LATEST Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram

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Katty Ros

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Uploading photos to Instagram involves more than just snapping a picturesque shot and posting it. The quality of your post can significantly be affected by the export settings you choose in Adobe Lightroom Classic. This guide will walk you through the ideal export settings to ensure your images look their best once they hit your Instagram feed.

Step 1: Preparing Your Photo

Choosing the Right Aspect Ratio:

  • Open your photo in Lightroom Classic and navigate to the crop section.
  • Select the 4:5 ratio, which is perfect for Instagram posts. This ratio uses the platform’s optimal vertical space, making your photos appear larger and more engaging.
  • If dealing with a horizontal photo, adjust the crop area by dragging the corners to fit the 4:5 ratio, ensuring the subject of your photo remains central and prominent.

Step 2: Exporting Your Photo

Setting Up Export Preferences:

  • After cropping your photo, click on File and then Export. This action brings up the export window where you can specify how and where your photo will be saved.
  • If exporting multiple photos, check the option to export into an automatically created folder, which organizes your files neatly.

File Naming and Formats:

  • In the file naming section, customize the name of the exported file if desired.
  • Choose JPEG as the image format for compatibility and set the quality to 100% to avoid compression artifacts.
  • Leave the ‘Limit File Size’ option unchecked to not restrict the file size, which can degrade image quality.

Adjusting Color Settings:

  • To prevent colors from looking oversaturated once uploaded to Instagram, ensure the color space is set to sRGB, which is the preferred profile for web images.

Step 3: Resizing and Resolution

Setting Optimal Dimensions:

  • In the image sizing section, check the Resize to Fit box and set the width and height. For a typical vertical Instagram photo (1080×1350 pixels), doubling these dimensions to 2160×2700 pixels for mobile photos or quadrupling to 4320×5400 pixels for DSLR photos enhances quality and details.
  • Set the resolution to 300 pixels per inch. While commonly associated with printing, this setting has been shown to improve the appearance of images viewed on high-resolution displays.

Step 4: Final Touches and Exporting

Sharpening and Watermarking:

  • Skip output sharpening if the focus is on maintaining natural textures.
  • Use the watermarking section to add a custom watermark. This feature is particularly useful for photographers who want to protect their work.

Post-Processing and Saving Presets:

  • In the post-processing section, choose what happens after exporting. Setting this to ‘Show in Finder’ or ‘Open in Adobe Photoshop’ can be helpful for immediate review or additional editing.
  • Before exporting, save these settings as a preset named ‘Instagram Export’ for future use, ensuring consistency across all your uploads.

Increasing Sharpness:

  • Go to the detail section and increase the sharpness slightly to enhance details and contours without making the photo appear overly processed.
  • Use the masking slider while holding the Ctrl key to apply selective sharpening, allowing you to target specific areas of the photo for clarity.


Following these steps will not only streamline your workflow but also significantly boost the quality of your Instagram posts. The right export settings in Lightroom Classic can make a substantial difference in how your photos are perceived, helping you grow your presence and engagement on the platform.

Remember, each photo might require slight adjustments based on its unique elements and how they interact with these settings. Experimentation and continual learning will help you refine your approach for even better results.

I hope this guide helps you in achieving the best possible quality for your Instagram photos. For more tips and tricks on photo editing, make sure to subscribe on my youtube channel and turn on notifications for the latest updates. Share your thoughts and your own tips in the comments below, and let’s continue to improve together!

Happy posting!


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Katty Ros

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