From Lightroom to Instagram

Instagram wants to remain a mobile only app. However it being a perfect place to show off your images you would obviously want to upload your best shots. Here's a quick guide on how to upload photographs shot on your DSLR or mirrorless camera (or any photograph in your Lightroom library) to your Instagram account.


Select images

In your Lightroom library select the images you want to upload. Here are some awfully boring shots I took (it's a mug and a tree). I might write a post on how I organise my library at a later point.

Lightroom library

Lightroom library

Create new Export Preset

Images uploaded at a high resolution will be compressed by Instagram. It is therefore important that you shrink your images down to 1080 pixels along the longest edge. To save time, we're going to create a new preset in Lightroom.

Press Ctrl+Shift+E (or click on File > Export) in the menu to export the images. 

Lightroom Export window

Lightroom Export window

In this windows the main setting to be adjusted is the Image Sizing. Select Resize to Fit and choose the setting Long Edge from the drop-down. Then input 1080 and select pixels. The resolution doesn't have to be adjusted, although a smaller size can be chosen to lower bandwidth usage.

I like to apply some Output Sharpening for screen. Whether you choose this setting is up to you (trial and error). I also like to keep All Metadata.

To add the preset click on Add in the lower left-hand corner.

Upload to Google Drive

Whether you use Google Drive or OneDrive or Dropbox is again up to you. I like to use Google Drive (I bought a Chromebook and as a result have a lot of free space on my Drive).

Uploading to Google Drive

Uploading to Google Drive

I like to create folders in my Drive with the date I'm going to upload the images. The images can be uploaded with drag-and-drop.

Android or iPhone

In my case it's an Android phone. Some steps are specific to this kind of device, however the process should be quite similar on an iPhone or iPad.

Apps I use

The apps a use for my Instagram activity on my android device are: Google Drive, Google Keep and (of course) Instagram.

My app

My app

Here's a quick tip to make it easier to find your Drive folder:

  • Long press the home screen and add a widget
  • Add the widget Drive Shortcut
  • Select the folder in which you have saved your images
The widget to look for

The widget to look for

Congratulations, you now have a direct link to your photography folder on your home screen. Next you're going to select the images and download them on to your device. Select the first image by long-pressing on it and then select further images by just pressing on them.

The second app I use is Google Keep. I use keep because it's fast, simple and syncs with all of my devices and the web. I have a note for each type of image I upload (e.g. Landscapes in Switzerland) and save the tags I'm going to use in there. This can save a lot of time.

Now all you have to do is open Instagram, select your image, copy and paste the tags from Google Keep and upload your image.

Have fund and if you want to have a look at my Instagram.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram. You can contact me directly through my website.

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