“Publish” in Jeffrey’s Export-to-Zenfolio Lightroom Plugin

This page documents plugin version 20130612.230 as of June 12, 2013

This page describes the Publish aspect of my export-to-Zenfolio plugin for Adobe Lightroom. The “normal export” portions of the plugin work in all versions of Lightroom from Lr 2 on, but its Publish features, described on this page, work only in Lr3.3 and later. (Users of Lr3.0 or Lr3.2 should avail themselves of the free Lr3.x upgrade from Adobe: see Lightroom's “Help > Check for Updates“ menu item.)

Warning: The idea behind Publish is simple enough, but if you hope to avoid unpleasant surprises, you must understand important details before getting started with it.

The premise is simple: drag a photo to a special collection in Lightroom, and voila, it's sent to Zenfolio. From then on, changes that you make to the photo in Lightroom are automatically kept up to date in the copy at Zenfolio.

Ah, but the devil is in the details...

First of all, Publish is an extra feature in addition to the “normal” export offered by Lightroom via this plugin (and earlier versions of this plugin all the way back to Lightroom 1). Publish allows you to set up an ongoing relationship between specific images in your Lightroom catalog and their appearance at Zenfolio. This kind of ongoing relationship makes a lot of sense for some situations, while the normal export we've had since Lr1 makes more sense in others.

Here's a hint: if it's a situation where you'd consider setting up an export preset that you'd use via “File > Export with Preset”, Publish is worth a look.

Because Publish involves setting up an ongoing relationship, it's more complicated than simply firing off an export. The length of this document, which covers only Publish and assumes you're already familiar with normal export, attests to the extra complexity. But once the initial up-front fee has been paid with your time and attention, you'll reap the benefits from then on.

Generally speaking, Publish functionality is provided by a Publish Service Provider. Lightroom comes with a few publish service providers: the built-in “Hard Drive” provider, a bare-bones Flickr plugin and a Behance plugin. You can add additional publish service providers by installing appropriate plugins, such as my fuller-featured Flickr plugin and this Zenfolio plugin. (I have plenty of other publish plugins available on my Lightroom Goodies page, and there may well be other Publish plugins available on Adobe's Lightroom Exchange site.)

After installing the Zenfolio plugin, you
can configure your publish service

Before you can use Publish to send images to Zenfolio, you must first configure the particulars about how the exports are to be done, such as deciding on the size and quality of the exported images, and the details about which account at Zenfolio they should be sent to. This configuration, which you generally do only once, creates a Publish Service in your Lightroom catalog.

You can have multiple Zenfolio publish services (all provided by the one plugin), but it makes sense for most people to have only one. However, if you have multiple accounts at Zenfolio that you'd like to send images to with Publish, you'll need to configure multiple Zenfolio publish services.

Important details about creating a publish service are covered below, but for the moment, let's wave our hand and say that the publish service has now been set up as you like.

After you've configured a publish service in your Lightroom catalog, it is represented in your Lightroom library as one or more publish collections, each holding the group of photos that are to be sent to a particular gallery in your Zenfolio account. Just drag a new photo to it, press the “Publish” button, and the photo is rendered and uploaded to the associated gallery at Zenfolio.

Several publish collections in a
Zenfolio publish service

Just like regular Lightroom collections, a publish collection can be either a regular publish collection that holds whatever photos you manually add to it, or a smart publish collection whose list of photos is computed by some criteria that you set up (e.g. “all five-star photos taken this year”).

A published photo is a photo that's part of a publish collection. At any particular time, a published photo is in one of four publish states:

  1. New Photos to Publish — photos that have been added to the publish collection, but have not yet actually been sent to Zenfolio. They'll be sent to Zenfolio the next time you launch Publish (via the “Publish” button).

  2. Published Photos — photos that have been sent to Zenfolio and have not been modified in your Lightroom catalog since.

  3. Modified Photos to Re-Publish — photos that have been sent to Zenfolio, but which have been modified in Lightroom since. They will be re-sent to Zenfolio the next time you launch a Publish action.

  4. Deleted Photos to Remove — NON_FACEBOOK { photos that have ostensibly been removed from the publish collection, but have not yet been removed from Zenfolio. (Whether to actually remove a photo from Zenfolio when it is removed from your publish collection is controlled by publish-service options, discussed below.) }

Segmented grid showing photos in a publish
collection in various states of Publish

When viewing a publish collection in Grid mode, you can see the photos partitioned into their various states in the segmented grid with headers as listed above (and illustrated in the screenshot at right).

You can add and remove photos from a normal publish collection as you like (and they are automatically added and removed from smart publish collections as per the criteria that you've set up), but nothing is actually done with them until you launch Publish, via the “Publish” button. The Publish button appears in the lower left of Lightroom, in place of the “Export” button, when viewing a publish collection, as in the screenshot at right.

