Free Lightroom Presets Inspired by VSCOCam
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10 Free Lightroom Presets Inspired by VSCO Cam

After hundreds of hours of research, calibration & testing, I’m thrilled to share my free pack of Lightroom presets, the NATE CAM Starter Pack. This pack is a free download and gives you both Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw files for 10 different Lightroom presets inspired by the same film aesthetic as VSCO Cam.

What is VSCO Cam? VSCO Cam is a popular mobile photography app available for iPhone and Android. If you don’t already use it, I would encourage you try it out and purchase some of their outstanding preset packs (NOTE: I’m not affiliated with VSCO in any way – just a fan).  Mobile photographers like VSCO Cam in large part due to the beautiful presets it offers.  Their filters feel more professional and more refined than the filters in Instagram (which are just awful, honestly). So when you see people on Instagram tagging their posts with #VSCO, this means they used the VSCO Cam app to process their photo.

Of course, it would be impossible to create an exact replication of VSCO cam filters in Lightroom. Why? Well, for a numbers of reasons, including the proprietary, self-contained nature of the VSCO Cam app and the nature of raw conversion inside of Lightroom. So if you want VSCO Cam filters, you can only get those from VSCO.

As of now, though, VSCO does not produce VSCO Cam mobile apps equivalent filters for Lightroom. So if you shoot RAW using a DSLR, like me, you have to convert the raw file to jpeg, load it into your mobile device, and then apply. This workflow is cumbersome, and can produce a ton of image degradation along the way (vs. an “All RAW” workflow).

The NATE Cam Starter Pack lets you have an all RAW workflow and achieve a beautiful, stylish film aesthetic. These filters are my own, original works, built from scratch inside Lightroom. They are not endorsed by or affiliated with VSCO. They simply combine my expertise in Lightroom with everything I love about emulating film aesthetics inside Lightroom.

With that said, let’s get to the free download!

Free Download

10 Free Presets for Lightroom Inspired by VSCO cam.

To download this preset pack, just fill out the form below, hit the big “download” button, and voilà – you’ll get a download link via email.

You’ll also get on my photo-goodies list, which means I’ll send you more free stuff as I build it (which is pretty infrequently – once or twice a month). For instance, right now, I’m working on more awesome preset packs! If you don’t want to be on the list, no worries! Unsubscribe anytime.


What’s Inside This Pack

Inside this pack are 10 original presets. For each preset, there’s a version for Lightroom and a version for Adobe Camera Raw, along with instructions, in a ZIP file. Here’s what’s inside:

  • SP-01 – Warm & Muted (compare with A4)
  • SP-02 – Clean & Blue (compare with A5)
  • SP-03 –Clean & Green (compare with A6)
  • SP-04 – Clean Pastels (compare with HB1)
  • SP-05 – Gritty Pastels (compare with HB2)
  • SP-06 – Warm and Moody (compare with M5)
  • SP-07 – Cold and Faded  (compare with T1)
  • SP-08 – Classic B&W (compare with B1)
  • SP-09  – Rich B&W (compare with B5)
  • SP-10 – Faded B&W (compare with X1)

Here are some examples of how I’ve used this preset pack with my own photos, along with a short description of how each preset impacts photos:

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - SP-01

The SP-01 Lightroom Preset has a very warm, desaturated palette. To me it’s a little reminiscent of a super-overexposed Kodak Portra film with very toned down greens and blues.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - SP-02

The SP-02 Lightroom Preset adds a blue tint to photos that is especially prominent in the faded shadows. It also adds a fairly even contrast that will give photos a natural “pop.” Colors overall are muted, especially red tones, letting the natural blue tones stand out.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - SP-03

The SP-03 Lightroom Preset has a fuji-esque color palette, with a hint of green in shadows and mid-tones. This is a very popular and usable look among professional photographers.

Nate Cam - Lightroom Presets - SP-04

The SP-04 Lightroom Preset is my favorite in this pack. It really captures the aesthetic of the Fuji Professional negative films, like Fuji 160, but with a cooler palette. It gives photos a “clean” look, with crisp, bluish-green shadows and lots of push in the mid-tones. It works well in a lot of situations, but I especially like it’s effect on skin tones.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - SP-05

The SP-05 Lightroom Preset is similar to SP-04 but with deeper shadows and slightly warmer tones. As a result, it feels just a touch grittier than the SP-04.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - SP-06

The SP-06 Lightroom preset create an extremely moody effect, drastically fading highlights and giving images an extremely warm, desaturated look. This is a popular look among professional Instagram photographers right now.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets - Inspired by VSCOCam - SP-07

My SP-07 Lightroom Preset is another extreme effect, with VERY faded shadows and highlights. It essentially squishes the image into the center of the histogram. It also has very muted colors, especially in the reds.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets Inspired by VSCO cam - SP-08

My SP-08 Lightroom Preset is great for general purpose black and white photography. It boosts mid-tones just a touch and represents nearly the full spectrum of gray tones. It has a similar aesthetic to Kodak Tri-X.

