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How to export images using Lightroom export presets – And boost your SEO

filed in: Photography, SEO

In this post, I will show you how to use Lightroom export presets to quickly export your images in high resolution and web quality.

This post is a continuation of the previous post about creating a solid Lightroom workflow and keeping your images organized.

If you feel unorganized with your image organization, go read that post!

If you don’t use Lightroom, here is a step by step guide on how to optimize your website images.

Keep reading to learn more about how to export your images using Lightroom export presets.

Why you should use Lightroom export presets

Exporting your images correctly in Lightroom is very important.

It’s especially important for SEO when you’re using those images on your website and blog.

If you don’t do it correctly you can kill your page speed which negatively affects your SEO.

You also don’t want to upload low-resolution files to your client galleries as your clients won’t be able to print their images with the best quality possible.

As a web designer for wedding photographers, one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers constantly making is uploading images with HUGE file sizes.

By huge I mean more than 500kB. I keep my blog images to 1200px wide and less than 250kB, and so should you.

How to set up and use Lightroom export presets for digital and film shooters

An easy way to keep images consistent is to use Lightroom export presets. In this post, I will walk you through how to create Lightroom export presets and which settings you should use when exporting for both your blog and your client’s gallery.

One thing to keep in mind is treating film scans differently than digital SLR images. I have found that film scans need different settings to keep the same quality.

To create Lightroom export presets, follow these steps:

The following steps outline export settings for:

  • Digital images – Web quality
  • Film Scans – Web quality
  • Digital Images – High quality
  • Film Scans – High Quality

For exporting DIGITAL IMAGES used for Blog and Social Media (web quality):

  1. Select the edited images inside of Lightroom that you will be using for your blog and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked).
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Color Space: sRGB
      • Limit File Size To: 250 K
    • Image Sizing
      • Resize to Fit: Width & Height
      • W: 1,600
      • H: Leave blank.
      • Set size units to ‘pixels’
      • Resolution 100 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: Copyright Only
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Blog – Digital”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > blog folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting RAW files that will be uploaded to your website/blog.

For exporting FILM SCANS used for Blog and Social Media (web quality):

  1. Select the edited images inside Lightroom that you will be using for your blog and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked).
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Color Space: sRGB
      • Limit File Size To: 350 K
    • Image Sizing
      • Resize to Fit: Width & Height
      • W: 1,600
      • H: Leave blank.
      • Set size units to ‘pixels’
      • Resolution 100 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: Copyright Only
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Blog – Film”.
  5. Click ‘Export’
  6. Navigate to the Outputs > blog folder inside of that specific client’s folder.

Use this preset when exporting film scans that will be uploaded to your website/blog.

For exporting DIGITAL IMAGES used for client galleries (high resolution):

  1. Select all of your edited images inside of Lightroom and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked)
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Quality: 85
      • Color Space: sRGB
    • Image Sizing
      • Resolution 300 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: All Metadata
      • Remove Personal info
      • Remove Location Info
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Client – Digital”.
  5. Click ‘Export’

Use this preset when exporting RAW files that will be uploaded to client galleries.

For exporting edited FILM SCANS used for client galleries (high resolution):

  1. Select all of your edited film scans inside of Lightroom and click File > Export.
  2. An export window will pop up, put in these settings (if I don’t mention a setting it is because it is unchecked).
    • Export Location
      • Export to: Choose folder later
      • Existing Files: Ask what to do
    • File Settings
      • Image Format: JPEG
      • Quality: 100
      • Color Space: sRGB
    • Image Sizing
      • Resolution 300 ‘pixels per inch’
    • Metadata
      • Include: All Metadata
      • Remove Personal info
      • Remove Location Info
    • Post Processing
      • After Export: Do nothing
  3. Once you have all of the correct settings, click on the “Add” button at the bottom left of the window.
  4. Name this preset “Client – Film”.
  5. Click ‘Export’

Use this preset when exporting edited film scans that will be uploaded to client galleries.

Conclusion

Knowing how to using Lightroom export presets will not only save you time and keep all of your exported images consistent but make you more knowledgeable in your profession.

As a professional photographer, I think its necessary for you to know how to use Lightroom professionally.

There are definitely other ways of compressing and resizing images, so be sure to check out my image optimization tutorial.

By using the Blog export presets, you will be able to keep your website load speed fast which is great for SEO.

What is something you’d like to know about Lightroom, photography, or your website? Let me know in the comments below!

Nov 12, 2017

Comments & Questions
Leave a comment ↓
  1. jessie says:

    thanks for the post! 2 questions: first, is there ever a time when we should be ticking the “do not enlarge box,” and secondly, why did you choose to include ‘all metadata” except personal and location info in exports to clients (as opposed to copyright only)? appreciate the help!

    • Ryan Moreno says:

      Hi Jessie! Thanks for reading! You would use “Don’t Enlarge” when you do not want LR to scale up your image width (or height). The ‘Don’t Enlarge” checkbox ensures that any image with a smaller width does not scale up to what you have set your width to be, in the case of blog exports (1600px). For example, if you have an image that is 800px and you tell LR to export that image at 1600px with ‘Don’t Enlarge” checked, it will skip the resizing. I assume that most people reading this are exporting Raw/original files that are much larger than 1600px, therefore I left it unchecked.

      I chose to include all metadata because I like to keep the capture time included in the exported file. This is really helpful for organizing your outputs in LR.

      With that said, all of the settings are just preference and not necessarily a must for all wedding photographers!

  2. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful information! I had a quick question ~ if I am explorting film for my blog do I follow these directions above from Lightroom (film scans for web quality) and THEN optimize the images in Jpeg Mini to make them even smaller?

    Looking forward to your thoughts!
    Thank you

    ~ Tara

    • Ryan Moreno says:

      Hey Tara! You could definitely use JPEG Mini after you export using the LR export settings for film scans, but just make sure to check to see if they look too compressed afterwards! If so, skip the JPEG Mini spep and just use the LR exports 🙂 Hope that helps!

      • tara says:

        Hi Ryan!

        OK, The files are around 350kb so many that is OK? When would I use JPEG mini then?

        I had been previously told to export files from Lightroom to 1600 pixels (72dpi) and then bring in to JPEG mini to optimize. Shall I just skip the optimizing step with Jpeg mini and just export the film files from LR for the web as you had mentioned?

        Thank you in advance!
        Warmly,
        Tara

        • Ryan Moreno says:

          I would say that 350kb is good for a blog. Its not too big, especially if the photos are the main part of the post! Here is a fun little project you could do. Make 2 private posts, one called “LR exports” and the other called “LR plus JPEG Mini” and upload images to the LR exports post that have only been compressed by LR. Then upload images compressed by both Lightroom and JPEG Mini to the other post. View them on your computer and mobile phone and see if there is a difference. If there is no difference in file resolution then I would go with the smaller file size image! Also, if you’d like to send me on of the full resolution images to my email, I can do this for you and post the results to this post with credit to you 🙂

  3. Suzanne says:

    Hello
    I followed the directions for the social media web page. The photos are pretty blurry when I zoom in on my computer. Did I do it wrong? OR is that the way it is supposed to be on your computer but then its fine on Facebook or Instagram?

    • Ryan Moreno says:

      Hey Suzanne, the biggest factor is making sure that your images are 1600px wide. If you zoom in a lot they may be a bit blurry as the original resolution was probably around 6000px wide! How do the photos look when you upload them to a blog or your website? Do you have a link you can share that I can take a look?

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