There's also a “Publish” button in the upper right of the segmented grid.

When you actually launch a Publish action, Lightroom fires up an export under the hood, and photos are rendered as per the various settings configured when the publish service was created (the details of which follow in the next section of this document). As each photo is uploaded to Zenfolio, it's moved to the “Published Photos” section. You can click on each segmented-grid section's header to expand and collapse it; if they're all collapsed you can watch their photo counts, shown at the right side of each segmented-grid header, update in real time.

Before creating a Publish Service to reflect an ongoing relationship we'd like to have between this Lightroom catalog and Zenfolio, it's probably a good idea to make sure that any information about photos at Zenfolio already in the catalog is correct, and that it has all the information about all the photos at Zenfolio that it should.

These catalog-maintenance features are not specific to Publish, but particularly worthwhile before setting up a Publish Service (though you don't have to worry about this if you just want to play around with Publish to give it a try).

Of course, if you're new to Zenfolio, you don't need to worry about this section at all.

The Zenfolio maintenance has two general steps, followed by one Publish-specific step:

  1. Refresh — Refresh the per-photo Zenfolio data already in the Lightroom catalog.

  2. Associate — Add per-photo Zenfolio data for images in your catalog that are already at Zenfolio that the catalog doesn't know about.

  3. Populate — Pre-populate Publish Collections with appropriate photos on a per-gallery basis, so that Publish reflects the current status at Zenfolio.

Steps #1 and #2 generally need be done only once, and are discussed in this section. Step #3, Populate, might be done every time you create a new Publish Connection, and is discussed later in this document.

File > Plugin Extras > Zenfolio Extras

Steps #1 and #2 are accomplished via the File > Plugin Extras > Zenfolio Extras dialog, which is shown at right. The two items we're concerned with for the moment are highlighted by the red outline.

The maintenance items in this dialog work with the Zenfolio account that the plugin has most recently worked with. If you work with multiple Zenfolio accounts in Lightroom (or have not worked with any yet), you'll want to first visit the normal Export Dialog or a Publish Service's Edit Settings dialog to make sure you're authenticated to the Zenfolio account you want to work with here. The account name is shown in the upper-left of the dialog, under the logo graphic.

The “Refresh All Remote Urls” item in the dialog looks at every photo in the catalog that already has Zenfolio-related data, and confirms with Zenfolio that the data is up to date, correcting it if it's not. This "correcting" includes marking a Published photo to be republished if its copy at Zenfolio is found to have been deleted.

If you've got a lot of Zenfolio/Lightroom history it might be a good idea to do this once, but otherwise, you probably need to do it only after making sweeping changes at Zenfolio “out from under” Lightroom, such as doing mass deletions of photos at Zenfolio,

Because this involves contacting Zenfolio for every photo, be prepared that this step can take a long time if you have a lot of photos. But it's important to do at least once if you have Zenfolio history in this catalog, because the next step, “Associate Images” needs the currently-correct URL of each photo at Zenfolio to work.

Step #2 involves checking every photo at Zenfolio against every photo in your catalog, finding and remembering pairings that Lightroom didn't already know about. This also generally needs to be done only once, and only if there are photos at Zenfolio that you uploaded outside of Lightroom.

There is some risk in this step, due to the ramifications that could ensue from mistakenly pairing up the wrong Lightroom/Zenfolio photos. When Lightroom thinks that a particular catalog photo is already represented at Zenfolio, subsequent exports of the photo to Zenfolio could result in replacing the copy (it thinks is) already there. All exports via Publish are “replace” exports, as are normal exports with the “replace” option turned on.

The danger, therefore, is in replacing the wrong photo, thereby unintentionally deleting the unlucky unrelated photo at Zenfolio, and associating the new image with any comment history the unrelated image had accumulated.

You can have the plugin inspect photo dates and/or filenames for the pairings. Because of the risks, the plugin is very conservative about it:

  • Photos that share the same capture time are paired up when there's an exact one-to-one correspondence.

    If there are multiple photos taken at the same time at Zenfolio, or in Lightroom, none of them are paired up. Times are compared down to the second, but not sub-second, which means that shots taken during a high-speed burst can not be paired up.

  • Photo filenames (without the filename extension) are compared, and if there's an exact one-to-one correspondence, they are paired up. If you change the name of the file during export to Zenfolio, it makes no sense to attempt filename pairing, nor does it if most of your filenames are not unique.

This step can take a very long time. One test I did with 10,000 images in Lightroom and 5,000 at Zenfolio took about three hours. At least it can now complete — plugin versions prior to July 2010 hit a Lightroom bug that often caused the process to essentially lock up, but with some pointers from Adobe, I think I've worked around that now.

Maintenance Step #3: Populating Images

This publish-specific step is covered below, beginning with the creation of a Publish Service...

