Instagram is a name that has become synonymous with mobile photography. But the app that began as a miniaturized social network for friends to share images captured with their smartphones has quickly grown into a full-blown platform for photographers of all types. And as Instagram continues to make itself more appealing to brands and businesses, the idea of being able to upload images only via a mobile device is no longer novel. In fact, it’s completely outmoded. That’s where a new plugin called LR/Instagram comes in.
To be fair, standalone third-party solutions have existed for a while, allowing users to upload photos to Instagram from their computers, but LR/Instagram takes this a step further: it lets users share images straight from within Adobe Lightroom, without having to export the files first.
As detailed in Resource Magazine, the plugin is fairly straightforward. It can be downloaded for free from LR/Instagram’s homepage and installed like any other Lightroom plugin through the Plugin Manager. After that, LR/Instagram will show up as a new publish service. Click “set up” and enter your Instagram credentials, then simply drag photos onto it to share them to Instagram. Captions and hashtags can be added, and users have the option to maintain the original aspect ratio by automatically adding white borders to images, or to force the image to conform to one of Instagram’s accepted crops. Multiple accounts are also supported, with each new account showing up as its own publish service.
While most users report the plugin to work as advertised, there is currently one issue preventing a limited number of people from being able to log in to their accounts (including this writer). A query to the plugin author about the problem was returned almost immediately, and while it appears it is a known issue, there is currently no fix. The plugin is still stable and safe to try, but not all users may be able to use it at this time.
LR/Instagram is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS running Lightroom 3.3 or later. It’s licensed on a shareware basis, and is completely free to download and try, with a $10 suggested donation for those who find it useful.