Uploading photos – Export with sub-folder hierarchy

You may wish to export your photos to an online service and recreate part of the original photo’s folder hierarchy.  You can do this for all photo services supported by the Photo Upload plug-in that allow Windows/Mac compatible folder hierarchies (i.e. folders and photos with sub-folders), e.g. Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive etc.

Notes about “export with sub-folder hierarchy”:

  1. Setting is only available in licensed versions of the Photo Upload plug-in
  2. Setting is only available when Exporting, not when Publishing – if you want your publish service to have a sub-folder hierarchy then please use the free Tree Mirror service included in the Photo Upload plug-in
  3. Setting is only available for Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, Dropbox, FTP, Google Drive, OneDrive and Copy. Other upload services do not permit a folder hierarchy that can map a Windows\Mac file system – for these other services you can choose to combine the sub-folder names into a single named folder or to take just the last sub-folder’s name in the hierarchy.

Let’s say you have your photos in a folder arrangement like this:

Z:\Pictures\2010\2010-01-11 Aconcagua

And you want to upload them to your photo service into a folder such as this:

Dropbox\Photos\2010\2010-01-11 Aconcagua

To export the photos and keep part of the folder hierarchy you should follow the instructions for Uploading Photos – Export, but first specify one of the Export settings using the Setting button.

Export with folder hierarchy - Settings button

After opening the Settings window, tick the “Export sub-folder hierarchy” check box, and in the “Source base folder” text box enter the path (using the Browse… button) to the base folder of your photos. In this example it will be:


Export with folder hierarchy - Settings

In the “Sub-folder names” drop down menu you can specify which of the sub-folders will be recreated during the export. Choose “All” to recreate all the sub-folders each photo’s path that follow the source base folder.

Close the Settings  window by pressing OK and then click the Export button in the Export window.

The Album Selection window will open. Notice the red indicator saying “Sub-folder hierarchy setting enabled”.

Choose the base photo folder on your photo service, in this case:


Export with folder hierarchy - Album selection

Choose OK and your photos will be uploaded to the photo service.

In this example they will be uploaded to the following:

Dropbox\Photos\2010\2010-01-11 Aconcagua

8 thoughts on “Uploading photos – Export with sub-folder hierarchy”

  1. In some cases, such as stitched panoramas and focus stacked images, many source image files are used to create one final image file. Usually I only want to upload the final image. It would be helpful to be able to designate those subfolders that contain source image files that don’t need to be included in the folder hierarchy on the destination service. Perhaps by having the option of specifying a subfolder name to always ignore. In my usage, I’d like to always ignore any subfolder named ‘source’.

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for the suggestion. The latest version of the plug-in (v3.7.3) now includes a setting called “Ignore sub-folder” that allows you to specify one or more sub-folder names that indicate folders that should not have their contents uploaded.
      I’d appreciate it if you could give this a try and let me know if I’ve understood what you were after.

  2. will it also be possible to publish photos on onedrive with the sub-folder hierarchy. I have bought it yesterday and so it is a little ueseless for me …


      1. so i can use the tree mirror export to export the photos directly to my local onedrive sync folder …
        I wan’t to use a smart collection to use variables in the publishing service.
        For the moment i use Jeffrey’s “Folder Publisher” to publish the photos in my local ondrive folder an the ondrive sync to sync it with onedrive. i would be nice to do this in one task.

        1. No – not quite.
          You can use Tree Mirror to create a hierarchy of Lightroom folders and albums (collections) in a publish service, or as you say you can use it to create a folder hierarchy on your disk. There are instructions in the link I gave you to do both.
          But I now understand that you are creating smart collections in your One Drive publish service, with photos from many different folders, and you want to publish them with part of their sub-folder hierarchy. This is not currently possible as the Photo Upload plug-in expects your Lightroom publish service collection hierarchy to match what is being created in One Drive.
          I understand what you’re asking for, but currently you would need to export those photos, not publish them. I’ll add your request onto the to-do list.

  3. Hi – I can’t seem to get the export to use the folder hierarchies. I have also installed Tree Mirror Export but no luck. I’ve Lightroom 5.6 on a update date iMac (Yosemite). However unlike the screen shot above which are from a windows machine, I don’t see the “Sub-folder hierarchy” check box. I’m using Zenfolio. If you could help that would be amazing…

    1. Hi,
      You can’t use this option with Zenfolio, sadly. Zenfolio has a folder structure which does not map 100% to how folder structures can be set up on normal Mac/Windows file system, e.g. a Zenfolio folder can only include sub-folders and cannot include photos.

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