Photo Guidelines - What types of photos can I upload?

The following are general guidelines for digital photographs to be uploaded to your Zenfolio account.


Suggested Image Sizes

For Online Presentation Only - Images should be around 1,100 pixels by 850 pixels up to 1,550 pixels by 960 pixels.

If you are mainly interested in using Zenfolio for online presentation of your photographs, you should upload digital files resized to 1,100 pixels in width by 850 pixels in height. This is the default image size for online viewing. The largest allowed image size for online viewing is 1,550 in width by 960 in height. You may apply this size as default or to a specific gallery using Access Controls. Using either of these sizes will more efficiently utilize your storage space and reduce the time it takes to upload files without compromising quality.

For Online Print Ordering - High resolution images should be uploaded.  The size will vary based on the largest print products offered for sale.

If you or your visitors are planning on ordering prints and other products requiring high-resolution digital files for better print quality, you should upload the original full size photographs without downsizing. Remember that there are still file format, file size, and storage space limitations.


Supported file formats

Photographs can be uploaded in the following file formats: JPEG, TIFF, PNG and GIF.

  • JPEG is by far the most popular file format for storing and distributing images. It uses a lossy form of compression that has been optimized to human perception constraints. This is the recommended file format for photographs. 
  • GIF files support the use of a very limited amount of colors. They can be useful for drawings, graphs, icons, and buttons. Generally, GIF files are not recommended for photography.
  • PNG and TIFF file formats use a lossless form of compression. While no information is lost, the resulting files size of a photograph may be larger than the maximum file size for your subscription plan. These file formats are generally not recommended.
Videos are also supported. Click here for our video guidelines. 


Unsupported File Formats

Any image that is not saved in one of these formats - JPEG, TIFF, PNG and GIF - cannot be displayed in Zenfolio galleries.  These unsupported types of files include (but are not limited to):
  • BMP - Bitmap
  • PSD - Photoshop Document
  • PDF - Portable Document Format
  • SWF - Adobe Flash File
  • JPW - Stereo Image Format
  • HDR and HDRi - High Dynamic Range Imaging 
This also includes...
  • Ultra wide panoramic photos that are not saved in one of the supported formats
  • Photospheres and other spherical images not saved in one of the supported formats
  • Virtual Tour, Virtual Reality (VR), 360 degree and Quicktime VR formats
If an unsupported file type is uploaded to the account, it will automatically be stored in RAW storage.  Unlike image files in the supported file formats, files in RAW storage are never displayed in the site. That means that it is not possible to display unsupported file types in the Zenfolio galleries.

Images with Transparencies and Animations

As long as the image is stored in a supported file type, images with transparencies and animations (usually in the GIF or PNG formats) can be stored in Zenfolio galleries.  However, their transparencies and animations are not retained and displayed when the image is viewed in galleries. That is because lower resolution display images are used whenever an image is displayed in a gallery.  The display images are flattened version of the original and are saved in the Jpeg format.

This is done to prevent theft of your full resolution images and it also help to ensure that your images will always load with minimal loading delay.

To display images with their transparencies and animations intact will require displaying the original file, in its original format, in a custom page.  Since this requires the display of the original image, the downloading of original images must first be allowed in Access Control.

See this guide for more details on displaying images with animation and transparencies.


Regarding RAW files

Zenfolio does support RAW file uploads. 2GB of free storage for RAW files is provided but you may store more RAW files in your Zenfolio account for an additional fee. Fees are on a "per-usage" basis. Your account is charged per gigabyte of storage and billed monthly.

Please see this link for more information regarding RAW files. 


Prohibited Content

All pornographic material of any kind is prohibited from being displayed on this Web site. Images that contain nudity, such as private boudoir images, are allowed only if they exhibit artistic or other social value and are not pornographic as defined by the laws of California and the United States.

Zenfolio reserves the right to prohibit the display of any image whether pornographic or not if Zenfolio makes a sole judgment that the image is not suitable for display on this Website for any reason, including but not limited to maintaining a family friendly atmosphere of the Website.

Please see our Policies and Legal Information page for more information.


Available storage space

The current subscription plans allow for storing an unlimited number of photos in the supported file formats.

You can see how much storage space you are using by going to the Settings tab in the Dashboard.

If you have a legacy account that has a limit to how much storage is available to you, you will also see Storage Available listed. When you have used all the available storage you will not be able to upload more photos. You will have two options:

  • Delete some of the existing photos to free up space
  • Upgrade to a current subscription plan that has no storage limit

For more information on subscription plans see the Pricing page.


Maximum file size

This refers to the maximum size of any one file that can be uploaded to your account. For Starter subscribers, the maximum file size is 36 Megabytes (36MB). For Pro and Advanced subscribers the maximum file size is 64 Megabytes (64MB). For more information on subscription plans view the Pricing page.

All subscribers can upload digital photographs with dimensions of up to 30,000 x 30,000 pixels as long as the total actual file size (64MB or 32MB) is within the range of their subscription plan.  If the image is larger that 30,000 pixels on either side, the upload will fail.


Plan Total Maximum Storage for Supported Image files (jpeg, tiff, PNG, GIF) Maximum File Size per Image Maximum Pixel Dimensions per Image
Legacy Basic and Basic Plus 4 Gigabytes (4GB) with additional storage for each year with Basic Plus 36 Megabytes (36MB) 30,000 X 30,000
Unlimited and Starter Unlimited 36 Megabytes (36MB) 30,000 X 30,000
Pro, Advanced, Premium, Premium Business and Millers Storefront Unlimited 64 Megabytes (64MB) 30,000 X 30,000

Recommendations and Best Practices

The most common file format used for photographs and pixel artwork is JPEG. When you save a JPEG file you must decide how much compression to apply. If you plan on printing 11"x17" or larger, we recommend setting the compression quality setting to the equivalent of 9 or 10 (on a scale from 1-12, with 12 being no compression) as used in Adobe® Photoshop®.

Photoshop Compression

Our experience and research has proven that setting the compression quality higher than 10 does not provide for any increase in quality, while at the same time it generates significantly larger file sizes. Many users apply a compression quality setting lower than 9. Our evidence shows that this compression quality setting often results in artifacts, particularly on large detailed prints made from those files. If you plan to only printing at smaller sizes than 11"x17", you should be able to compress with a quality setting of 8 with excellent results.

If you apply a sharpening algorithm to your photographs in addition to what is already processed in the camera, you should apply the sharpening based on the final photo size being uploaded.


Online Display Images

When images are uploaded to Zenfolio, smaller lower resolution display images are generated.  These display images are the images displayed on your site.

This is done to prevent theft of your originally uploaded full resolution images and it also help to ensure that your images will always load with minimal loading delay.

Zenfolio uses the highest quality resizing algorithms to generate the display images. A small amount of additional sharpening is applied to the display images in order to compensate for the loss in contrast when reducing size. The resulting images contain all the fidelity of your original photograph, giving you access to a number of smaller sized display images for online presentation.

Please note that your originally uploaded images are used for order fulfillment. The edited display images are not used to fulfill orders and are not sent to your clients when your images are ordered.

See this link for more details on the Display Images.


The information below may also assist you in better image quality: