Synchronizing Photos for Sharing


Today’s Question: I know that when you take photos with your phone you don’t keep them there. But surely you do have photos on your phone and I’m wondering what your workflow is for that and where you keep them. Do you use a synched Lightroom Mobile album or something else?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I happen to synchronize selected photos to my smartphone directly from my computer through the operating system. However, in general I consider synchronizing collections from Lightroom Classic to the Lightroom mobile app to be an excellent approach.

More Detail: In my view one of the most convenient ways to synchronize selected photos to a smartphone is to enable synchronization for selected collections in Lightroom Classic. Those collections and the photos they contain will then appear as albums in the Lightroom app on your smartphone.

The only reason I don’t make use of the option to synchronize photos from Lightroom Classic to the cloud so they are available in the Lightroom mobile app is that you can only synchronize a single catalog, and I need to be able to use that feature when teaching Lightroom Classic. I therefore have synchronization enabled for my current demo catalog, not the primary catalog that I use to manage all my photos.

If not for this issue, I would simply turn on synchronization for the collections in my Lightroom Classic catalog that I want to share, and those collections would appear as albums in the Lightroom app on my smartphone.

Therefore, I find it easiest to use computer-based synchronization for this purpose. I use an iPhone, and so I’m able to configure synchronization settings through the operating system when my iPhone is connected to the computer via USB. After connecting my iPhone to the computer, I can select it through the operating system similar to selecting an external hard drive. I can then go to the Photos tab and configure the settings for which images I want to synchronize. I maintain various folders to which I export copies of photos from Lightroom Classic that I want to be able to share.

My preference is to not keep new photos on my smartphone for very long. I download new photos, import them into Lightroom Classic, and delete them from my smartphone. I then use synchronization to make only selected photos available on my smartphone so I can easily share them with others directly on my device.