Let's look in detail at configuring a publish service to export to your Zenfolio account. Make sure that the Zenfolio plugin is installed and enabled, then click on the “Set Up...” of the Zenfolio header in Library's list of publish services.

This brings up the Lightroom Publishing Manager, a dialog that looks like a cross between the normal export dialog and the Plugin Manager...

Items show up in the list of Publish Services (highlighted in the upper left) when their plugin is installed and enabled in the Plugin Manager. Old Lr1 or Lr2 plugins won't provide this new feature, of course, but most of my “export to...” plugins, including Zenfolio, do.

If any of the plugins you have installed provide export filters, they are listed in the middle-lower-left section of the Publishing Manager, just as they are in the normal export dialog. Lightroom does not come with any export filters built in, but they can add powerful features to your exports — both normal and publish — so it behooves you to know what's out there. Popular ones include my Metadata Wrangler for controlling exactly what metadata is included in exported copies, my geoencoding support shadow injecter for ensuring that the geoencoded location is properly included, and Tim Armes' LR/Mogrify plugin for advanced watermarking and image borders.

The main panel of the Publishing Manager shows the export/service settings for the Publish Service that's about to be created (an export-to-Zenfolio service in the example above). Like the normal export dialog, it has numerous sections; let's look at them in detail....

The first section allows you to give your export service a name, so you can keep them straight if you have more than one.

If you have only one Zenfolio account, you probably want to leave it at its default of “jf Zenfolio”. It looks ugly in this dialog, but when left at its default it won't even be shown in the list of publish service in Library, as seen in the screenshots above. If you set your own name, such as “My Zenfolio Stuff”, it shows up in the Library list as “jf Zenfolio: My Zenfolio Stuff”. So if you need just one Zenfolio publish service, it's cleanest all around to just leave the name at its default. You can always change it later.

However, if you have multiple accounts, you'll want to name them, e.g. “Zenfolio Work” for one and “Zenfolio Play” for another.

The next section is where you provide your Zenfolio account credentials.

Once the publish service has been created, you can not change the associated account for the publish service, and this section becomes deactivated during a publish-service edit. (You can make another publish service for use with a different Zenfolio account, or even for use with the same Zenfolio account but with different export options.)

The next section is also available only at publish-service create time: setting the export location:

Most people leave the export-location setting at the default of “Temporary folder”, but you might set it to some specific named folder if you want to keep a local copy of all the images that have been published to Zenfolio. Again, Lightroom does not allow this setting to be changed once the publish service has been created.

The next sections are all the same as in the standard Lightroom export dialog...

These settings, such as the image size and quality, can be changed later, but doing so means that you have to re-publish (re-render and re-upload) everything you'd already sent to Zenfolio, at least if you want the setting changes to be reflected in the images already at Zenfolio. More on this later, but it's best to pick the settings you want up front, so you don't have to change them later.

The next sections are for export filters you have installed and enabled, if any. Here's an example illustrating what some sections from Metadata Wrangler, Run Any Command, and LR/Mogrify might look like...

The blue rectangle marks Lightroom's controls for adjusting the order that the filters are applied, and for removing them altogether.

Each section can be opened to reveal the filter's particular settings, of course, but the filter details are not relevant to this overview about Publish, except to note that like the standard Lightroom settings (image size, etc.), changing these filter settings after a publish service has been established means that you have to republish everything if you want the changes to be reflected in images previously published to Zenfolio.

Now we begin the Zenfolio-specific sections. The first allows you to pick which existing galleries at Zenfolio you would like to appear in this particular publish service...

For each gallery at Zenfolio, you can choose a normal collection, a smart collection, both, or neither.

The publish-collection version of a Zenfolio gallery starts out empty, which is perfectly fine if the gallery at Zenfolio is actually empty, or if you don't mind that the publish-service manifestation of the Zenfolio gallery shows only images you add from here on in.

However, if you'd like the current collection of images in the Zenfolio gallery to be reflected in the newly-created publish collection, it's a three-step process. The first two steps, discussed above in “First Things First: Knowing Your Current Vantage Point”, need be done only once per Lightroom catalog, but this third step should be done each time you create a new Publish Collection, at least if you want it to be populated to reflect images already at Zenfolio.

By enabling the

Populate newly added normal (non-smart) collections from your Zenfolio account

option (or clicking on the “repopulate now” links that appear when editing Publish settings), the plugin fetches the list of images for each gallery from Zenfolio, finds the associated image in your Lightroom library (via the knowledge gleaned from steps #1 and #2), and adds it to the publish collection for you. As a bonus, it puts it into the "Published Photos" section, to reflect that it doesn't need an initial render and upload.

(If you had modified the photo in Lightroom after the earlier upload to Zenfolio, those changes won't be reflected in the “published photo”, so you'll want to “Mark to Republish” those photos, via the thumbnail right-click context menu while viewing the photos in the publish collection.)

