Lightroom trick for fast sharing images to the cloud

I love it when I can pull together several great apps to work as one. A common task for me, and probably most photographers, is to work on some images in Lightroom and Photoshop then send copies of them to someone via a cloud service like Dropbox or a plethora of other options. I've tried many of them. Believe me. I'm a bit of a freak like that. Dropbox is great – I use it every day and it's awesome for collaborating on files or backup. However, my favorite way to simply share files is with the super simple app and service called Droplr.

Droplr is a cloud based file sharing service. The real beauty of it though lies in the desktop companion app that lives in your menu bar or system tray. You simply drop files on it, they upload, and a shortened link is automatically copied to your clipboard – ready to paste in an email. It couldn't get much easier…or could it?

Droplr installed in the Mac menu bar

Droplr installed in the Mac menu bar

Since I use Lightroom for all my image management, I wanted a way to export images directly from Lightroom, have multiple images zipped up in a single archive, and then automatically uploaded to Droplr for me. Turns out it wasn't that tough to do, with the help of a little Lightroom export preset tweaking.

So with this setup I can select any number of images in Lightroom, choose the export preset I've saved, and let 'er rip. Seconds or minutes later I hear a blip from Droplr and I know my images are online and a short link is ready to paste in an email or IM. Blamm-O!

Here's the steps to create this yourself on a Mac. You'll need a Droplr account  which is free for the basic version – although the Pro account for $3.99/mo. is well worth it to me. You'll also need the Droplr desktop app, which is free in the Mac App store. Of course, you'll need Lightroom too.

  1. Create a free Droplr account
  2. Install the free Droplr app
  3. Test that Droplr is working by dropping a small file on it in your menu bar.
  4. Open Lightroom and go to the export dialog box
  5. Choose the options you want (or copy mine)
  6. Make sure the final step is "Open in other application…" and choose Droplr
  7. Save these settings as an export preset

My Lightroom export preset settings. Be sure to change any that you need, including renaming or save location.

Tip: Make several variations of this export preset – one for low res images with watermarks, hi-res without watermarks for print, medium res for screen viewing, etc. Save each as a unique preset and choose the appropriate one at export time.

Droplr can also share videos, screen captures, and simple notes via it's menu app. If you have a supported browser in use, it will also give you the option to shorten and share the current URL you're at. It's super slick and one of my most used little apps!

Do you have another favorite way to automate your day? Share it in the comments and save us all some time!