New: Sync Your Photos with Lightroom’s Latest Plugin

Calling all Adobe fans! We’ve heard that Lightroom’s built-in SmugMug uploader has been one of your favorite ways of getting photos into your sites. So we thought we’d let you know about our most recent update.

What’s New in the Latest Version

  • Previously, syncing went in one direction only: from Lightroom over to SmugMug. Now it’s a two-way street. Lightroom will find any images you’ve previously uploaded to your SmugMug galleries and match them to existing images in your library. Synchronicity, baby!
  • Pros who use Events will find that their clients’ Favorites get pulled into into a separate Collection in Lightroom.

  • Finally, we’ve heard your cries about how your innovative, snappy image titles were getting left at the door. You now have the option to publish your Titles or Captions (or both) in the SmugMug image caption field for all to see.

No plugin? Get it now

If you’re coasting on an older version and want to upgrade to the shiniest version, look here.

Questions? Follow the instructions on our help page to get started.

Enjoy!

146 thoughts on “New: Sync Your Photos with Lightroom’s Latest Plugin”

  1. I tried to sync my trial LR4 about a week ago. It would not sync. My SmugMug folders indicated I had zero files.

    I opened up a ticket and was eventually told that SmugMug does not support LR4 or sync due to the fact that it is beta.

    If anyone has had this problem or has a work around, let me know.

    This plugin will be a large factor on whether or not I buy Adobe LR4.

    1. This shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t think it would be in their interest to make this compatible for LR4 until it is out of Beta. LR is fantastic so wouldn’t want you to be discouraged just because of this!!

    2. Larry, this new plugin version should work fine with LR4 (including syncing), I’ve been testing the plugin with different LR4 releases on and off for a few months.

    3. My LR3 sync stopped working monthsout of the blue months ago. After hours of working with heros, I have given up on getting this to work.

      1. Lisa, I’d love to follow up with you on this problem…can you please email the helpdesk and ask to be put in touch with me ?

    4. Larry, I was all excited about using LR 4 with SmugMug. I was able to upload to SmugMug after an ordeal of weird behavior. Then I thought I would try the “Sync Photo” option, only to have local photos being mapped into LR 4 SmugMug Collections.
      Did you get a resolution towards having SmugMug work with LR 4?

  2. How about a little love for the long-ignored Picasa uploader? Not all of us want or need to shell out for LR.

    1. Hi Aaron, unfortunately Google provides no way to do the sort of integration that LR provides. The API that we currently use to integrate uploading with Picasa has been deprecated by Google, so who knows how long that functionality will remain available for.

  3. I’d love to see an uploader for Corel’s new AfterShot Pro. ASP is a great program that does 90% of what LR 3 does at 10% of the price.

  4. Terrific! Best news I’ve heard from SmugMug … and it’s almost always good! :-) … in some time. A high-five to Sorcerers involved and to management kahunas.

    Tom Black
    Lafayette CA

  5. When you say two-way sync – surely you mean just the gallery numbers – the plugin sync isn’t going to download all the photos that are already out there surely? A little more info on the two-way sync please?

  6. Larry – when I sync galleries – the ones that were published on a different computer (I publish from multiple desktops and laptops) are always zeros. And I have been using the Beta 4.0 LR since the day it was announced – my built-in smugmug plugin worked exactly as it did in 3.6 – I didn’t do anythin differently than I always do – right after I installed the Beta 4.0, I did a Smug Sync, my gallery list came over correctly, and I published about 3000 images in the following week withing beta 4.0. However, I was within about 500 images from being done with that particular event when the publish stopped working reliably – so I finished up back in LR3.6 (had to re-process those last several hundred since the beta doesn’t export at all, which was a pain, but something I knew I had to expect might happen when I decided to work in the Beta so no biggie).

  7. I tried it with Lightroom 3.6 and noticed no difference. The config “SmugMug Settings” above does not exist. Only a “Settings” window is available (and that has upload method as PUT)
    The Status window reports Version 1.0.2.19

    1. Striebel, look under the settings on the Publish Manager screen instead of the Plugin Manager screen.

  8. So if I renamed the exported photos for a gallery from my catalog how will that work?
    If I only choose say 400 images of a sporting event to keep in the LR catalog but only export and upload 200. I rename them and number them on export. Will this plugin want to create duplicates in the catalog then?

    If I use image1, skip a few and then export images 10-40, I would rename them image_30 instead of leaving image_40.

