TUESDAY TIPS: iPhone-Lightroom Workflow

Apple’s Photo Stream functionality is awesome. Take pictures with your phone, and when you get back to your computer, they’re automatically imported to iPhoto or Aperture via the cloud.
But what if you don’t use iPhoto or Aperture?

I’ve really tried to like Aperture, but Lightroom just works better for me. Thankfully, with a little help from the Dropbox iOS app, you don’t need Photo Stream at all.

Sign up for a free Dropbox account if you haven’t already

Install the Dropbox app on your iPhone, and on your computer

Make sure Camera Upload setting is turned on

The app will ask you if you want to turn it on for all photos or just new ones. It’s up to you whether or not you want to upload your existing photos initially.

UPDATE 4/25/2013: It appears that Dropbox either removed the option to upload only new photos, or the option is only available the first time you turn Photo Uploads on. I can’t seem to find the option anywhere in the app anymore

The Dropbox app will upload your photos


Once the photos have synced to your computer, open Lightroom

Use the Import dialog in Lightroom, and point it towards the Camera Uploads directory in your Dropbox folder.

Be sure to tell Lightroom to “Move” photos.

The import will go pretty quickly, and your photos will be in Lightroom

NOTE: Lightroom doesn’t support PNG files, so screen captures won’t be imported

From now on, when ever you open the Dropbox app, it will begin uploading any new photos.

10 thoughts on “TUESDAY TIPS: iPhone-Lightroom Workflow

Add yours

  1. Hi Daniel,Thanks for this!!! iPhone workflow has been driving me insane – I think this will work out very well.
    BTW, Lightroom 5 now supports PNG.
    Can this be automated further by setting Lightroom to watch the Dropbox folder and import the images automagically?


    1. I noticed that LR5 supports PNG–awesome! You can definitely use the Auto Import feature in LR to watch the Dropbox folder. The only downside I saw to that was that it dumps all the images in one folder. Currently, when I import, I like to have LR automatically create date-based folders. Just depends on your workflow and preference. Thanks for your comment!


  2. Thanks for this post! I used it as a sort of reference to get my photos automagically into Lightroom but I use Android and OneDrive instead. Works great!


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