I like being productive: fixing things, cleaning rooms, building up cities, conquering countries, culling pictures. I like comfy things: beds, couches, car seats, fluffy stuff, shoes, pillows. So, what if… one could be productive AND comfortable!? With Lightroom Mobile, you can cull, edit, and amaze yourself with the productivity that you’ve had on the comfort of your own couch (and it doesn’t have to be on a couch… it could be on an airplane, or the toilet, or the dinner table; you can choose anywhere you really want to be) all while not being burnt by a laptop!

Setting it all up isn’t super bad at all. I just tend to make stupid long articles for you to read… so don’t be scared!

My mobile platform of choice is an iPad Mini to use around the house. It is light, has great battery life, and is moderately priced (and also functions as a pretty decent portable portfolio). For the sake of convenience though, I use my standard issue iPhone 5 (since it is ALWAYS with me). You can use a bunch of different devices– so choose what you will. A couple prerequisites are necessary for this to work besides a device. You’ll need, a Creative Cloud account that has Lightroom 5 and your login information for it, sorry stand alone Lightroom 5 users, you’ll need one of the following Adobe Creative Cloud plans besides photos:

  • Creative Cloud Photography plan
  • Photoshop Photography Program
  • Creative Cloud complete plan
  • Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition
  • Creative Cloud for teams complete plan

Step 1. Get things set up!

Lightroom Mobile requires a valid Adobe ID with one of the aforementioned plans associated with it. Then, if you haven’t already, get the to the App store and download the free Lightroom App.

Now, you’ll need to startup your trusty application-friend, Lightroom 5 to start the sign-in process.


On the top left of most basic and untainted installations of Lightroom, you’ll find the customizable nameplate where a little clickable arrow can be found that reveals the doorway to mobile!

Go ahead and sign in and watch your name appear in the top left (if you haven’t created a customized nameplate– if you have you’ll see a little bar). If all is normal and well, it should be the name that you have on your Adobe account.

Now, on your device, fire up the app! You should be greeted with a similar sign-in screen, then similar subsequent screens. This is what it looks like on the iPhone 5 before and after you sign in with the same account as the one you created on your computer.

Yay! Step one is done!

Step 2. Creating and Syncing Collections

Getting things to sync up to your phone is pretty simple and pretty easy (just a check box really), especially if you’re already familiar with creating collections within Lightroom. If not, no worries, it isn’t hard at all! If you’ve already got a collection created, go ahead and skip down.

Find your favorite way of filtering through the pictures that you want to sync. I personally just add everything on a shoot that I want to sync, which omits filtering.

In the Library module, select all those pictures and find the section on the left had side that says Collections.

Create Collection

Click the + button and select ‘Create Collection’

Go ahead and name the collection, and tick the ‘Sync with Lightroom Mobile’ box


Your photos in that collection are automatically set to sync with your Lightroom Mobile device now!

If you’ve already got collections created, then all you need to do is tick the box to the left of the collection!

You’ll soon see your collection show up and populate with the images that are on your computer!


Step 3. Explore On Your Device

Pull up the Lightroom app on whichever device you’ve got it installed on if you haven’t already. I’m sure by now, your phone is sleeping, so wake it back up!

Wait a couple seconds (or minutes depending on how many photos you chose to sync), and BOOM, check out your first collection pop up!


Tap on the collection and you’ll be able to view all your photos in a nice little mosaic wall.


Tap again on a photo and it’ll enlarge it and prepare it for you to edit! It may take a second for it to load, but not too long at all.


From here, you can view and share, lightly edit and my favorite of things to do, cull through all a bunch of images while having a smoothie with the Apple TV playing something awesome like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

This is where all the craziness can be done, if you choose to dive into it. It’s pretty similar to what you’d find on your desktop. On the bottom, you’ll see Flagged/Picks, Star Ratings, Part 1 of Adjustments, Part 2 of Adjustments and then Crop! It’s all pretty easy to navigate, so I’ll leave that up to you, but here’s a little shortcut guide to view while you’re messing around:


Overall, it’s pretty rad! I’ve found myself swiping at my iPhone or iPad before I go to bed… which is at least 93 times better than swiping at Tinder. I’ve also used it to showcase images to friends, models and clients on the go! It’s pretty handy and really does let me be a little more productive after I get bored with Facebook, and Instagram (which, if you’re bored– you’re more than welcome to follow. I promise a surplus of ridiculous posts) especially between classes, breaks, and other random downtime!

Let me know what ways you’ve been able to utilize Lightroom Mobile in the comments below!