    1. Anthony, firstly, it doesn’t actually download images from SmugMug so there is no risk of duplicates within your catalog. Syncing is done primarily by searching the LR catalog using DateTimeOriginal and CameraModel of the images on SmugMug. Matches are then associated with the SmugMug image….just like when you upload a new image. If multiple matches are found, a dialog is displayed for the user to choose the best match.

  9. This will be very helpful – Awesome…Sync the two together is amazing…love the other way around SM TO LR..

  10. I have tons of photos that are years old, that are not located on my hard drive or lightroom catalog anymore, and I would prefer to keep it that way with my current setup. Will turning this feature on download all photos that are not in my catalog anymore, or just not sync them?

  11. Great new feature ! I’m giving a try to it, and I have issues with the conflict resolution in the sync process : some pictures in Smugmug seems to be the same than the one in Lightroom, except that the one in Smugmug is a .jpg, and the one in LR is a Raw or a .dng. Could it be because of the conversion process within SmugMug ? In that case, I should sync them ? Or, on the reverse, is the.jpg another image with the same dimensions, that I exported before importing into SmugMug ? In the latter, I should sync with this .jpeg export (and find it on my HD first..). Thanks

  12. hem, another question about the nature of the sync process : just to be sure, the LR picture will never be replaced by the Smugmug picture ? It’s just a kind of pairing, establishing a link between both ?

    1. yes, that’s correct…it’s just linking the images like it does when you upload new images from within LR.

  13. Looks like you guys still have not fixed the issue for Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 Users who do not have a file manager plugin for that program. Which means I am still unable to use this feature without completely disabling my anti-virus.

  14. Is am having a major problem with synching. When I try, it has finding hundreds of conflicts, due to the image being a .CR2 in Lightroom and a .JPG in Smugmug, yet there is no way to select an action to apply to all, or avoid the conflicts. The only option is to go through each conflict one by one and make a choice. I did this for about 30 minutes and gave up in frustration

    Help!

    Michael

    1. Michael, Is there any chance you could contact the helpdesk about sending us your LR catalog for me to take a look at ? I understand your frustration, but I hope you understand that we are trying to achieve something that hasn’t really been done before with a LR plugin. While we have worked through a number of iterations of how the image syncing works, we are aware of some cornercases that could be improved and others that are more difficult due to limitations of the LR SDK.

      1. Was Michael able to send you his catalog? I’m having the same issue here. The only thing in my catalog that doesn’t match is the name (.JPG vs .CR2). Sometimes there are multiple photos taken at the same “time” (sports, rapid shutter). It would be awesome if it could just strip off the extension of both the Smugmug and Lightroom versions to find a match in the catalog.

        Thanks–looking forward to using the plugin!

        Geoff Faulkner

      2. Hi David,
        I am still having the same problem. It is very frustrating. If there was a way to “Match All” this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But I imagine their are hundreds (if not thousands) of photos and it would be incrediably time consuming to hit match for each and every photo. Do you still need me to email the cat? Can you send me your email address? I also have a screenshot of an example

      3. This is still an issue for me, is there a resolution to the conflicts resolution. I am working my way through 2321 conflicts, it’s going to take days to sort this problem out.

  15. Call me a oldie, but i have an old version of LR that I still use. Version 1.4 By chance does this work with this plugin?

    1. Hey Kenny, unfortunately, the cool stuff that Adobe added to LR3 is required for our plugin to work :(

  16. What do you have for us guys with JUST an iPhone?
    I mean..the iPhone 4 (and 4S) are the BIG photos takers these days.
    I really don’t want get Lightroom just for syncing but all other options suck.
    Thanks!

    1. Lightroom imports the pictures off my iPhone 4 perfectly. Imports pix off CF’s too perfectly.

      If you like seeing where you took pictures, the iPhone will add GPS data to your pictures which Lightroom 4 reads and places on a Google map, marking where you took the pic with a pin on a map Amazing technology.

  17. Is there a way to “bulk match” for Conflict Resolutions when Syncing? I have thousands of pictures, and I am not really wanting to have to click “Match” for every single one…?

    1. I just tried both links and neither work. Get a 404 can’t find link message:
      “SmugMug’s Support Heroes are awfully sorry, but we just can’t find that page.”

  18. Feature suggestion – for Sync, please perform a pre-calculation and present me with the total number of images in the ‘needs to be manually matched’ queue. Then, give the option of auto-matching all of them based on the plugin’s first choice.