Unfortunately, limitations in Lightroom 3's publish architecture prohibit step 2 from being applied to smart publish collections, so photos that get computed into a smart publish collection must be rendered and uploaded to Zenfolio, even if they already exist at Zenfolio. If the smart collection has many initial images, this could require substantial time when you first publish it.

If you ask the plugin to create a smart publish collection, it does so with a dummy rule that matches no photos. Once it's been created and the publish-service dialog is dismissed, choose "Edit Smart Gallery" from the collection name context menu to replace the dummy rule with whatever rule or rules you want.

Do not attempt to create smart collections via the “Import Smart Collection Settings...” item in the Publish Service context menu. A bug in Lightroom causes this to create a corrupt publish collection, and the plugin infrastructure doesn't offer me a way to disable that menu item.

You have the option of newly-created publish collections being named flatly, or in a hierarchical tree style that matches the organizational structure at Zenfolio. Here are examples:

Flat Style
Hierarchical (with Sets Closed)

The naming option normally applies only to newly-created collections, but when editing a publish service that already has collections, a rename option pops up as well

Using this, you can easily change the style at a later date if, for example, the number of collections causes flat naming to get out of hand.

You can remove a publish collection from your publish service via the “Delete” item in the publish-connection name's context menu. Doing so does not remove the gallery or its photos from Zenfolio: for such a major operation, please visit Zenfolio directly.

Moving along to the next section, we have photo-deletion options:

The first option covers what happens when a photo is removed from a collection in this publish service, but still retained in the Lightroom catalog.

If you delete a photo from Zenfolio, you can always upload it again, but all its “value add” at Zenfolio will have been lost forever — comments, ratings, history, etc. — will be disassociated from the photo and lost. On the other hand, if you don't delete it at Zenfolio, it's still there, which is perhaps not what you want if you're deleting it from a Zenfolio-related publish collection.

I strongly recommend that you leave this option at “Ask” until you're so comfortable with the idea that photos at Zenfolio will be deleted when you delete from a Zenfolio-related publish collection that you become annoyed at the “Ask” dialog.

This automatic deletion is not something yet familiar in the Lightroom world, and just a bit of forgetfulness about these new things can lead to a very unpleasant sinking feeling.

Actually, to be clear, when a photo is removed from a Zenfolio-related publish collection, it goes into the collection's “Deleted Photos to Remove” section, as mentioned above. It's only when you then initiate the Publish action on the collection that this option comes into effect, and that photo copies at Zenfolio are deleted (if you've so instructed).

The second option covers the case where a photo that happens to be published via this service is deleted altogether from Lightroom. If you want to protect photos that have been published at Zenfolio, choose “Disallow”.

For a more general way to protect images from deletion from the catalog, you might also want to consider my PhotoSafe plugin, which allows you to specify specific photos that can't be deleted from Lightroom, and/or rules describing the kinds of photos that can't be deleted (e.g. “all five-star photos”). You have to explicitly remove the restriction to remove a protected photo from the catalog, making it highly unlikely to do accidentally.

The next section configures various Zenfolio-related metadata options, just as in a “normal” Zenfolio export.

Phew !

Finally, you can press the “Save” button to create the publish service and the publish collections you selected.

You can edit the publish-service settings via the “Edit Settings...” item in the publish-service name's context menu. You can change all settings except the account at Zenfolio and the export location, but there's a catch: if the change relates to something about how each image is exported and uploaded (such as the size or image quality, metadata settings, etc.) and you want those changes to be reflected in photos already at Zenfolio, it won't happen magically: you'll have to republish them all.

Republishing can take a long time if you've got a lot of photos, and not all changes necessarily need to be reflected in every photo, so it is not done automatically.

If you want to republish all or some previously-published photos, select them in their various publish collections and invoke the context menu's “Mark to Republish” item.

If you have another Zenfolio account you'd like to publish to, or you'd like to publish with different settings (e.g. your first Zenfolio publish service had full size exports, but you'd like to be able to upload to some collections with smaller sizes), choose

Create Another Publish Service via “jf Zenfolio”...

from the existing publish service's title context menu (where “Set Up...” had been before the first one was created.)

The following issues are inherent shortcomings in Lightroom's initial version of Publish, and apply to all publish services:

  • There's no way to tell which publish collections have photos awaiting action except by visiting each publish collection in turn and viewing the grid to see whether the “Publish” button is enabled or disabled.

  • There's no way to invoke publish on all your publish services in one go; the best you can do is address each publish service in turn, selecting all its published collections and then invoking Publish on them.

  • The photo-thumbnail “Go to Collection” context menu item does not list any kind of smart collection that the photo may be part of, including smart publish collections.

  • The use of undo with publish-related operations is likely to not work and perhaps even corrupt the publish parts of your catalog. Take care.

