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Aurora, Australis, Beams, Colours, Pirates Bay, Selfie

Dealing with Social Media & Lightroom.

It seems every year there is a new photo sharing social media site that photographers have to deal with. I have had my photos on Flickr for as long as I can remember, before it was purchased by Yahoo. During that time may photo sites have come and gone, but a few have persisted and in this short article I will discuss what I use and how I handle my workflow.

I like many use Lightroom (LR) for post editing and to catalogue my photos, so it makes the most sense to publish directly from LR if I can. Firstly there are a number of features built into LR that you should be using beyond the basic editing. Two important concepts that can save you a lot of time and effort are collections and metadata.

Bottlebrush, Red, Tasmania, TreeCollections are a way of sorting images based on criteria, either automatically through a smart collection, or a unique selection of images you desire. Smart collections allow you to automatically create a collection based on information or metadata about an image, such as a lens or body. A general collection is just a bunch of images you want to have grouped.

In any given year I shoot thousands of photos, some years tens of thousands. Of course I’m not going to publish them all so whenever I do publish an image I add it to a collection I created for that year, i.e. “2015 Publish Images”. This allows me to quickly go back and find images I have published from any given year. No one wants to go and search though thousands of images to find it. After you have created a collection all you need do is drag the image(s) into it (NOTE it does not move the image, it’s just a reference to the image).

Metadata is additional information recorded about an image, your camera records some metadata and adds it to the image by default, such as camera settings, location, date, time etc. LR allows you to build upon this and add additional metadata to make it easier for you in the future, for locating, sorting and publishing. Trust me a little time spent here will save you later on down the track….

Addition metadata you should add:

  • Check the defaults (Metadata menu->Edit Metadata Presets), i.e. copyright info and default keywords. You should be adding these all the time.
  • Always add additional metadata on EVERY import, if you add a few hundred shots from a shoot the least you can do is select them all and add a few additional keywords, such as the location, the model, the event etc.
  • For each shot that you are going to publish you should add additional keywords, Title and a Caption.


Once I have edited an image for publishing I add the additional metadata mentioned above, and then I place it into any useful collections, including a publishing collection for that year. From here I can publish to many locations. This is done my dragging the image into a publishing services, the same you do with collections. then publishing it with the publish button. Here are the publishing services I use:

LR has Facebook and Flickr built in, all you need to is configure them:

  • Facebook: This is pretty straight forward to setup / link to Facebook and all the export settings are pretty standard, the Title you added to the metadata will be used as the text when it posts to your account.
  • Flickr: Again this is pretty straight forward to setup. Title will again be used as the text, and if you have export all metadata enabled in the plug-in settings then the keywords should also carry across as well.

External Plugins, downloaded from 3rd parties and added to LR via the Plug-ins Manager.

  • Instagram:, Pretty straight forward to setup and link to your Instagram account. In the plug-in settings change the Instagram Caption to be a custom template and add “{title} {caption} {#keywordTags}”. This will ensure that your title, caption and keywords (as hashtags) are used in the post.
  • WordPress:, This one is slightly more complex to setup as it requires a plugin in both WordPress and LR. In WP you can find the plug-in via the plugin search and install it, you need to make sure you change the permalinks as recommended. In LR download and add the plug-in and link to your WP blog. In the LR plug-in settings I use the ‘Alt. Text’ box to pass the keywords.
    NOTE: this plug-in does not create a new post in WP, it only added the image to your media, but it will have a title, caption and keywords, which are all a handy for a new post you are writing. Also If you update an image and LR you can re-published and the WP site will also update accordingly.

Some important stuff to keep in mind:

  • Get your metadata right at the start, this saves you additional work later on.
  • Start using collections to improve your workflow.
  • Get the export settings right for each publishing service, such as image size and watermarking. What is right for one service will not be right for another.

If you are publishing your images on other sites chances are they will have LR plug-in, heres some I found fairly easily:

  • GETTY:
  • iStockPhoto:
  • ShutterStock:

Happy Publishing 🙂