark deep greens 
  • Magazine like skin tones 
  • High contrast 
  • Increased sharpness and clarity
  • Makes the colors POP

These presets will be best for those who love a more colorful feed but want to avoid orange skin tones. 

2) Minimal Lightroom Presets

From beautiful but dull tones photo...

 Stylish African American couple

 ...to photography that deserves the title - art piece. 

happy African american couple

Minimal presets focus on:

  • Reduced number of colors for a more stylish look
  • Desaturated greens 
  • Increased sharpness and clarity
  • High contrast white & black colors 
  • Reduced highlights for a realistic look

These presets will be perfect for those who love fewer colors and express their photography mood through high contrast photos.

3) Clean Lightroom Presets

From orange bright tones...

two women taking selfie in city

...to silky smooth skin and moody look.

Two African american women taking selfie

Clean presets focus on:

  • Reduced orange tones
  • Stylish deep color tones 
  • Dark and moody colors 
  • Lower exposure & faded look

These presets will be loved by those who want to stand out with a darker and moodier Instagram feed.

4)  Husky Lightroom Presets

From a good photo...

Happy mother and son

...to a unique style & vibe. 

Happy son and mommy

Husky presets focus on: 

  • Only a few colors that create a fashionable look
  • Ideal for street photography because of increasing the focus on the main people and removing attention from the surroundings
  • Desaturated & faded look
  • Warm, dark and moody photography

These presets will be ideal for people, who love the desaturated look but want to keep the warm tones in their photography.

BONUS TIP: How to make your dark lightroom presets look even better? 

Try to shoot your photos with RAW mode. Even if you are taking photos with your phone, check the settings because most new smartphones allow you to shoot in RAW mode, which allows the presets to create even more magical photos. 

Do not worry about the orange tint. Honestly, this is one of the easiest things to fix. In case you notice orange tones in your photo, all you have to do is to reduce the saturation of orange color just a little bit. If that doesn't help, increase the luminance. This way for sure you will end up with a satisfying result. 

Choose clothing that suits your skin tone. High contrast clothes to your skin tone create an eye-catching image. For example, a white shirt on an African American woman will draw attention to her eyes and hair. 

Do not overdo it. If you do decide to tweak your photos after applying the presets, make sure that the changes are minimal. You do not want to end up with colorless skin tones or, on the contrary, too bright and unrealistic images. 

Keep your Instagram feed consistent. When choosing the presets style you like, there's no right or wrong. Whether you like dark and moody magazine look or bright and colorful images that stand out - that is your own personal style and voice. What helps to tell your story through Instagram is finding one style and sticking to it. That being said, that doesn't mean that you should just use one preset set for your whole feed (unless you want to). But you do need to look for presets that fit your personality. 


  • Vaida

    Thank you, Lynn! I am very happy you found it helpful. Tomas is planning to create more presets specifically for darker skin. I will definitely update the article once it happens :)

  • Lynn

    Thank you for making this article. I hope to see even more presents, I’d like a present to match my own aesthetic but it’s very difficult.

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