  • You can't import smart-collection settings to a publish smart collection; doing so creates a corrupt smart collection.

  • I have not tested export-to-catalog yet, but I would expect that Publish information does not go along with the images.

The 30 most-recent comments (out of 116; see all), most recent last...

I suspect this may be a limitation built into LR and not a limitation of your Zenfolio publish service plugin, but one thing I notice is that when I create a Group (that is, a folder) container and not a Gallery container, even after clicking “Save” within the plugin, the folder does not show up in in my jfZenfolio publish service until/unless I’ve created an actual Gallery container as a subcontainer of the Group container.

While this isn’t really a problem, it isn’t ideal behavior (the first time I ran into the issue, it took me about an hour of fooling around before I realized what was happening and that things weren’t “broken” but just behaving in an unexpected manner).

Thanks again for all of your plugins.

— comment by Robert Camner on March 31st, 2014 at 9:47am JST (3 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

i definitely want the setup of plugin to allow me to publish yet continue to enhance a photo and quietly republish it to zenfolio under the same url so clients can share it early but i can tool with it in the background, etc.

question re difference b/w normal and smart publish… do both ‘normal’ and ‘smart’ publish enable that? or only ‘smart’? does the primary difference relate to how ‘normal’ requires me to manually ‘mark to republish’ changes/updates to a photo vs ‘smart’ will automatically do that? is that automation the main difference? is it more than that?

also, it seems a first step might not have been skipped over/assumed i.e. that i want/should/need to setup a smart collection of same photos prior to setting up related smart publish (if that is true).

The only difference between Normal and Smart is how photos/videos get added to the collection. With Normal, they’re added only when you manually drag thumbnails from the grid on the collection name. With a Smart collection, inclusion is rule based. In either case, once photos are in, they’re treated identically, including how a republish quietly updates the photo at Zenfolio. —Jeffrey

— comment by wolfgang on April 1st, 2014 at 7:48am JST (3 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I am using your software to upload my files to zenfolio.

I shoot dance recitals for a few different studios. My file structure on my PC and Lightroom looks like this:
Studio Name (Shirley’s Dance Studio, Lisa’s School of Dance, etc.)
—-Event (Competition 1, Competition 2, etc. There are typically 2 or 3 events per studio.)
——- Dance Number & name of the individual dance in the event (There can be 40 to 80 dances in a single event.)

When customers come to my gallery, they click on the studio name, pick the event, and then search by the dance number to find their child.

How can I set up the file structure in LightRoom 5.4 and your publish software to match this? Zenfolio uses groups, but I don’t see how to use these with your software. When I add a gallery in JFzenfolio, the hierarchy is flat.

Thanks. I’m writing from North Carolina by the way.

There’s a option in the Publishing Manager to show the group/gallery structure as flat vs. hierarchical, and a way to forcefully rename your galleries to match the selection made. See the “Galleries in this Publish Service” section of the dialog. —Jeffrey

— comment by Scott on April 10th, 2014 at 11:58am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I have about 60 folders in Lightroom for one dance competition, with more competitions and recitals to followl. I’ve edited my shots and selected the photos I want to publish and flagged them. Is there a way to drag and drop these folders (with only the flagged photos set in the Lightroom filter) into jfZenfolio to publish> It’s tedious having to recreate all of the folders again in the publish area.
I used to be with smugmug and their publish procedure worked like that.

You might consider using a smart collection to identify the photos you want to send, then use the techniques shown here to actually send them where you want. —Jeffrey

— comment by Scott on April 13th, 2014 at 4:11am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks, Jeffrey. jfZenfolio works great. I have a re-publish question.

If I make edits in Photoshop, the .psd file, back in Lightroom, does not automatically go into the Re-publish pane. Is the only way to republish a change NOT made in LR, by manually choosing so?

Saul Taylor

Hah, I bet that’s a case that Adobe never thought of. I’m guessing that yeah, you must manually force that change. It’s worth a report to Adobe. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on May 14th, 2014 at 12:33am JST (3 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I just did the same for another image edited in PS. That one DID go into the republish pane, after saving, and updating in LR. Have to look into this more.


— comment by Saul Taylor on May 14th, 2014 at 2:05am JST (3 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for tool and the user guide.
One question though, How can I create a new Group in my Published Service?

If you’re asking how to create a Zenfolio group from within the plugin, you can do that via the “Zenfolio Tools” section of the Publishing Manager. But if you’re asking how to have that hierarchy represented within the plugin, see the “flatly vs. hierarchical” setting in the “Zenfolio: Galleries in this Publish Service” section of the dialog. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Harris on July 2nd, 2014 at 6:02pm JST (3 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Using your Publish to Zenfolio plugin, I’ve recently noticed that images appear in the modified to republish section. They seem to appear a few at a time and, as far as I’m aware, haven’t been modified at all. I select them and check the mark as published option, but then more appear. Not sure what’s going on, as this seems fairly recent.

