Lightroom’s email feature has been around since the beginning of the program, but you couldn’t add names from your contact list. This forced you to remember the client’s email address—not very efficient. Here’s how to fix this problem by using a neat Lightroom export plugin to attach an image from Lightroom.  

What is the LR/Gmail Plugin?

LR/GMail is an export plugin for Lightroom 2 and higher developed by Arctic Whiteness—the creators of the Photographer’s Toolbox. The plugin allows you to send exported images via your gmail account. The free version allows you to attach a single image. If you decide you like it, you can make a donation in any amount to access advanced features that offer a number of important advantages over Lightroom’s built-in support for sending emails:

  • The plugin accesses your contact list to provide auto-completion of your contacts as you add them to the To, Cc and Bcc fields.
  • The plugin stores information on which images have been sent via LR/GMail (so that you can filter them).
  • The plugin stores a list of recipients to whom each photo has been sent (accessed from Lightroom’s metadata panel). This gives you traceability for future reference.

Setting up the Export Plugin

Download the LR/GMail Plugin from the Photographer’s Toolbox website. Unzip the download. You should now have a plugin called ‘LR2GMail.lrplugin’. Move LR2GMail.lrplugin to a convenient location of your own choosing. I created a folder called “Lightroom Plugins” on an external drive and copy all Lightroom plugins to that location.

The plugin is installed via the Lightroom 2 plugin manager.

  • Open Lightroom’s plugin manager from the File menu.
  • Click the “Add” button.
  • Browse to the plugin and click “OK” on a Mac or “Add plugin” on a PC.

If you have donated to the project, you should unlock the trial version using the registration code that you received when you made the donation.

  • Open the plugin manager from the File menu.
  • Choose “LR/GMail” from the list of plugins.
  • Enter your registration code into the User Registration section

Attaching an Image to an Email

Since we are planning to use this feature on a regular basis, it’s best to create an export preset. Select any image. Select Export from the File menu. The export dialog box appears. From the Export to: drop-down list, select LR/GMail. Fill out the different fields to your liking; but before you export, click add from the preset panel. Give the new preset a creative name. Since the image I’m attaching is 1024 pixels on the long side, I named my preset 1024px Gmail. Now click Export.

By creating a preset, we made emailing single or multiple images a simple click. Select the image or images you want to email. Right-click, select export and choose the new Gmail export preset.