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Instagram has become a popular photo sharing and social media website with photographers (not to mention food bloggers), but it is not as easy to post photos directly from Lightroom to Instagram as it is to Facebook, Flickr or 500px.
The reason is that Instagram retains an idiosyncrasy originating from its start as an iPhone app – you can only add photos to your account from within the app itself, not the Instagram website.
If you are Lightroom CC subscriber you can use Lightroom mobile to simplify the process. The instructions below show you how to do it (scroll down for an alternative if you’re not a Lightroom mobile user).
By the way, you can check out and follow our Instagram account here @_creativephotographer.
How to share photos in Instagram from Lightroom
1. Create a Collection in Lightroom for storing photos which you will share on Instagram. Make sure you tick the Sync with Lightroom mobile box.
2. When you add photos to this Collection, Lightroom creates Smart Previews (if they don’t already exist) that are synchronized with Lightroom mobile.
Read The Ultimate Guide to Using Smart Previews in Lightroom to learn more about this process.
3. Open Lightroom mobile. Your photos will appear there once the two programs have synchronized.
4. Tap on a photo to view it full size, then tap the icon in the top right corner (the one with the arrow pointing upwards). Tap Open In…, select Small – 2048px for Image Size, then tap the Instagram icon.
5. Write a caption for your photo, including any hashtags you want to add, and tap Share. Lightroom mobile publishes the photo on Instagram.
What if I don’t have Lightroom mobile?
If you don’t have Lightroom mobile there are several available alternatives.
1. Export your photos to your smart phone or tablet with Dropbox. Simplify the process by making an Export preset or Publish Service to save the photos in your Dropbox folder. Go to the Dropbox app on your mobile device and open your photos in the Instagram app.
2. Export your photos to a folder on your hard drive that synchronizes automatically with your mobile device when you connect it to your computer.
3. Download the LR/Instagram plugin and use it to publish photos directly to Instagram. That’s covered in our article How to Upload Photos to Instagram With the LR/Instagram Plugin