Chris Hau began digitally documenting life when he was just eight years old. Today, he's a successful photographer with a thriving YouTube channel, where you'll find hours of advice on the art and business sides of photography. We recently asked Hau to share a few of those tips, plus six Adobe Photoshop Lightroom presets he uses for indoor portrait photography.

Tip: Say yes to the S.

For a more natural and flattering portrait, create an S with the subject's body.

Before and after applying the Soft + Bright preset.

Before and after applying the Cinematic Movie preset.

Tip: Get to know your subject.

If you spend some time talking to your portrait subjects, you can capture a portrait that accurately reflects their personality. And connect the shoot location and environment to the person; for example, it wouldn’t make any sense to shoot a firefighter in a pet shop.

Before and after applying the Warm Moroccan Dreams preset.

Before and after applying the Bright Vintage preset.

Tip: Use humor.

Say, “On the count of three” and then keep counting past three until you get a genuine smile out of your subject.  

Tip: Try the HSL sliders.

The HSL sliders can completely change the look and feel of your image. 

Tip: It's OK to update presets.

While presets are good starting points for your edits, it’s important to constantly evolve and improve. As your style evolves, so should your presets.

Before and after applying the Cool + Edgy preset.



Tip: Don't wait for the right light.

You can paint in more light. For example, if there's a streetlamp in your image and you want it to look like it's glowing, you don’t have to wait for the light to come on — you can just paint in the light using the Adjustment brush. 


Before and after applying the Classy Deep Blue preset.

Tip: Invest in yourself.

It’s fun and easy to invest in the gear, but there’s much more value in investing in your own education and growth — and most of the time, it’s more affordable. Whether that means buying that course on storytelling or spending your own money on a personal project that really excites you, that’s where the major growth will happen, not in the camera upgrades. At the end of the day, any camera is enough to tell a great story; it’s what you can do with that camera is what makes you a great photographer.  

Installing presets.

Having trouble getting presets into Lightroom? Follow these instructions.

For Lightroom (must have version 1.3 or later):


1. Download the presets here.

2. Open Adobe Lightroom on your computer.

3. Select File > Import Profiles and Presets.

4. Select the downloaded preset file and click Import.

5. Open the photo you want to edit and click the Edit toolbar on the right-hand side of Lightroom. Select the Presets button and you’ll find the imported preset.

For Lightroom Classic (must have version 7.3 or later):

1. Download the preset here.

2. Unzip the zip file on your computer.

3. Select an image and go to the Develop Module.

4. Click on the + icon in the Preset Panel. Select Import Presets.

5. Navigate to the preset you downloaded in step 1.

6. Click Import.

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