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How to create the ultimate matte preset

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You’re loving the matte look … but less the idea of having the same one as everyone else? Here’s how to create YOUR ultimate matte preset!

Social media posts that stands out

Besides content quality, originality and consistency are also important keys to have a compelling social media account. The matte look is by far one of the most popular of them all. It gives a professional and polished feel to the images and flatters many different types of photography, from portrait to food, to lifestyle and nature.

It’s tempting — and easy — to go the fast route by using the presets that are already offered in Instagram, Facebook or in your cellphone. The good news is that it’s extremely easy (and fun!) to come up with your very own template. Time to stand out from the crowd!

Creating your own look

The typical matte look has decreased contrast between the shadows and the highlights. Let’s take care of it first on your favorite editing software.

Tone Curves

Head to the Tone Curves. The first step to create your matte look is to reduce contrast. Flatten the curve by increasing the blacks and decreasing the highlights like so:

Curves Tool Luminar AI
On the bottom left are the shadows and blacks. On the top right are the whites and highlights.

Dedicated tools

Some editing software have dedicated tools for this purpose. For example, LuminarAI and the upcoming Luminar Neo has its own tool called Matte. It offers the opportunity to create the look with more flexibility and options.

Matte Tool Luminar AI preset
LuminarAI‘s Matte tool includes many built-in options, including fade and color toning.


This is the step where you add your own spices to the recipe. This is where YOUR unique version of the look is created.

Add as little or as much ingredients as you like (Split Toning, Structure, Film Grain, LUTs and Vignette are a few of my favorites). These combined flavors are what will make you unique so go ahead and experiment.

Save your preset

Now’s the time to save all the edits as a Template. Not only will it save you time in the future, but it will also ensure consistency in all your publications. You can create as many as you want and even better, modify them at any point in the future.

The ultimate matte preset

The ultimate preset is the one nobody else has. It’s your own signature. Make sure your work is seen and appreciated as much as it deserves to be. Be creative and get off the beaten path! You never know where it may lead you… 😉

Create more, with Luminar Neo

Fulfill your creative ideas with Luminar Neo! Preorder now and get the Photofocus preorder bundle, full of extras like a deep dive training video, templates, LUTs, textures and more when Luminar Neo launches.

Michèle Grenier

Michèle Grenier

Michèle Grenier is an independent photographer based in Quebec City, Canada. She specializes in high-performance and strength-related sports. Michèle is also an author, a Skylum Software and HoldFast ambassador, a speaker and educator.

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