Nate Cam lightroom presets inspired by VSCO cam - SP-09

My SP-09 Lightroom Preset creates dramatic black and white photos, with high contrast, and a darker overall appearance than B5. It reminds me a bit of Fuji Neopan 1600.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets Inspired by VSCO Cam

My SP-10 Lightroom Preset reminds me of a classic, high ISO black and white film, like Ilford Delta 3200, with lots of fade in both shadows and highlights. I love this preset for black and white city photography.

Nate Cam Lightroom Presets Inspired by VSCO Cam - All Filters Compare

And here are all the presets in this pack applied to one photo for reference.


Other Lightroom Filter Packs

If you enjoy this pack, you should also check out my other Lightroom Preset Packs.

VSCO Cam K-Chrome Lightroom Preset Pack

K-Chrome Lightroom Presets

This pack was modeled after the legendary Kodachrome film, with rich, glowing colors. There are three variants each with it’s own unique look. Learn more about my K-Chrome Lightroom Presets.

More coming soon!


Installation

Once you’ve completed the download process, please follow the instructions in this video to install and begin using in Lightroom & Photoshop:


How to Use These Filters

Lightroom is a powerful, full-featured photography tool for professionals. I’ve tried to use that to my advantage in creating these filters. I think this makes my filters much more usable in a professional photography workflow than you could ever achieve inside a mobile app.

While these filters will work on both RAW and JPEG images, I strongly encourage photographers to always shoot RAW (preferably 14-bit). By shooting RAW and using these filters within Lightroom, you’ll be able to take full advantage of these presets and the editing capabilities of Lightroom.

These presets almost always use the “Camera Standard” camera profile, rather than the “Adobe Standard profile”. The distinction between these is a whole post in itself, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying this, and I’ve found this to produce significantly better results.

A lot of people have told me that they want to use these filters to help learn how to better use Lightroom (which is awesome), but they tell they have trouble seeing which settings are changing in Lightroom.

So here’s a tip. To see where most of the “magic” is happening, go to the “Tone Curve” panel, and click the “Channel: RGB” selector. Then click one of the color channels. Using channel specific color curves gives me the ability to make very nuanced changes that would be impossible in any other module.

The module itself is not very easy to manipulate, so I’ve built my own tool for manipulating curves that would otherwise be impossible to create in Lightroom. (Maybe I’ll do a post about this later, or sell the tool to others if there is any interest).


VSCO Cam & VSCO Film

VSCO separately offers a line of professional film emulators for Lightroom, called VSCO Film, which I use and have written about extensively and which I highly recommend.  A lot of people have asked me a variation on the question: “Which VSCO Film preset looks like my favorite VSCO Cam preset?”

The answer according to VSCO is that you can’t really compare the two, and that there aren’t really equivalents. They encourage users to “play around” until you find something that you like.


FAQ

Q. How do I install these?
A. Watch the installation video:

Q. Does this work in Mac & Windows?
A. Yes, this will work on both Mac & Windows platforms, as long as you have a recent copy of Photoshop or Lightroom.

Q. Does this work in Lightroom for Mobile?
A. No, only Lightroom for PC or Mac.

Q. I tried opening the preset files and it didn’t work. 
A. You can’t directly open the preset files, you have load them in from Lightroom, or move them to the proper directory. Please carefully read the instructions.txt file included.

Q. When I tried loading the files into Lightroom, Lightroom said it couldn’t read this type of file. Help!
A. You probably accidentally tried loading in the files from the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) folder. These are a different file type and won’t load properly into Lightroom. Try again, and make sure you are loading from the correct directory.

Q. Will these filters work with my specific camera brand?
A. If Lightroom supports your camera, then these filters will work.


Tell Me What You Think

I’d love to hear what you think of these presets! Just leave me a comment below or hit me up on Instagram.

