FeaturedLightroom Plug-Ins

LR/Instagram Plug-in — Going Direct from Lightroom to Instagram

Hi Gang, and Happy Friday. Here’s a quick look at a plug-in for Lightroom that lets you post directly from Lightroom straight up to Instagram. Cameron Lundstedt  (one of my readers) turned me on to this plug-in after reading my post last week about “Grids” — a great desktop app that lets you post from your desktop straight to Instagram, and I really liked it (and still use it daily).

Anyway, this one is plug-in called LR/Instagram and I wanted to give it a try and share my experience with you guys on LR Killer Tips. You can download the plug-in and test is free from the developer, but if you find yourself using it regularly, then he asks that you donate $10 to fund development. More than fair.

I’ll do the rest of this mini-review using the captions below.

Above: You install the plug-ins via Lightroom’s Plug-in Manager, and you configure the plug-in there as well. What it creates is a entry in your “Publish Services” panel at the bottom of the left side panels in Lightroom.

Above: Once you install the plug-in, it creates a new custom metadata panel (chose LR/Instagram from the Metadata pop-up panel in the right side panels in the Library module. This is where you enter your caption information and separately any hashtags (though you can choose what you want to enter in this panel in the plug-in Manager — there a pop-up menu of configuration choices). There’s also a field to enter the GPS image, if you have it or if it’s embedded into the file. Here’s where things get kind of funky (well, for me anyway). If you don’t have the GPS, you can’t enter the location here. As best as I could tell (there’s little documentation available on the site — a very short video with a very quick run-though of how to install and use it, and an FAQ with far too few questions), you use a Preset Extra to choose the location (see below).

Above: To add the location, you go under Lightroom’s File menu, under ‘Plug-in Extras’ and under ‘LR/Instagram’ choose ‘Set Location.’ That brings up a dialog with a search field and a blank pop-up menu under it. I was never able to get it to work. I would input a location; click the Search button (as seen above); a status bar would appear saying it was Querying server (seen above), and then nothing. No location; the pop-up menu remained blank, and the location I typed in didn’t appear in Instagram’s Location field when I posted the image. I tried numerous times; I could never get it to work. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I couldn’t even find a single mention of this feature on their site, so no luck.

Above: When you’re ready to upload the photo that you’ve captioned, etc., just drag its thumbnail to the LR/Instagram Publish Service listing in the Publish Services panel (there’s a set-up link here, too — where you can add your Instagram user name, password, and configure the plug-in as well from the Plug-in Manager). When you’re ready to publish the image, click on that Publish collection; hit the Publish button, and it posts your image to Instagram (and it does work).

What’s missing?
Besides the location info not working, I miss the fact that it doesn’t let you simultaneously post to other social media like Twitter and Facebook like the native Instagram app on your phone does. It also doesn’t suggest hashtags; and of course

What’s nice
It does allow you to easily publish multiple photos, and to publish to multiple accounts, which is nice if you have multiple instagram accounts. You can also add post-processing actions to crop the image square, add padding, and different aspect ratios. And of course, you’re going straight from LR to Instagram, so you don’t have to export your JPEG image, email it to yourself (or dropbox or iCloud it), and that’s the #1 big feature, and it does that well.

It did work, but the workflow is fairly clunky overall; entering the Caption in one place; then entering the location info in a totally different area (though as I mentioned, I couldn’t get that to work); dragging the image to the Publish Service; and all that. It didn’t feel like a fast way to publish. It feels just the opposite. Maybe if I used it a bit longer I’d get more comfortable and faster with the workflow, and then I might feel differently. If you could get the location search in the same Metadata panel, I think that would be a big plus. Of course, Twitter and FB integration would make a big difference, too.

If going straight from LR to Instagram sounds like heaven to you, this will get you there and you should definitely give it a try (after all; the trial plug-in is free and you only pay if you wind up using it). I do like where the developer is taking it, and I know his hands are somewhat tied by what Instagram will let third parties do. That has to be frustrating, but I think he did a good job of working within what they will let you do, and there are probably many users for whom this will nail just what they wanted to do.

Hope you find that helpful. 🙂

Want a recommendation on a Lightroom Course to watch this weekend?
Watch Kristi Sherk’s “Retouching Portraits in Lightroom.” This course continues to get absolutely rave reviews — you’ll be amazed at what you can do all within Lightroom. She crushed it.

Here’s the official course trailer (below):

Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya back here next week. 🙂






    • Linda 11 September, 2017 at 16:01 Reply

      As of sept 11 2017 when I was having problems again the version o line is .6.1524 which I have ad still having problems with error publishing manager telling me the LR/Instagram plugin was not saved and to log in … yet I have done all that.

