Import from Smartphone


Today’s Question: I’m trying to figure out a way to import iPhone “Camera Roll” [or other smartphone] photos into Lightroom Classic at full resolution. How can I do this?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can actually import photos into Lightroom Classic directly from your smartphone through the normal Import feature. You could also download photos using other software, and then import into Lightroom as a separate process.

More Detail: One of the challenges of importing smartphone captures into Lightroom Classic is that Lightroom doesn’t provide a way to delete photos from the source you are downloading from. That means you would need to delete the photos from your smartphone manually after importing into Lightroom, assuming you didn’t want “extra” copies of those photos on your device.

Because of this issue, my preference is to download photos from my smartphone to my computer, using software that includes an option to delete the photos once they are downloaded. I then import those photos into Lightroom separately.

You could use Adobe Bridge to download photos to your hard drive, for example. In the Photo Downloader dialog within Adobe Bridge there is a “Delete Original Files” checkbox. However, if you turn this option on, photos will be deleted from your smartphone as soon as Adobe Bridge finishes downloading them.

My preference is to not delete the photos from my smartphone until I have imported those photos into Lightroom Classic and made an additional backup copy of the photos. Therefore, Adobe Bridge isn’t my preferred solution. I happen to use the Image Capture application included with the Macintosh operating system. With this software I can download the photos from my smartphone, import them into Lightroom Classic, and back up my photos hard drive. I will then delete all of the downloaded photos using the Image Capture software, which I keep running in the background while performing the other tasks.

But again, if you don’t mind manually deleting the photos from your smartphone, you can simply use the import feature in Lightroom Classic to download the source images (including HEIC captures with newer iPhone updates) directly from your smartphone.