    This way, I’ll know that I only have 50 matches to make manually, and I’ll do it. But if I see 500 matches need to be made, I’ll probably let the plugin do it.

    Right now I’ve been clicking through the dialog box, and have no clue how long I’ll need to do this for. If I click cancel I assume the sync operation will be stopped at whatever stage it’s at.

    Cancelling at this point should just cancel the manual matching process, and continue matching where the plugin can do so automatically.

  19. I have the latest SmugMug Lightroom plug-in installed on my Mac but the two-way synch is not working. What do I need to do in order to get this working?

      1. David and Brenda,

        You can sync the images for your entire account from the Plublish Manager dialog or on a per gallery basis from the Gallery Edit dialog.

    1. Thanks so much! I actually restarted my computer and it looks like the two way sync is now working properly.

  20. Heck yeah! Way to go SmugMug, this is great!

    One request, allow us to upload in TIFF compressed for our digital archive copy, then you guys can make the JPGs from there. I’d be willing to upgrade to Pro for that feature!

  21. This worked really well – and was quick and efficient. My problem is that I continually tweak stuff in my catalog and do not want the updates to be re-published necessarily. Is there a way (I thought I read about this in the news about this new plug-in) to mark photos to not re-publish? There is a right-click menu option to mark a photo to re-publish!

    1. G’day Brian, our plugin never actually marks any photos to be republished, so if that is occurring it’s LR related rather than the plugin. Adobe have realised that not giving control of this flag to users was a mistake…and in LR4, there is a context menu item that lets you say that an image is up to date.

    1. No, it won’t. We weren’t allowed to add new features to dot releases while embedded. From LR4 onwards, we won’t be embedded anyway…but this is a good thing since we will be able to push out new releases whenever we want or need to.

  22. Can the captions entered in SmugMug be synched back into LR? I have tons of captions already in smugmug and want to pull them back into LR.

    1. Mark, currently we treat the LR catalog as the master with respect to images, there are plans to be able to sync back captions, etc but there is no timeframe at this stage for when this will be available.

  23. Power user feature request: I’m using Jeff Friedl’s plugin at the moment mostly for one feature: the ability to write a little Lua script fragment to construct the caption. This lets me intelligently assemble a caption that includes the location, city, and so on. Any chance of a similar feature?

  24. It looks good, but it STILL doesn’t upload ORIGINAL images. Despite choosing “Original” as the type/quality, this version (like all the rest) saves the image as a new JPG, degrading quality. It’s definitely possible to upload the original through Lightroom, Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin does it just fine. I really wish that worked properly, that really makes this a no-go for me, since I use Smugmug as an off site backup. I want the originals backed up, not a degraded copy.

    1. G’day Luke, Sorry, I’ve been meaning to resolve that issue for a while. It’s fixed for the next release (1.0.2.25) which will be available some time this week.

  25. Bummer that it isn’t a true sync that will download the files from Smugmug into my LR library.

    I often shoot photos on my phone and upload them with SmugShots and would love to be able to sync them all into LR.

    Currently I use RapidFetcher to download all the files from Smugmug then put them into LR.

    Full sync would be amazing.

    Thanks.

    Phil

    1. Phil, the ability to import photos back into the catalog will come…but it’s a little bit more complex. Once we iron out some of the chinks/corner cases of how syncing currently works, I’m sure importing will be high on my list.

  26. This is not as easy as it may seem. I still cant figure out where I have to go and what I have to do… This is where I wanna give up and say screw it….
    I have LR3 and the images above showing publish, is NO where in sight… Ack….

  27. Why does it upload video files multiple times (4) and then report that the video files didn’t upload? These are short, raw 5D MKII files. It’s done it so far on both upload attempts with the new 1.0.2.25 plugin.

  28. Hi – Great idea as I’ve had the challenge for a while. I had been uploading images from my laptop while on the road and it was a pain to consolidate the galleries once I got home and added the images to my main repository.