      • Linda 11 September, 2017 at 16:06 Reply

        Let me correct that… the LR plug in manager say LR/instagram is installed and running and says it is enabled. ..and thanks me for registering and paying my $10 🙂
        But when I go to the list of publishing services it say LR/instagram is not saved… yet all the infois to the fright that has been entered . What is odd is it worked before I paid the $10

  1. Simon Middlemass 9 June, 2017 at 04:41 Reply

    I am in the same situation as others earlier. I have posted to instagram before from LR 5 . When I tried recently I got an error you need to log in message – I checked on the plug in and I was logged in and on Instagram. I updated the plug in but still get the same message. Still looking for an answer.

  2. Instagram 10 May, 2017 at 22:09 Reply

    This plug in does not work with Lightroom 6. Can’t get past the login phase. Keep getting curl error messages. The developer is not helpful.

    • Sensuous2Spiritual 28 June, 2018 at 07:01 Reply

      I am struggling with the same! Such a shame. I loved this plug-in… used it over the last few years and struggling for it to work now.

  3. Jacki 14 April, 2017 at 10:30 Reply

    I am having the issue that Lightroom is telling me that login is required every time I try to use this app.
    Have logged into instagram on my computer but still getting the message. Can anyone offer any help

  4. Eli 31 January, 2017 at 09:41 Reply

    I had it installed and working. I did run into a couple of minor errors I think due to instagram. It worked great then Lightroom updated and I had to re-install it. So make sure to backup your plugins.

  5. Alec Dann 29 January, 2017 at 22:34 Reply

    Another suggestion, perhaps obvious, is that if your LR color space isn’t sRGB, soft-proof your photos in sRGB before Publishing so you correct any issues that come with that color space.

  6. Smitty Bowers 28 January, 2017 at 10:30 Reply

    Did anyone using this get an error message that says “log in required”? I have gone through all the steps that should be necessary. i see my account is authorized in the set up. I have also gone through all the trouble shooting steps for a similar problem with Facebook publishing. Nothing works. I didn’t have Facebook set up, but it worked on the first try.

    • Eli 31 January, 2017 at 12:34 Reply

      I had a similar issue. What I found was if I try to login button it kicked back and error message. So I had to go to Instagram page and login, it then says someone was trying to login with my username, confirm that was you. Then go back to lightroom and then put in your username and password, click the login button and then save. Then it worked for me.

  7. Cynthia 27 January, 2017 at 13:00 Reply

    I’ve been using this plug-in for about a month, and love it! However, I’m now concerned about the visibility as I did notice a few of my photos not showing up in my feed although people are able to like and comment. This is disturbing as I was loving the automation — not having to save the image to then upload the image.

    I look forward to hearing any additional updates on the visibility issue.

    I second your sentiments on Kristi’s tutorial on LR!!! 🙂

    • Carlos A. Oliveras 28 January, 2017 at 07:42 Reply

      Not totally sure if this applies to you, but a while ago the plugin had some visibility issues (though I think they had something to do with hashtags more than with showing or not in your feed). They fixed this problem in a later release, so if you haven’t updated your plugin in a while, try to download the latest version and give it a go again.

  8. Markus 27 January, 2017 at 05:17 Reply

    But there is one major flaw: Photos uploaded with this plugin are less visible than photos uploaded by the official app. Many of my readers have reported this to me and it is also true of my experiences. Maybe because of its non-official way to upload photos to Instagram.

    • Scott Kelby 27 January, 2017 at 06:47 Reply

      I haven’t heard of Instagram penalizing people using their API to upload from a different source, but I did some research and it looks like they can penalize you if the choose. I don’t think they officially state that they do that, but like you’ve pointed out — they have the option if they so decide. And apparently, they don’t do it to everyone who uploads from a third party app, but if they choose to do it your account, the effect is permanent and they limit who sees your images, which stinks. I’m going to do more research, but I appreciate you bringing this to my attention.

      • Egidio Leitao 27 January, 2017 at 07:54 Reply

        I have been using this plug-in for about 6 months now and have not noticed the issue with visibility. I do notice that my plug-in does not show the GPS/Location field. I have not received any notes of updates (and I’m not using the free version either).

      • CT 6 July, 2017 at 15:44 Reply

        Maybe a little late to the LR plugin party but I’m absolutely seeing the same thing as Markus and another few folks above. Posting with the plugin *appears* to be visible to only my followers or something similar. Clicking a hashtag (added at the time of posting or after) shows that my photo is grouped with those hashtags, but all signs point to something being amiss. A couple photos of similar subjects (cycling) and the same hashtags yields a modest 50-75 likes normally. Using the plugin that number was 15-20.

    • Don 30 January, 2017 at 09:01 Reply

      There was an issue with an older version that caused photos to be no as visible. This is supposed to be fixed now and I get people seeing mine. The plugin was updated on Jan 21 with a new version.

      A con to the plugin is the lack up any way to find out about updates, you have to go to the website and look.

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