Lightroom into Instagram

By Douglas Wade

This month I want to write on the integration of Lightroom with a photography social network called Instagram, which is a photo-sharing application for phones. It allows you to share your images and videos publicly or privately. It even allows direct messaging. It is owned by Facebook, so the integrations to Facebook are pretty strong. I have been using Instagram (IG) since it started and like the format. It used to be a square image only, which I love. It has opened to up to more of a rectangle over the years. I will not be talking about how to use Instagram, such as, how to join, find followers or the everyday interaction. Instead, I want to share a Lightroom plugin called LR/Instagram.

LR/Instagram is a publishing plugin for Lightroom, allowing you to post your photos directly to your Instagram account from Lightroom. Why is it my preferred method? I can add my caption (or title) and all of my hashtags, inside Lightroom. I prefer this method because I share images that have been developed in Lightroom and rarely share snapshots.

To get LR/Instagram go to and download the plugin, unzip it and place in a preferred location such as your top folder for photos. I have a plugin folder, so I put it there.

To add the publish service, go to File > Plugin Manager. On the bottom left is an “add” button, click and locate the downloaded file. After it has been added, it will be active. There is not much to configure here. After playing around with it, and you want to keep it in your workflow, please send a one-time payment of $10 to the author to support his work. Click the Done button.

From the Library Module, Open the panel called Publish Services and click the + and select Go to Publishing Manager….

When the panel opens, click Add.

Select the Via Service pull down and select LR/Instagram and name it.

Instagram Account

You will need to enter your Instagram account name and password and allow the plugin to log in.


The next item is to set up your preferences. I use Caption #hashtag. However, you may want to select other options, such using Title, if that is already used in your workflow.

The Custom Template (I am not using it) seems interesting. You can select from approximately 50 metadata fields, like camera, lens, shutter and so on. Here is a listing of the available tags,

Output Sharpening

The Output Sharpening is usually set, I do not change it.


I use Watermarking to add my watermark to each image exported to Instagram. I use my name with the copyright symbol.

Close the setup window and the plugin is now set up and ready to go. To publish images, I go to the Library Module and select a strong image. I need an image that is near to square. I do not want to crop my images for Instagram at the expense of other rectangle formats, so I make a virtual copy of the image. The virtual copy is identical to the original image but contained only in the database of Lightroom and does not add a file to your hard drive. I then I crop to square format and make any other changes.

The plugin will allow this range of aspect ratios, Square (1:1) and from rectangles from 4:5 through 1.91:1. The plugin can add padding (extra space, black or white) if you use a wider rectangle.

After you’ve selected an image, go to the right side panel, then to the Metadata panel and select LR/Instagram from the pull-down. Your view will look different than mine since I have another add-on.

Submitting the Image



I use a Preset call ©2017 which adds my copyright data to the file. I add a caption if not already there. Add #Hashtag(s) as desired. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags.

Caption #Hashtag (my preference)

Insert a Caption (title). It can include hashtags or usernames.


Add up to 30 hashtags. That is the magical part and another article could be written on hashtags alone.


Once the #Hashtags are done, drag photos to the publish collection area. I usually go back to the gridview or filmstrip and drag images over to the publish service area (see below).

The publish service will display New Photos to Publish. By clicking on Instagram photos (see below) you will see a grid view of all unpublished or New Photos to Publish.

Click the Publish button on the lower left and that’s it. Go to your instagram account and see if your photograph has been published.

This is the only method I use to publish my images. You may follow or use your phone to post images. Do whatever works best for your workflow. Below is my account and other members of LPA if you want to see others images and possibly follow them.

Name        Account Name

Douglas Wade @douglaspaulwade

Ken Lee @kenleephotography

Sharna Lee @Sharna_Lee_Photo

Vance Smith @coastervan

James Poyner @jamespoynor

Tylene Trout @tylenetrout

Dale Taft @daletaft

Sarah O @sarahsphotos

Sue Liberto @suelibertophotography

Sue Craft @suecraftphotography

Kathleen Walter @nasanurse

Kelly Mertel @kellymertel

Holly Peskin @hollypeskinphotography

Bonnie J. Matthew-Franke @bonniejmf1205

Dan Holmes @danholmesphoto

Kathy Newman @kcnewmanphotography