87 Comments

    • Nathan Johnson

      Hi Henry! You’re quite welcome 🙂

      Some of these presets do add grain, but none of them should be “very grainy” (except maybe the X1). A couple of things to check:

      First, if you’re applying to a JPEG or an image that is reduced in size, it’s possible the grain settings are just getting amplified a bit too much by Lightroom. In this case, try toning down the grain size and grain amount in the settings.

      It’s also possible that it just appears to be overly grainy in the preview by Lightroom (this happens to me sometimes). Try exporting the image, and see if the exported image still appears to very grainy. If the exported image looks OK, it’s just a preview issue.

      If neither of those help, you can just lower the grain amount settings to zero. Hope that helps!

      -Nate

          • Nathan Johnson

            Just turn down the grain size and grain amount in Lightroom settings. If you want to permanently change this for a preset, just right-click on the preset after changing grain, and click “update with current settings”. The reason this is happening is that Lightroom doesn’t scale the size of grain for photos. So if you have a low resolution image, the grain will appear much larger than it will on a large resolution image. Cheers! – Nate

  1. Trixie Beredo

    Hi! I’m trying to download your preset but I’m not receiving any emails with the link. I’ve checked my Spam folder and all too. 🙁

    • Nathan Johnson

      Thanks for letting me know! I’ve emailed you the download.

      To anyone else who is having this issue, first, be sure to check your spam folders. Also, it may take a bit for the email to arrive. The majority of users get their download email in under a minute, but in some cases it could take up to 60 minutes for the email to come through (not sure why, trying to find out with Mailchimp – looks like Hotmail users take the longest).

      If all else fails, just email me at nate@natephotographic.com and I’ll shoot you the link!

      Thanks!
      -Nate

  2. Steve

    Erm, I downloaded your pack because I wanted the B1 preset specifically. When I first used it nothing happened, or so it seemed, the image basically looked the same. Odd, I thought, the only thing that seemed to happen was that the grain increased slighty, surely there must be more to it than that?

    • Nathan Johnson

      Hi Steve, there absolutely is more to it than that. The changes in this B1 are coming mainly from the Tone Curve panel and the Black & White Mix panel. You shouldn’t see any changes to the Basic panel (like Highlights, Shadows, Whites, etc). This is for a couple of reasons. First, it allows me to more accurately emulate the results you’d get actually using B1 in VSCO Cam. And second, it means that you can still make adjustments yourself to the settings in the basic panel to fine tune everything (without having to worry about the underlying curves).

      All that said, the effect of B1 is pretty subtle. It boosts the mid & high-tones (via Tone Curve) and filters down the luminance of most colors, especially yellows & greens (via the Black & White Mix panel).

      Hope that helps!
      -Nate

  3. Voot

    This is so awesome! I’ve been wanting to edit photos to get VSCOcam look on PC’s for so long.

    I’ve tried playing around with them and they work great. Thanks Nate!

  4. Mat

    Hi, thanks for sharing this… I use lightroom app for iPhone but in The app missing The color calibration than i see you used in The lightroom preset. Do you know a way to recalebrate The color by iPhone or smartphone in general? Thank you!

      • Mat

        Hi Nathan. Thanks for reply. My question wasn’t specific for this VSCO preset…and i actually use lightroom for editing photo and i would like to have full Controll of The adjustment and VSCO app doesn’t allow me to get this. I prefer to reproduce o create my own adjustment not using exsisting ones:) i just wanted to know if there is a way to work on color calibration (primary red, blue and Green) on mobile editing. Thank you

        • Nathan Johnson

          Ok, gotcha. First, it’s important to understand that the effect of the color calibration (primary red, blue & green) can be achieved exactly using hue adjustments and saturation adjustments. But you have to be careful because it’s much easier with individual hue adjustments to get unnatural looking results if not used with care. With that in mind, Lightroom Mobile has hue adjustments, so you should be able to achieve a similar effect. As far as I can tell, Lightroom Mobile does not have the same camera calibration / primary color adjustment tool. Hope that helps!

          • Mat

            Ok thank you so much…Got what i wanted to know. I ll keep in mind your useful suggestion. I appriciate the support 🙂

    • Nathan Johnson

      Hi Anna, in the zip file, there should a file called “instructions.txt” that shows you how to do this. Let me know if any of the instructions don’t make sense!

  5. Alex Hawthorne

    Hey Nate,

    Just curious, and maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but are the available presets in your free download only configured for Macs? Because I have a windows, and went through the same steps to acquire the presets and I was unable to download them.