It’s a long-standing bug in Lightroom… I’ve seen it come and go, but have never been able to track down what Lightroom’s doing under the hood. I’m afraid I don’t have much to suggest except to add your bug report to the big pile being ignored at Adobe. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Dayve on July 15th, 2014 at 10:56pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve seen the same issue. With Apple dropping Aperture, I don’t hold much hope that Adobe will increase their efforts on Lightroom, rather the opposite.

Jeffrey – once again, you’re a bomb! I’ve become dependent upon your plugin. It simplifies the process of getting galleries online and maintained by an order of magnitude. Thank you!!

— comment by Sean on July 20th, 2014 at 3:36am JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

If I want to reorganize my Zenfolio Publish hierarchy a bit (such as adding a new group gallery between the main “parent” gallery and the individual photo-containing galleries), I’m wondering what’s the best way to do this. I know I can just recreate the hierarchy the way I want it and then republish all the photos.

I’m wondering if there is any easier way. Can I do the move on Zenfolio (easy!) and then use the “Galleries in this publish service” (and refresh that) and have Lightroom reflect the new structure?

The latter… just update things at Zenfolio; uploads will continue to work because the plugin uses a gallery identifier as the target, so it doesn’t matter how you move it around at Zenfolio. But if you would also like the presentation in Lightroom to reflect the new structure, refresh the list of galleries in the plugin, and enable the “forcefully rename…” option under the list, and the presentation in Lightroom will be brought up to date with that at Zenfolio. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert Camner on November 30th, 2014 at 1:49pm JST (2 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

My question is what if it is the first time you are using zenfolio, I mean what if you don’t have any collections in zenfolio yet and want to publish from LR via your pluggin to an empty zenfilio account for the first time? What is the best way to do this?


You must have a collection in order to publish something… photos can’t exist at Zenfolio outside a collection. You can make a collection in the “Zenfolio Tools” section of the dialog, or at Zenfolio. (If the latter, use the “refresh data” button to make sure that the plugin knows about the new collection.) —Jeffrey

— comment by Alejandra S on December 11th, 2014 at 6:37am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve been using your Zenfolio plugin for a while now…thank you!

I want to upload to ZF some images that I’d like printed via one of the labs associated with ZF. I’ve soft proofed the images in LR after downloading the ICC profile from ZF for that lab.

Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t want to export these images in sRGB because that color gamut is narrower than my monitor’s gamut, and more importantly, than the lab printer.

Yet, the export settings in your plugin are global. So what does one do? Change the colorspace in the ZF Publish Service export colorspace settings (to the printer’s profile) right before uploading these particular images, and then change the settings back to sRGB?

Sorry if this is an obvious point. This is my first time through the printing process.

— comment by Robert Camner on December 13th, 2014 at 2:55pm JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

In re-reading your excellent docs above, I note that you say “You can have multiple Zenfolio publish services (all provided by the one plugin).” I wonder if one solution (if possible) would be to have two publish services with the same Zenfolio account, with different settings for colorspace and any other settings one would want different.

Yes, exactly. You’d also use two separate publish services if you wanted to send separate sizes or JPEG qualities, for example. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert Camner on December 14th, 2014 at 8:58am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Is it possible to have multiple Lightroom catalogs feeding a single Zenfolio account? What are the gotchas or things to be aware of.

Assuming you don’t have the same photo in multiple catalogs, I don’t really see any gotchas…. go for it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Larry on May 8th, 2015 at 11:10am JST (2 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffry. I’ve been using your Lightroom to Zenfolio plugin for years but just this week tried to set it up as a publish service. Prior to that I was just using it by clicking on a batch of photos and exporting them to an existing gallery or creating a new gallery with the export dialog in Lightroom.

I got the publish service set up (logged in and all my settings are how I want them). I now can see my entire Zenfolio gallery structure (everything is nested correctly etc.), but most of the galleries in Lightroom show 0 photos. All of the galleries that do show photos in the LR publish module have the correct number and content but about 75% show 0 photos. What am I missing?

The populate feature works with only photos you’ve uploaded via the plugin, and even then, it’s a bit fragile and can fail if the metadata uploaded (date and filename) doesn’t match the catalog perfectly. —Jeffrey

— comment by CJ on July 30th, 2015 at 8:51pm JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey I’ve been using your great plugin for a couple of years now and not had any issues. However, I have just installed the most recent update to Lightroom CC (2015.1.1 10320207 release) and then the latest version of the plugin (20150529.278) and appear to have a problem. when I click on Publish the plugin starts working but then displays an error box displaying:
Unexpected HTTP reply from http://up.zenfolio.com/mywebsite/p436611389/upload2.ushx?replace=83141080674503
It does this twice and shows a worning box saying it can’t update this collection.

