I am working with Lightroom 5 and have a problem with writing meta data to exported JPGs, which I have already exported from Lightroom to upload to stock sites to sell.

I am working in Lightroom 5, and my wife is also working in Lightroom 5 and helping write the title, description and keywords into the meta data, and we are trying to sync our information to collectively view the same files from our Dropbox folder where these JPGs reside and we both have access to.

My wife is taking the lead on this project and I am trying to stay away from these files as much as possible to not overwrite anything. I am on my computer and she is on her computer in the same room and we are trying to get the settings to take change with EXIF and IPTC meta data and properly show up as changed files on the Dropbox folder. We just cannot seem to synchronize these files. The same meta data is being overwritten onto all files sometimes when she saves meta data to file from the top Metadata menu list. She is selecting only one file at a time and then entering the data in the right meta data entry fields. I also do not see any XMP file in the folder where we are working, which I have read about.

I just want to be able to effectively enter title, caption and keyword fields to all of my exported JPG files and upload to stock sites so these fields automatically populate. If anyone has any good advice on how to streamline this process with multiple devices, please let me know.

5 Answers 5


It sounds like the fundamental problem here is that you're using Lightroom in a way that is contrary to the workflow it expects. Specifically, you're considering the exported JPEGs to be the key. Lightroom, however, considers its catalog to be the authoritative source. You can sync changes to originals, but it's really going backwards.

You don't mention if you are working with RAW or JPG originals, but in either case, you should treat them the same in Lightroom: your originals should stay unchanged, with edits and metadata stored in the Lightroom catalog (and optionally in XMP sidecars).

So, what you need to do is sync your database (see What is the best way to synchronize Adobe Lightroom databases between two computers?) and the originals. The exported files don't really need to be synced — you just re-export them when you're ready to upload.


You have to edit the meta data in lightroom and then re-export the files to reflect the changes. Changing meta data in Lightroom will not update previously exported files.


I would suggest as you are using Dropbox, and the syncing is not always immediate (though it's pretty good), to ensure that:

  1. You do not have Lightroom open at the same time as your wife
  2. You ensure that the Lightroom catalogue on her PC has successfully uploaded to Dropbox before you do anything (ie, the blue "sync" badge on the file icon has changed to a green tick).
  3. You ensure that your local copy of the Lightroom catalogue has been updated to reflect the changes uploaded (Clicking the Dropbox app icon shows you "Up to date").

Do that before opening Lightroom on your own PC and you should see all the changes.


If I understand your goal correctly I would suggest that you and your wife use separate Lightroom Libraraies.

You import the original photos and make your edits in Lightroom them export the images. Then your wife imports those photos and adds the desired meta-data and saved to all of the JPGs which is then uploaded.

The negative consequence of this is that your original files will not have the meta data available, so flip the process.

You could go through the original pictures and identify the keepers using the "Pick" flag and when you are done your wife could add the meta data and when she is done you complete your edits, then export and upload the pictures.

The negative consequences of this method is that you would both need to work with the same Lightroom catalogue which would limit you to only one person working with the images at a time.


Lightroom really isn't suited for this kind of work, you would be a lot better off by tagging your files directly using PhotoMechanic - there what you see is what you get and the metadata is embedded directly into iptc and/or XMP - whichever you prefer, you set it in the Prefs. Lightroom has a wonderful UI but is slow, and the way it handles metadata and metadata syncing just doesn't make sense. It beats me that they haven't made metadata syncing to the files standard. I use a lot of different programs, and having the metadata locked into a proprietary DB and made inaccessible to the other programs in my workflow is a no go. The Lightroom team has to wisen up about this.

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