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Lightroom 4: Sharing Pictures Via Email

One of the most useful workflow enhancements in Lightroom 4 is the ability to quickly email photographs to colleagues or clients, without leaving the application. A range of popular email services are supported such as Gmail and Yahoo mail, as as well as the default email client installed on your system (such as Outlook). Best of all, it’s easy to validate existing web mail accounts.

To start you can right click a photograph in the Library or Develop module, and then choose Email Photo from the menu. This opens the new email interface, shown below. As you can see there are quite a few options including text formatting and export presets. At the bottom you can see the thumbnail view of the file that is being attached.

The first time you use this feature with a web mail service, you will need to add and authenticate the account; the process is very quick. Click the From menu and choose Go To Email Account Manager. When you do you’ll be greeted with the Lightroom Email Account Manager dialog, shown below.

Click the Add button to include one of your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL accounts in the system. When the dialog box pops up give the account a name and choose the type of email. In this case I used Gmail. Since support for Gmail is built into Lightroom 4, the server information was auto-populated. All I had to do was add my account ID and password, then click Validate. Once validated (takes a few seconds depending on your connection), the account icon will turn green. Afterward you can click the Done button to go back to the email interface and choose your new sender account in the From menu.

By default, you can attach your file using a small (300px long dimension), medium (500px), large (800px), or original size preset. However if you want to create a preset with custom dimensions, profile, and file quality (among other options) you can do that by opening the Preset pop-up menu and choosing Create New Preset. This opens the Export File dialog box, where you can choose the settings as you normally would, then click the Add button to assign the preset to email and give it a name before saving it.

When you’re done click Export, then back in the main email window, add your recipients, type your message, apply the Preset if it’s not already and click Send. Lightroom will handle the rest in short order! Using the Lightroom 4 email solution can save you time by removing the requirement of exporting files and then switching to your email client, attaching the files manually, and sending them. Give it a try and see how easy it is to share pictures directly from Lightroom 4!

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About Dan Moughamian (37 Articles)
Dan Moughamian is an experienced photographer and educator, and has worked with Adobe Photoshop since the early 1990s. He also has extensive experience with Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, plugins from Nik software, and many other digital imaging products. As an educator, Dan's focus is to help photographers at all levels get the most from their digital workflows.
  • http://www.scrappygenealogist.com Jennifer Shoer

    Question: Is it necessary to save changes (export) before emailing, or is it possible to send the photo with Lightroom adjustments before export? Thank you. Jennifer

  • Dan

    Hi Jennifer.

    If I understand your question correctly, what ends up happening is that Lightroom 4 will either choose a default export preset (S, M, L, or Full size JPEG) for you, or you can create one as described in the article. Any adjustments you make to the look of the photo ahead of time will be included, but the intended output is JPEG, when working in the “Export to: Email” context, which is what this feature does.

    Hope that helps. :)

    Dan

  • chris b

    Thanks for the tips. I have a question though. I did all this and the email went through using gmail; however, the receiving end does not get an attachement, just the foto in the body of the email. Can we send photos as attachements with Lightroom?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9HwkzH2978 terry

    Excellent tips, makes my life much easier

  • Kacy

    Are you able to email with the photo # on or below the picture?

  • http://gravatar.com/antistandard antistandardjames

    i found that it you can’t access your email address book like you can from iPhoto.
    i switched from iphoto to lightroom and slowly finding iphoto to be so much more integrated with my mac and easier and more fun to use.
    sure lightroom has some better photo adjustment settings but if you use camera raw via photoshop then why use lightroom ?
    maybe switching back to iPhoto.