    Thanks Nate!

    • Nathan Johnson

      Hi Alex, yes the presets should work in windows. I just emailed you the presets directly in case they didn’t come through the first time. Email me if you are having in issues getting them installed!
      -Nate

    • Nathan Johnson

      Hmm, I’m not sure actually. I doubt it because these presets use the 2012 process for calibration, but you’re welcome to give it a go!

  6. Pelet

    Hi Nathan
    Sorry to bother with this simple question, but I would like to know which platform did you use to build this amazing web page
    Excellents presets btw

  7. kristine

    Hey,
    Sorry for silly question – but I can’t open them in Camera Raw , it asks me to login in Adobe photoshop profile and put my serial nr! I have Photoshop CC 2014 and I`m really confused, as I see Lightroom files but not RAW

    • Nathan Johnson

      Make sure you follow the directions in the instructions.txt file exactly. If you try to just open the preset, it will not work.

      You need to move the preset files I provided from inside the “ACR Settings” folder into the correct system folder (as specified in the instructions.txt file). Then, just open up a raw image file as you normally would into photoshop, and it will take you into the Adobe Camera Raw screen. From there, the presets will appear inside the settings tab. Let me know if you are still having issues!

      -Nate

  8. Amy

    Hi I am having trouble opening them in camera raw too. Are you able to send me the instructions just for camera raw to my email I’m having trouble reading them in the downloaded file.
    Thanks so much

  9. Carlos

    Hi Nathan,

    I came here to thank you for this amazing job you have done. I have never seen someone emulate vscocam for lightroom with such accuracy. I believe it must have been thousand of hours to make these but as soon as you can please add some more, it will be amazing.

    Thanks again!

  10. Lynsey

    Hey, I was so excited when I found these presets but I don’t know how to/if it is possible to load them into Photoshop Elements? Thank you!

  11. Lucija

    Hay! I just download your free pack and I have some problems with instalation :/ I create a new folder as it says in the description then right click on the folder and click import but then the folder I download (your free pack with filters) It’s not there. But if I just open on my desktop the download folder is everything there. I hope that you understood my problem 🙂

  12. Nate, just picked up an a6300 after doing audio for CBS in NYC for a couple years and lusting after all the cameras I couldn’t use. Downloading your pack now; wanted to say a big thank you for helping to learn the magic of all this visual stuff. Very cool to have a great result from the get go with a preset and then figure out how it happened in the first place.

    Thanks again!

  13. AJ

    Many thanks for these. After years of aimlessly trawling through presets I’ve only recently come to realise that the magic lies in RGB curves, not the sliders. Your presets are a perfect demonstration.

  14. JPaling

    Hi Nath,

    Just thought id say thank you loving the SP08 been trying to do it my self for ages! new to lightroom

    thank you very much for the Download!

    Josh

  15. Hi Nate,
    I just want to say a big thank you for your job in making the VSCO Film Guides. As you I have spent hundreds of hours playing with the different presets and I was really looking for understanding better the REAL films behaviour, Your posts analyzing VSCO 01, 02 and 07 are amazing. I am looking forward to reading more! 🙂
    Best regards
    Óscar

  16. Thank you so much for having these, especially for free. I am an amateur photographer who still doesn’t have a stable income but want my photos to look their best so these will really help so it means a lot that you are generous to post these not wanting money. Thank you again!

  17. Hey Nate!

    I love the presets. They are a great place for me to start my editing process. I’m looking forward to the powerful transformation I can have on my images with these!

    Best,
    Marley

  18. Mate, you’re a legend. To go through all this effort and make these presets as well as create extensive articles to explain the history behind the film emulations is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  19. You’re doing incredible work here, Nate.
    I love your site, and I love these presets.
    I find these gems to be both subtle and meaningful in my workflow.
    At this point I usually start with a preset, and then continue massaging it to get the right result.
    Thank you so very much!

  20. Kathrine

    I cant get these to open in photoshop or lightroom. I’ve unzipped the files but when i open them they just show up nowhere in photoshop or when i try to load then as an action they just don’t exist please help!

  21. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for something that really looks like vsco and after searching and trying 50 different I finally found yours, it made my day! 🙂

    I had to import and save them individually in Camera Raw though, because my computer didn’t find the emplacement appdata/roaming etc but it works perfectly anyways!

    Thank you for sharing!

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