Is this a problem with Zenfolio, Lightroom or the plugin? Everything else seems to be configured properly and as I say was working okay before the updates.
Peter UK

It’s a problem at Zenfolio. They (at least some folks at Zenfolio) are aware of it. Not all coustomer-service folks seem to be aware so some still push back and tell you to contact me, but I’m just waiting to hear back from their engineers. —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter on August 3rd, 2015 at 2:32am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Confused about one issue. If photos are uploaded from Publish to Zenfolio, then added to a Collection in Zenfolio, what happens if I move that photo in Lightroom from one published gallery to another? Does it lose the connection with the previously published photo and therefore it disappears from the Collection, or does your plugin keep track? Or is it solved by Repopulating? Don’t know if that’s phrased very well, but a big stumbling block for me since I don’t want to break the Collections as those are what I present publicly on my website.

Lightroom doesn’t allow you to move a photo from one collection to another… you can add the photo to another collection, and you can delete the photo from the first collection, but in any case each instance in a collection is unique, so doing something to the photo in one collection won’t impact any versions of that photo in other collections. This can be considered a feature or a bug, I suppose, depending on one’s wishes for any particular situation. —Jeffrey

— comment by Carol Parker on August 6th, 2015 at 11:01am JST (2 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey
I’ve been using your plugins for the last several years, and greatly appreciate the convenience they provide.

As a professional photographer, I now have many hundreds of galleries at Zenfolio. For live events, I may create as many as 30 galleries for a single event, so the numbers build up quickly. I am starting to notice performance issues when creating a new Published Collection. The plug-in takes longer and longer to build the initial list of galleries after logging in, longer to scroll through them, and longer to register me clicking on gallery checkboxes.

I want to keep archive copies of all galleries at Zenfolio, but I’d love to have a way of excluding old galleries from the list built by the plug-in. Any chance of adding a parameter which says something like “Only include galleries created since xx/xx/xxxx”?? Or do you have any suggestions of any other way I could achieve the same thing?

The main bottleneck is getting the data from Zenfolio, which is an all-or-nothing thing. I don’t see an easy way around it, other than perhaps creating the galleries at Zenfolio then just doing one refresh from within the plugin. That way you have to suffer the delay only once. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mike Brown on September 21st, 2015 at 9:10pm JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, Can you help please.
Im not sure whats happened but my Lightroom 5 and zenfolio no longer are in sync.
In the publish manager page its shows as unsaved and when i try to save it comes up invalid credentials?

I have recently changed my profile name from my name to aviation in action domain but i didnt change the passwords.

any help would be great

kind regards


The plugin manager should be telling you to visit the top of the “File > Export” dialog to log out from Zenfolio (in the plugin) and then in the same place log back in. —Jeffrey

— comment by Darren Willmin on October 3rd, 2015 at 9:41pm JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Jeff, thanks for this awesome tool. I want to be able to view comments from galleries uploaded using the service. I see “downloading comments” when I “publish” but don’t know how to access these comments. Can you point me in the right direction? Thx.

When viewing a photo within Library’s publish-service module, any comments for the photo are shown in the bottom-right panel, under the image-metadata panel. —Jeffrey

— comment by Moe on April 26th, 2016 at 1:02pm JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Thanks so much for an amazing plugin. I’m wondering if there is an easy way of updating a photo’s name on Zenfolio after it has been changed in Lightroom. I just published a gallery and forgot to change the file names to my normal naming structure, and I can’t find a way to have them change on Zf. Thanks!

See “File > Plugin Extras > Zenfolio Extras > Resend Metadata”. —Jeffrey

— comment by Justin Elledge on April 28th, 2016 at 12:51am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Thank you Jeffrey for your attention to the problem I was having. After a few tries, the photos are now on Zenfolio. As a side note, what I found helpful in uploading several photos at a time, I make a temporary gallery at Zenfolio called “New Upload”. So when I go to Zen, I work the photos up, i.e., titles, descriptions etc, I then copy and/or move them into the galleries they belong in. When the “New Upload” is empty, I delete it and the next time I upload from Lightroom, it creates the gallery again and I start all over.

I think your assessment of Zenfolio glitches last week was probably why I wasn’t seeing my photos appear. Thank you again for your help.

— comment by Spirit Vision Photography on May 31st, 2016 at 10:27pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery and greeting from Cincinnati OH.
Just when I think I know what I’m doing….In the Edit Settings…dialog I added a Group. It showed up at my Zenfolio home page but doesn’t show up in my/your LR jfZenfolio Publish Service. What piece am I missing? Thanks so much.

