It is possible to use the SmugMug publish service plug in to sync galleries to LR desktop. It’s safest to do it one galley at a time and the on-line photos will be matched to the original in the Lightroom catalog where available.
Go to Publish Services and select a collection for a SmugMug gallery with zero images. Right-click on the gallery name and choose “Edit Gallery” and then put a check mark in the box “Sync Photos” and click the Edit button. A progress bar will start and the collection will be populated automatically where there is an exact file match.
During the process you may need to take action on individual photo suggestions e.g. to accept or reject the suggested match for any images displayed in the left and right panes where there may be more than one match e.g. raw & jpeg, tiff, PSD or different sizes with the same file name. For example if there are two possible matches the right pane will display two tabs at the top. It’s then a simple button press to accept the best match or dismiss in order to find it manually. Click image below to enlarge.
Not intuative, like many thinks in LR but effective. Thank you for the help, 99jon.
I have a similar question - but what if I created the SmugMug gallery without using LR? I just started using LR last week but there is a set of galleries I'd like to sync into LR so I can make mods and then sync them back to SM. Any chance that might work? I've tried the advice above but it results in 0 pictures synced.
No problem. When you right-click on the SmugMug tab in Publish Services in the LR Library you can do the set-up/edit and log-in to your SmugMug account. A sync button is available to update, whenever you make changes directly on your SmugMug site.
No dice. The sync resulted in 0 images. The galleries in question were uploaded directly from Windows Explorer to SmugMug galleries/folders via the SmugMug web interface. What is on the site is more accurate now than what's on my computer so that's why I'd like to pull all the photos into LR.
Keeping fingers crossed that there's a way.
There are two steps:
Sync SmugMug hierarchy
I stumbled across this topic when looking for something else, but in my experience, the photos already need to be in your Smugmug Library if you want to "sync" in reverse like this. Please correct me if I'm wrong as this is my only major complaint with the SmugMug plugin.
For instance, I share a SmugMug account with another user to catalog photos for a high school athletic team. If I want to sync her photos into my LR catalog, I actually have to manually download the photos in a web browser, import them into LR, and then sync the hierarchy and the photos. If they aren't already in my library, I'll get zero photos as mentioned in the post above.
This probably makes sense because you can't really have photos in the Smugmug Publish tab if they don't exist in LR right? Ideally in this situation, there would be an option to create a folder to bring all these unmatched/uncataloged photos into your library, but I don't think this is possible. This is a major stumbling block in a sharing situation like mine or if someone has a sizable SmugMug presence that was not previously tied to LR. The workaround in either case is to manually download all the galleries and import them into LR prior to trying to sync. You can import them into existing folders based on the individual Smugmug galleries or one big folder called "SmugMug Imports" and then organize later.
One word of caution about importing photos and then syncing as mentioned above: DO NOT change anything in the photos prior to syncing with Smugmug! Even a slight change in name or metadata will likely confuse SmugMug to the point where it will ask you to resolve conflicts while syncing. Generally, if I don't change anything I don't get any conflicts, but a minor change usually leads to a lot of tedious conflict resolution. This wouldn't even be an issue if you could just import the photos automatically via the plug in.
Other than that, the plugin's integration between SmugMug and LR is a godsend.
Have you tried the bi-directional nature of the Smugmug publisher plugin as discussed here: Metadata Synchronization Smugmug to Lightroom? — Digital Grin Photography Forum
I've been trying it out on a gallery in SM that has 1200 photos. those photos don't exist in LR. For some reason LR crashes as the sync process nears completion. I'm thinking it's too many photos for the publisher to handle.