Simplifying Your Lightroom Export

Let’s talk about Lightroom for a minute… shall we? Specifically exporting photos from Lightroom. Are you doing it the right way?

Let me start by saying that I love Adobe’s Lightroom. And let’s be honest, its popularity in the photography world just goes to prove how amazing it really is. The endless editing features and unique functions make it a stand-out program for me personally when it comes to perfecting my images.

On the other hand… it can take a while to really understand Lightroom and all of its wonderful capabilities. Over the course of my photography career I have definitely googled countless “how to” questions, watched many tutorial videos and read a ton of instructional blogs before really feeling like I had a full grasp of the program. Understanding the power and ability that Lightroom has and how to properly export your files is crucial when it comes to sharing your perfected edits with friends, family or clients.

What Makes Exporting Photos From Adobe’s Lightroom So Confusing?

The catalog information that Lightroom stores within your edits is incredibly intricate, and depending on how you plan to share or use your images will depend on how you should export them. These factors allow you to share your photos in a variety of different file formats, depending on whatever your usage requirements might be and/or where you’re sharing them.

If you’re new to photography, I totally understand that Lightroom might not be the easiest program to comprehend from the get-go. But it is an Adobe program that is definitely worth mastering.

Now that we’ve talked about the basics, lets dive a little deeper into exporting from Lightroom.


the file name

Did you know that using pertinent keywords in your file name is super important when it comes to appearing and ranking on Google? Image optimization is best accomplished by creating keyword rich file names that contain descriptive, relevant wording. Search engines not only analyze the text on your website, they also analyze the file names of your images.

In Lightroom Classic, there are a number of ready-made templates to help you create file names, however if you want to use Lightroom’s capabilities to your fullest potential then I recommend creating your own templates using the Filename Template Editor.


the export location

This tip is solely for organizational purposes, but you’ll thank me later!

Export your edited images into the same folder as the raw images. What I do personally, is store my raw photos from a session into a unique folder on my computer. Then, I create a new Lightroom catalog to accompany that folder, and export the images into the same folder, so that everything is kept all together.

This is a foolproof way to keep your sessions organized or to quickly retrieve a raw image or specific edited photo you need to find at the drop of a hat.

the file size

My last tip is to choose a file format and resolution size based on what your output needs are. Depending on what format you use, some additional settings are required as well.

The various format options in Lightroom are:

JPEG: When you choose the JPEG format, you also have to choose the level of compression to be applied to each file. You can make this selection using the Quality slider. (Higher quality = less compression)

PSD: You have the option of choosing between 8 and 16 bit files. This is one of Photoshops classic format options.

TIFF: This is a widely supported format, and will give you some Compression options

DNG: Adobe’s format for unprocessed, raw photos.
Original: There are no extra file settings available in choosing this option, which generates an exact copy of your source image.

That’s it!

As a photographer, sharing your newly edited images with clients and loved ones is one of the most rewarding feelings ever, and should never be complicated!

I hope this blog post helped give further insight and confidence for the next time you are working in Adobe’s Lightroom.

Looking for some inspiration? We have FREE Lightroom Presets for you here. 

Do you want some more of my very best Lightroom Secrets? I’ve compiled all my best Lightroom editing tips and advice here.

Jasmin Jade

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simplify your lightroom export using these three areas

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