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How to upload photos from Lightroom into WordPress

Sell Media 2.0 introduced a laundry list of new features, including the ability to import photos that were exported from Adobe Lightroom. In this tutorial, I’ll show you just how easy it is to integrate these two powerful photography platforms.


For those who don’t know, Sell Media is our free WordPress plugin that allows anyone to sell photos, prints and downloads from their WordPress website. Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular photo editing applications.

What You’ll Need

  1. A WordPress.org website with Sell Media activated.
  2. Adobe Lightroom.
  3. FTP credentials to your website.

How It’s Done

1. Download the Lightroom 5 SDK. Locate the Lightroom_SDK_5.0.zip file on your computer and open it. Navigate into Lightroom SDK 5.0 -> Sample Plugins -> ftp_upload.lrdevplugin. The ftp_upload.lrdevplugin folder contains the FTP plugin that you’ll need to add to Lightroom.

lightroom-wordpress-sell-media-12. Open the Lightroom app and navigate to File -> Plugin Manager.

lightroom-wordpress-sell-media-43. Click the “Add” button.

lightroom-wordpress-sell-media-24. Navigate to the location of the ftp_upload.lrdevplugin folder on your computer and click “Add Plugin”.


5. Select the files that you want to add to Sell Media and click File -> Export. The Export box will appear. Select “FTP Upload” in the “Export To” select box.


6. Configure the “File Naming” and other sections to your preference. Important note: Always choose sRGB as your color space in the “File Settings” sections. sRGB is the format the web prefers. All other color spaces will have color shifts.


7. In the “FTP Server” section, click Destination -> Edit and fill in your FTP settings.


8. The “Server Path” field is very important. This is where Sell Media looks for folders of images to import. To find your server path, navigate to your WordPress dashboard -> Sell Media -> Add New screen toggle open the “Importing” button.


9. Back in Lightroom, make sure that the “Put in Subfolder” checkbox is checked. Give your folder a name. This will be the name of the folder that you select in the Sell Media “Importing” section.


10. Click “Export” and your files will be uploaded directly to your server and into the path you defined. If Lightroom cannot connect to your server, your FTP credentials or server path settings are incorrect.

11. Now visit your WordPress dashboard -> Sell Media -> Add New. Give your gallery a title. Toggle open the “Importing” button and select the folder of images that you just exported from Lightroom and click “Add Files”.


Sell Media will then begin bulk importing your images. Please note: Since this bulk import process is dependent on the capabilities of your server, you should consider only importing small batches of files at a time.

Congrats! You’re done!

In the future, you can skip the vast majority of the steps above and immediately export quickly from Lightroom into Sell Media. Pretty easy, right? Selling your photos, creating public and private galleries directly on your own independent WordPress website has never been easier. I hope you enjoy it!

5 responses to “How to upload photos from Lightroom into WordPress”

  1. Delton Childs Avatar

    Cool walkthrough. How I might expedite the tagging process & what fields I might want to be sure to include in my metadata template? Automation is the key to survival! Love the themes & features!

    1. Graph Paper Press Avatar

      Glad you like them Delton! I’d recommend including these fields: caption, keywords, location, city, state. Any terms in those fields get imported automatically when you use Sell Media. Regarding tagging, I’m not entirely sure what you mean. Are you referring to tagging in Lightroom?

  2. Gene Tewksbury Avatar
    Gene Tewksbury

    I don’t understand why you don’t just create a “Publishing Plugin”… All the competition has them. They are endlessly more versatile and useful for use than a clumsy export plugin. Seems kinda useless when compared to what I can do with so many other online selling platforms who do have LR publishing plugins.

    1. Graph Paper Press Avatar

      Our current approach ensures that exporting works with ANY application that can export. Any application with FTP export features (Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, etc) can use the Import Options in Sell Media.

  3. jf Avatar

    can the import feature in sell media be used to import images into galleries using different themes? If not, might be a useful feature to add…

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