So, you’ve just finished editing a batch of photos from your latest shoot in Lightroom and you want to throw a few on Instagram. There are so many different ways to get the images out of Lightroom and onto your mobile device, but many of them are time consuming, sacrifice quality, and/or result in large files that end up taking space.
If only there was a simple Lightroom export preset that gave you small file sizes at optimal dimensions for Instagram and synced the images with your mobile device. Well, now there is — InstaCloud1080. Best of all, I’m giving it to you for free!
Although this download comes with two Lightroom export presets, I recommend everyone to try InstaCloud1080 first. Essentially, InstaCloud1080 will export your images at the optimal dimensions for Instagram (1080px in width to be exact) and saves them to a cloud storage (like Dropbox or Google Drive) folder that you specify on your computer. If you have it set up correctly, that folder should be automatically synced with the cloud storage app on your mobile device. From there, you can easily access your Instagram-ready images and post them at full quality.
So this is definitely better than emailing yourself photos and having to manually login and download them, but you might be asking yourself, “What makes this different than something like posting images from Creative Cloud?” Well it mostly comes down to quality control.
When you use the Lightroom mobile app to share or save an image from your collection, it seems to reduce the size and quality of the image and there is no control over the way it is exported (at least with the Android app). While it may not be noticeable, I still like having the peace of mind that I have the best possible image before uploading.
The other preset, Insta1080, is a back-up preset that will ask you on export where to save the files. This is useful if you have a workflow already in place and just want to have your images exported at the optimal dimensions for Instagram.
The download includes an important README .pdf file that explains how to install, configure, and use the presets. It also includes important information about what the best dimensions and aspect ratios Instagram supports:
“1080” & Original Image Sizes:
The preset includes “1080” in the name because that is the max width (in pixels) that Instagram currently allows photos to be posted with. Should this change, I’ll be sure to release some updated presets. Please note that you’ll need to have original photo sizes that are at least 1080px wide to get full quality on Instagram. The preset will not enlarge images that are smaller than 1080px in width, so the exported files will still be at the their own full quality, but will fall below the maximum quality that Instagram supports.
Instagram supports a landscape ratio up to 1.9:1 and a portrait ratio up to 4:5. You can use any ratios between these numbers, but anything outside of these numbers will be cropped. Therefore, I suggest you make sure you have these cropped properly in Lightroom beforehand, so you aren’t losing parts of your images. I suggest sticking with portrait formats more often than landscapes. Find out why here.
To sum up, the ideal photo sizes should fall between these dimensions: 1080px x 566px to 1080px x 1350px.
After considering your feedback, I’ve made all of my free Lightroom presets available to download without registration. If you enjoy the presets and want to stay connected with me, please sign-up for my mailing list below. Also, help spread the word by sharing this preset on Twitter![bctt tweet=”Export Instagram-ready images with this free #Lightroom preset from @thecreativv!” via=”no”]