    That being said, you still have some work to do in matching/processing photos.
    I’ve been spending hours trying to sync everything and have been facing endless questions for confirmation – most of which are not required.
    — images with the same filename and model and taken time that are jpg on SmugMug and a raw format on Lightroom should auto-match unless a jpg exists with same parameters.
    – if all parameters are equal except dimension and dimension is only different by 1 pixel then declare identical
    – stop showing me filenames that are not identical as candidates if an identical filename and all other parameters exists (I shoot bursts)

    My conflict resolution process has been going on for a while because it keeps crashing some time along – it then often shows me the same images (several) over again which is uber frustrating and wastes time. aren’t you writing your results to the database??

    thanks :)
    Joel

    1. I could have written this word for word. The lack of filename matching for conflict resolution is really driving me nuts. If two pictures are taken on the same camera at the same time, see if the file name can’t determine which is the proper match instead of making me click Match 50 times for each gallery. For example, if DSC_8435.NEF and DSC_8436.NEF in LR were both taken at the same time, you shouldn’t have to ask me which one is a match for DSC_8435.JPG in SmugMug. It’s pretty obvious.

  29. LR4?! I just bought LR3.4! I am NOT paying again!

    Ok, now that’s that.

    Only one question: if when it syncs it doesn’t match the photos in my library, will it download the photo or not sync it?

  30. David Parry :
    Michael, Is there any chance you could contact the helpdesk about sending us your LR catalog for me to take a look at ? I understand your frustration, but I hope you understand that we are trying to achieve something that hasn’t really been done before with a LR plugin. While we have worked through a number of iterations of how the image syncing works, we are aware of some cornercases that could be improved and others that are more difficult due to limitations of the LR SDK.

    Same problem to me… But conflict here is with jpeg and nikon NEF files….

    1. As a matter of interest, are you looking for it to match on the jpeg or raw file ? If you want to contact the helpdesk, I can maybe provide you with an early beta version for testing.

  31. OK, I’m a little confused, maybe I just missed the answer….is this only available for LR4 Beta, or does it work with LR3.6? When I look in my Smugmug settings, I don’t see the extra box to click for syncing.

    If it’s only available for LR4, I’ll wait until that comes out no problem, but it will definitely be something to look forward to getting!

  32. Great new version ! And a great work !!. You have saved me a lot of work. It now recognizes collected photos as what they are, you can replace original raws with mor recent Tiffs, and you can see your entire Smugmug library of photos perfectly sinchronized at LR. Keep on !!. I am an even more enthusiast ‘sumugger’ now

  33. I Absolutely love this plug in, the ease of loading and editing photos a huge plus, To me it make my site, smug mug a hundred times more valuable.

  34. Hi David,

    I am still having the same problem. It is very frustrating. If there was a way to “Match All” this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But I imagine their are hundreds (if not thousands) of photos and it would be incrediably time consuming to hit match for each and every photo. Do you still need me to email the cat? Can you send me your email address? I also have a screenshot of an example.

  35. This plug has been nothing more than a waste of my time.
    It keeps matching the same photos over and over and over and over and I have THOUSANDS of photos in my galleries.
    I need assistance with this asap please.

    I am using LR4 thank you.

  36. Why do I have to click on NOT MATCH for every photo that I have already uploaded before with LR3. Is it because of the settings/processing setting changing in the new version????

    This is very frustrating and such a waste of time. The old plug in was working JUST FINE.

    Please I need a solution to access my galleries ASAP through LR4 ASAP with no UPDATES whatsoever.

  37. Michael Bonocore :
    Hi David,
    I am still having the same problem. It is very frustrating. If there was a way to “Match All” this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But I imagine their are hundreds (if not thousands) of photos and it would be incrediably time consuming to hit match for each and every photo. Do you still need me to email the cat? Can you send me your email address? I also have a screenshot of an example

    I 3rd THIS!!!

  38. I have been using Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin with LR3 which works quite well. Now I have upgraded to LR4 and wasn’t aware of Smugmug’s plugin. How do the two compare?

    1. Hi Jeff, you can give both a try and see which one works best for you. There’s lots of folks who swear by either one, or both. :) The SmugMug plugin is free to use so you can give it a whirl with nothing to lose.

  39. I am running LR4 and the latest SmugMug plugIn (1.0.4.7) and uploads works fine, but sync does not work for me. If I do it from the plugIn manager, it looks like it is doing something, but nothing gets done, and quits. I also tried it on each individual gallery and it says “Resolving Conflicts” and then quits. Am I doing something wrong? Syncing worked for me with one of the older versions, but I forget which one it was.

      1. Not yet. I sent a copy of my catalog for the developer to look at to see if he could find my problem. I haven’t heard back from them yet. I will let you know as soon as I find something out.

  40. I have never been able to complete a sync with the photos option checked. I get about 15% into it and then I am forced to manually match up several photos. I generally only last about 15 minutes before I give up. Is there an automated way to do this? Am I making any progress at all with 15-minute increments? Or do I lose the changes I already selected and it starts over the next time?