Photos can be uploaded to Galleries, not Groups (Groups are collections of Galleries), so the plugin lists only Galleries. —Jeffrey)

— comment by matt zory on July 2nd, 2016 at 5:16am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, after a couple of months, today I tried to use the “Associate images automatically” feature of the plugin extras and although I followed the same steps I have always used to do, I’m getting a “Assertion failed: packed” error message.
Any idea what this is? I’m using the latest version, 20160730.288.

Please contact me by email and I’ll set you up with an Adobe engineer that can work with you to debug this Lightroom issue. —Jeffrey

— comment by Nassos on September 13th, 2016 at 7:54am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey
I have been a contributor for many years and want to do so again , however I can’t find the paypal link.

I am also having a problem I can’t seem to solve on my own and Zenfolio is virtually useless . I am using the latest version of your plug in.
I’ve created a Zenfolio Publish Service. All was well untill now. I love it. I creat a Gallery in Lightroom, under Publish Services, under Zenfolio and drag and drop the photos into it, click on it and then Publish. Most transfer smoothly and a few aren’t. I get the message – CAN’T UPLOAD: ZENFOLIO REPORTS THAT THE DESTINATION ALBUM NO LONGER EXISTS”
Any thoughts??

If that message pops up sporadically (and the destination album indeed does exist), it’s likely a temporary issue on their side, though I’ve never seen this particular manifestation. Hopefully it clears up on its own. As for the PayPal link, there’s one on the registration page. Thanks! —Jeffrey

— comment by David Sacks on December 4th, 2016 at 7:45am JST (10 months, 17 days ago) comment permalink

I’ve been using your Zenfolio plugin for several years. Recently, I ran into a problem that I’m not sure how to fix. I’ve searched the manual, FAQ and blog, and didn’t see a solution, though I’m sure it’s pretty straightforward 😉

Almost all of my Zen images are generated from raw (.cr2) originals. In one instance, I realized I had used a jpg copy instead (same file #), and now want to associate the original raw image with Zen instead. I added the raw file to the images to be published, and deleted the jpg one. But, before I actually published the changes, it occurred to me that I would lose the history on Zen by doing so. Now I can’t figure out how to “undo” the jpg deletion and switch the association to the raw file in the plugin and Zenfolio.

You can associate the CR2 file with Zenfolio via the “File > Plugin Extras > Zenfolio Extras” dialog. First clear out any Zenfolio association for the JPG via the “Clear” button, then use the “Associate Images Manually” button to tie the Zenfolio image URL to the CR2 version in Lightroom. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve on March 13th, 2017 at 10:30am JST (7 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

In your reply to Dayve on July 15th, 2014, you indicated that there is an Adobe LR bug resulting in already-published videos being marked as “Modified Photos to Republish.”

This is now happening to me, also. Is there a way to mark these photos as up-to-date other then going to each published collection, waiting for LR to slowly move the photos from Published to Modified, select all, and then mark the photos as up-to-date?

I did try your “Bag O’ Goodies” option “Mark Selected Publish Collections as up to date,” but unfortunately, the very fact of clicking on the Publish Collection itself seems to trigger LR to re-mark already published images as needing republishing.

(LR 2017.10 / MacOS Sierra)

Unfortunately, this is the best I’ve been able to come up with to combat this problem )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert Camner on May 9th, 2017 at 9:57am JST (5 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink

Well, I have a possible workaround improvement…

According to a poster on lightroomforums.net, at least one trigger of this bug is related to when LR needed to create new previews for an image. I had deleted 1:1 previews, and apparently, with LR now knowing that previews were needed, triggered the “mark to republish” bug.

Based on this, I selected all my Publish collections, selected all photos, and generated 1:1 previews. Sure enough, this marked ALL the photos as needing to be republished (without my clicking on each publish collection in turn and wait for the images to move slowly from “Published” to “Modified Photos to Republish.” I could then use “Bag O’Goodies” to mark all collections as up-to-date. This took far less time!

Perhaps this might be helpful to someone else.

— comment by Robert Camner on May 10th, 2017 at 10:44am JST (5 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery, I use your publishing service for my Zenfolio website . Love it it makes creating updating my site so much easier.

I have a problem. When I edit a caption then republish, the republished image is uploaded correctly but the image it’s supposed to replace isn’t remove (deleted). And it is the one displayed until I manually delete it.


Yikes, that’s not good. Could you send a plugin log the next time you encounter this, being sure to include in the note the URL of both the new and the should-have-been-removed-but-wasn’t image? Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark J Lacy on October 5th, 2017 at 4:02am JST (2 weeks, 2 days ago) comment permalink

I’ve just installed the plugin, it found all my galleries. When I do Associate Images the progress bar looks promising as it checks 825 images, but then I get “Assertion failed: packed” and no images are associated. What am I doing wrong?

Please see this FAQ —Jeffrey

— comment by Neill Taylor on October 17th, 2017 at 6:18am JST (3 days, 23 hours ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting