How to Export Photos From Lightroom For Social Media

You’ve just finished a beautiful gallery and exported it within Lightroom for yourself, but now you want to share your images on social media and wonder, “How do I do that?”. In this video, we’re going to dive into how to export photos from Lightroom for social media and all the settings you need to know. The reason you need to know these settings is that you don’t want your images to look pixelated or off when you are sharing on your social platforms.

We’re going to go behind the scenes together in this video below as I walk you through the settings I would recommend you use for social media sharing and resizing in general.

How to Export Photos From Lightroom For Social Media

Export Settings

When you’re in Lightroom and ready to export, click “Command A” on a Mac to select all the images for exporting. You can also click on one image and hit “Shift” to select certain images too. Right-click and scroll down to “Export” from the images or click on it in the lower left-hand corner of Lightroom.

You’ll first need to decide where you want the image to go after you save it under “Export Location”. I personally have it saved to my desktop but you could have it go to a folder, hard drive, and more. I save mine on my desktop under a “Subfolder”. Name the folder and then scroll down to “File Naming”. I like to customize my file names so I can easily search for it in the future.

If you already have a folder created with your exported images, you can always put the re-sized images in there as well.

Pro Tip: Make sure you customize the name above for your file before exporting so it’s easy to locate in the future.

File Naming

Next, you’ll have the option to rename your file if you like. Click on “Renamed To” and insert the name of your file. You don’t have to rename your files BUT it does help when you are quickly going to try and find your files in the future.

This is an especially important step though, particularly for social sharing, because if you are sharing your images on a blog or social platform, you want to be sure they are search engine optimized.

File Settings

Once you’ve setup your Export Settings, scroll down to “File Settings”. This is where you will choose to export a JPEG image and set your quality. I always keep the quality up to 100 for my images. Make sure too that you DO NOT limit the file size. The color space will be sRGB which will be great for printing and versatility.

After this, you’ll scroll down to “Image Sizing”. This will be the MOST IMPORTANT step you want to pay attention to for social media. I re-size to fit the short edge because I want to use them for Instagram and Instagram likes the 1080 pixel size for the short edge. This will ensure that all the images are sized properly. The other setting you want to be sure to change is the resolution too. Bring this down to 72 pixels per inch. This will make the image look nice on a screen but won’t look great on a a bigger screen if stretched which actually helps to protect your images.

If you are resizing for Facebook, the short edge settings will be 2048 pixels and the 72 pixels per inch. It’s important to make sure you research the different sizing for each platform too when exporting your images.

Optional Settings

For exporting with social media, you can do “Output Sharpening” and you want to sharpen for “Screen” and the play around with you settings on whether it will be low, medium, or high. I personally do not play around with sharpening a lot because I want to export my images the way originally intended for them to look in Lightroom.

Finally, you’ll adjust your metadata settings. These settings will carry where you took your images. I’d recommend that you only include “Copyright Only” or “Copyright & Contact Info Only”. Go ahead and decide what amount of information you’d like included in there.

The last thing you’ll be asked about is “Watermarking” and “Post-Processing”. You can decide if you want to export with a watermark on your photo. And then you’ll decide what you want to happen once you exit from Lightroom. One thing you could do is have it open in another application like Photoshop or something else. Most of the time I have it set to do nothing afterwards.

Sharing To Your Phone

Now that you have your images resized for social media, you need to get them onto your phone to be able to share on your social channels. One thing you DO NOT want to do is text these images to yourself if you want your images to remain as you exported them. I recommend you using AirDrop if you’re an Apple user or you can use a service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Using tools like these will help make sure that you preserve the original size you intended for when exporting your images.

I hope you find this video to be beneficial and helpful. If you learned something new, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! If you’re looking for a place to gain more education, resources, tips, and more I’d love to invite you to join my Photoboss Facebook community with over 10,000 other photographers from around the world. You can join by clicking HERE!

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