      1. I have exactly the same problem. I get to approx 15-20% of the synch process completed and then I have to check each photo. As a result I end up cancelling the process. Can this issue be overcome?

      1. Brenda, Scott and David, if you’re still seeing this issue could you check to be sure that you’re using the latest version of the plugin? You can get it here: http://smu.gs/MUvhxG

        If that still doesn’t work, please shoot our Support Heroes a message!

  41. i’m not sure if i saw it in here but i wanted to move all my photos from my laptop to smugmug through LR and then delete the photos permanently from my laptop. Will syncing the next time around remove photos from smugmug since i won’t have the photos in my library anymore ?

    1. Hi Jules, did you get this worked out? For the record, no, your photos won’t get deleted that way. The sync works from SmugMug –> Lightroom, and it will ask if you want to delete photos from SM. But you can tell it “No” and everything will be OK.

  42. I am noticing an oddity, and want to see if 1) it works this way deliberately, and 2) if there is a workaround.

    If I have a caption written for a photo on my smugmug.com site, it doesn’t seem to sync/link back to my Lightroom 3.6 catalog. If there is no caption, then the plugin “sees” the photo and links it in Lightroom.

    Is this accurate? It is annoying, because I have a lot of photos with captions on the smugmug.com site that subsequently do not link back to my LR catalog.

    1. Scratch this, there are also many photos without captions that aren’t linking back to Lightroom as well. I thought I was onto something, but alas.

      So how can I get this to work. Viewing the metadata on both smugmug.com and in LR, I see no difference in the 2 but the plugin is not syncing/linking for me. Sigh.

      1. Hi Jeremy, the photos generally have to already exist in your LR catalog for the sync to work, so is it possible you have multiple catalogs? In any case, please write to our Heroes with all the details and one of our Lightroom experts can help you out: http://help.smugmug.com/

  43. schmoo :
    Hi Jeremy, the photos generally have to already exist in your LR catalog for the sync to work, so is it possible you have multiple catalogs? In any case, please write to our Heroes with all the details and one of our Lightroom experts can help you out: http://help.smugmug.com/

    Hi schmoo. Yes, I have the pictures in the LR catalog, and I only have one catalog. Unlike some of the others on this list, *most* of mine are linking fine; actually, in each gallery that has missing links there are active links, so it is a very weird hit-and-miss thing. I will write to the heroes to see if they can help me figure it out.

  44. Hi. I just downloaded your plugin and I love it. The ability to sync by gallery rather than having to sync your entire library is great. However, is there a way to resend only certain metadata? I already have a caption on Smugmug (but not in LR) and would like to republish keywords only from Lightroom. I did a test with “metadata triggers: keywords” selected and it synced the keyword but erased the caption I had on SM.

  45. When I created a new gallery in my smugmug folders it didn’t give me the long descriptive dialog I had see in a tutorial. It only asked for my gallery name. I’m wondering how to get all those options as well as get my images in the gallery so it can be published.

  46. I am a new LR user and have LR-5. I have been getting familiar and now wanted to synch my smug account. I got the plug-in installed okay and the hierarchy is synched. Actually both the hierarchy and photos. However, I have no photos appearing in my smug publish service in LR. Actually that’s not true. It shows photos from one smug gallery and another in a different gallery I was trying to upload. The rest of the galleries however, show as empty in LR. The photo I tried uploading is not appearing in smug, and likewise, nor are the 2 existing smug photos appearing in the LR publish hierarchy. I have started fresh with LR and have not imported my entire library of photos from iPhoto and Aperture. I wanted to start clean and only imported some recent captures to get things set up. I was working on a move-forward only process. So my question is this. Do I need to have all my previous smug photos imported into LR first – before they will properly synch? I guess I could understand that, but it doesn’t explain why my attempted upload failed. Something is happening because when I synch photos or try to publish it changes the default setting of my smug gallery from journal view to smug view. Ay ya. Can you help?

    1. Hey Ron, thanks for sharing the details of your issue, as that helps us get a really good idea of what could be going on. However the blog thread format isn’t great for technical troubleshooting as we usually need specific details about your account which is better handled in private. If you haven’t already done so, would you copy what you wrote here into a new ticket to our Support Heroes, and be clear in the subject that you’re having Lightroom trouble? We have several experts on our team who can help you out. We’ll get you sorted! http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/emails/new

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