In an effort to populate a few of my albums across the vast interwebs, I found Google+ didn’t play as nicely with Lightroom as did Facebook or Flickr (or perhaps it’s Lightroom who is being the obstinate child).  I believe this has improved with the latest versions, but until I’m selling my amazing photography in a prestigious gallery for six digits, I’ll have to content myself with a slightly outdated version.

As such, unless you want to pay for an official plugin (with two ratings and three stars) or a custom-developed one, your options are limited.  Fortunately, I discovered Google+ now has an auto-uploader.  While this is still a roundabout way of achieving photos published on your Google+ account, this is free and relatively straightforward.

Please note I’m working on a MacBook running Mavericks, and I use Chrome and Lightroom 4.

Setup

  1. Install Google’s auto updater, following the screen prompts
  2. Start the updater (called Google Photos Backup) and sign into your Google+ account, choosing your appropriate account or page (I set this up with my business page; it isn’t limited to just a personal profile)
  3. On the preferences screen, select “add” to add your own specific source directory

Google Photo Backup setup

  1. Add the directory from which you’d like to upload pictures.  You can call this anything you’d like.  I have a single central directory for my Google+ uploads
  2. Select this directory, deselecting the other options and select “Start backup” if you already have pictures in your designated directory

Google Photos Backup setup

Adding a new album from Lightroom

  1. Create a new Publish Service via Hard Drive.  You can call it whatever you like; I call mine simply Google+
  2. Set the export location to the directory you created in step 4 above.  I also limit the size of my files to 4MB (as I have limited space on Google+) and add a watermark
  3. Create a published folder as you normally would, adding your photos
  4. Publish!  The Google uploader will detect the new photos in your directory (provided you have it running) and automatically upload your pictures to your Google+ page.  Uploads default to unshared, so you needn’t worry about posting before you’re ready
  5. Wait for the upload to complete
  6. Navigate to your photos on Google+ (using the lefthand sidebar) and choose “Recently added” from the top tabs
  7. You can then share individual photos or move on to create and share a full album

Create and share an album

  1. Select your uploaded pictures (using the checkmark in the upper left of one of the photos)
  2. Shift + click to select multiple photos at once
  3. Click “Share.”  You can create an album here on-the-fly and share in one step!  Alternatively, you can select “Organize” to reorder photos and choose the album cover.

Create and share a Google+ album

Create and share a Google+ album

Viola!  You now have your photos on Google+.  If anyone has other, non-paid plugin options that work for you, I’d love to hear about them!

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