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Lightroom Workflow: FTP Export Preset

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You know how the saying goes, "Time is Money". Whether it's a freelance artist on the job or an attorney at work, time is one of our most valuable commodities. The same goes for a photographer, who's most tedious task is the edit, which can take hours, days or weeks. Every photographer has there own particular workflow that suits their style. I would imagine that every photographer out there would always have an evolving workflow to make life easier.  That being said, I like to add perks to my Lightroom workflow that will save time. It could be a small perk, or a big perk. Either way, when you look back at the time spent on the grander scale, they all add up to time SAVED, which is money saved (or earned). The Lightroom workflow perk I'm going to talk about today is a export preset utilizing a FTP function that will allow you to export your images directly to an FTP server. This could be a server for a magazine editor, a clothing company, ad agency or any other reason to get your images to someone on an FTP server! In the world of image submissions, editors all have different requirements, making your exports that much more of a pain in the ass. If the editor is a good one, they will have an organized system that will in turn, make your Lightroom exports very straight forward. So, how do we accomplish this in Lightroom? First, you will need to download this Lightroom SDK. You won't see anything about the FTP plugin mentioned here. Trust me, just download and follow theses steps...

Installing FTP Upload Plugin for Lightroom

To install the plugin, simply click File > Plug-in Manager. When the window opens, click the "Add" button on the lower left corner. Then locate the Sample Plugins folder within the Lightroom SDK 5.0 folder that you unzipped. Locate the plugin ftp_upload.lrdevplugin and open that file. All done! For my example, I'll show you how I would build a preset for my favorite magazine to submit to, The Fly Fish Journal.

Step 1:

Choose image or images, then click File > Export This will prompt an export window that will open where you will create your preset.

Step 2:

At the top of the export window you will need to change the "Export To:" option, to FTP Upload. If this option is not in the dropdown menu, check that the plugin is enabled by clicking on the Plug-In Manager button on the lower left corner of the window. ftp-option

Step 3:

Now you need to go through the options for file naming, file settings, and image sizing. Fill out these fields appropriate to the submission guidelines given to you by the editor. In my particular case, these are my settings for The Fly Fish Journal:
  1. File Naming | Rename To: Custom Name - Sequence > jones-matt-tffj-1.jpg
  2. File Settings | Image Format: JPEG, Color Space: sRGB, Quality: 100,
  3. Image Sizing | Resize to Fit: Long Edge > 1000px, Resolution: 72dpi
ftp-lightroom-settings

Step 4:

Next we will go in to the FTP settings and input the server information (provided by editor or publication). Make sure you enter all the information correctly, otherwise you won't be able to connect to their server. FTP-setup It's important that you understand the path to where your images will go. The root path (primary folder) is signified by one forward slash "/". The folder name comes after that. If this is your first time to submit, you will need to have the admin create a folder for you, or use an FTP client and do it yourself. So, for me, I upload to my folder /JONES_MATT/GENERAL SUBMISSION. If you have subfolders for general submissions or for cover shots, etc. you would add another forward slash for the path of the folder. NOTE: Before you click "OK", make sure you save the current settings as preset (top of window) so that your export preset will use these server settings. Lastly, once you have filled out all of your settings, you can create a new export preset by clicking "add" at the bottom of the preset pane within the export window. That's it! You now have a FTP export preset that will save you a ton of time.  

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