We all work so hard preparing, shooting, retouching, and giving our all to creating our images. After everything is finished and the photos look amazing, we can't wait to share our photos to the world! But how do we know we're uploading the highest quality photos possible? Last year, I shared with you all a preset that I use daily to export photos out of Lightroom for Facebook. In this article, I'll add to my list of recommendations and show you two options that I swear by and have tested over-and-over to make sure I share crisp not only Facebook, but other mediums such as my website; so you can share the same quality!
Method 1: Exporting Photos from Lightroom for Facebook
Why do photos uploaded to Facebook commonly look compressed? The root of this problem is better known as "compression artifacts." While we all enjoy the ease of posting unlimited images free of charge to our friends and followers, Facebook compresses their images in order to reduce file size, hence save bandwidth space.
After experimenting with different exporting and uploading methods to Facebook, I've found a reliable export preset on Lightroom that I use often. Before I share the preset I've made for Lightroom, I’d like to make clear that there a wide array of ways to get to the same desired result of high quality photos for Facebook. This is simply the method I’ve found more suitable for my workflow.
Method 2: Exporting Photos Using JPEG Mini Plug-In
The second method I recommend is using the JPEG Mini plug-in. The purpose of this plug-in/app is to cut your photo file's size in half or more without sacrificing any resolution or quality.
As you can see below in my example, the JPEGmini plugin saved 11.4 MB of file space, and my final image resulted in a size of 3.9 MB. Not bad for starting with a 36-megapixel raw file.
When uploaded to Facebook, the photos still look crisp even though they are still uploaded in full resolution. This plug-in/app is a game changer for photographers looking to share their photos with clients, friends, and social media without having to create multiple files for different purposes.
The JPEGmini Pro bundle comes with a few options, most notably its new Photoshop plugin, and it also comes with a Lightroom plugin as well as its stand-alone application. All together for $99. They also offer a free-trial.
So why would you bother to spend the money over my preset setting? Here are some advantages I've found using the JPEG Mini personally:
- Photos are full resolution
- Can be used in Lightroom & Photoshop
- Only need one file made for all uses, instead of making multiple files
After extensively using both these options on daily basis in my workflow, I find myself using both methods for certain situations. I'd give my preset the slight nod when specifically posting to Facebook, it's a smaller file that does not take as much time to upload onto Facebook. Overall though, I give the edge to JPEGmini, the reason for that is it's so versatile in many situations and renders photos at original, full resolution at a fraction of the file size. With all that said, both of these methods are great options.