Lightbox Rating System

Lightbox Cheat Sheet & FAQ

Creating A Lightbox From Your Photo Shoot

Adding an Image

When viewing an image from the public side (e.g. in a gallery, or an image search), click the Add to lightbox button/link to add the image to your lightbox. If you are logged in, you will be prompted to select one of your own lightboxes, a shared lightbox, or a new lightbox. If you are not logged in, the image will be added to a temporary lightbox, which can only be saved once you login. When you do login, the lightbox will be added to your lightbox list.

From a Gallery (Thumbnail View) 

Select the image(s) to add and click “Copy To Lightbox” from the “Batch Actions” menu on the left side of the page.

From a Gallery (Individual Image View)

Hover over the “Copy” icon and select “Copy to Lightbox”.

From another Lightbox

Select the image(s) to copy, click the “Copy” button from the menu above the thumbnails, and select “Copy to Lightbox.

No matter where you choose to add images to a lightbox, you will be prompted to select one of your own lightboxes, a shared lightbox, or a new lightbox. Note: Only the shared lightboxes in which you have been granted permission to add images will appear in the “shared” list


Lightbox Navigation Basics

A light box has the following properties:

  • Images with Rating/Comment/Hi-Res Download indicators
  • Lightbox Details: Project, Client, Description
  • Comments
  • Sharing Information

The light box can hold an unlimited number of images, but will only display either 25 or 50 images per page. You can set the number of images displayed per page using the “# per page” button at the top right of the light box. You can have an unlimited number of lightboxes.

Each image in the light box is represented by a thumbnail, along with the image filename, rating, and indicators for comments and hi-res download. If an image has any comments associated with it, a small green comment icon along with the number of comments will appear under the thumbnail. If you have high-resolution download permission for an image, a small green “Hi-res Download” icon will appear under the thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail image will take you to the image viewing page with further information on that specific image which includes the comments and download permissions.

Click on the name of the light box to edit it.

Sorting Images

Images in a lightbox can be sorted by the following methods:

  • Date added to the lightbox
  • Rating
  • File Name
  • Custom Order

You can change the sort method of images by selecting a sorting option at the top right of the lightbox, using the “Sort by:” drop-down menus. With the exception of “Custom Order,” the direction of the sort can be set to forward or reverse. For example, if “File Name” and “Reverse” is selected, the letter “Z” will come before the letter “A”; in “Forward” mode, “A” will come before “Z.”

When using the “Rating” sort method, images will be sorted by your ratings. Unrated images will always appear at the end of the lightbox, after images with ratings.

When using the “Custom Order” sort method, it is possible to re-order the images by dragging and dropping them into place. Hold down your mouse button on the gray “handle” at the top of an image thumbnail, drag the mouse to move the thumbnail, and release the mouse button when you want to drop the thumbnail. When you are finished sorting the images, click the “Save Order” button that appears in the yellow bar above the thumbnails.

You must hit the “Save Order” button after dragging and dropping images in the Custom Sort mode, or your new order will not be saved. Also note that the Custom Sort feature is limited to 100 images; if your lightbox has more than 100 images, you will only be able to sort the first 100 images that appear.

When you change the sort method of a lightbox, the new method is saved to the lightbox, and anyone you have shared the lightbox with will see the same order as you. (Note: If someone is viewing a shared lightbox at the exact same time as you, they will need to reload the web page in order to see the new sort method.) If you are viewing a shared lightbox, you must have permission to modify the lightbox in order to change the sort order.

Rating Images

Image showing how to rate and select images at Gilmour Commercial Photography
Mouse over the stars and click to set a rating for an image.

You may rate images in batch or one image at a time. Ratings will be tethered to the specific user and specific images within the lightbox. For example, even if an image is contained in two separate lightboxes, the ratings are not shared. The label associated with each star cannot be changed (e.g. “Excellent”). These are global settings within the application.

Rating an Individual Image

In the thumbnail view, mouse over the stars under each image and click on the appropriate rating to set the rating. You cannot “un-rate” an image once you’ve set a rating, but you can always change the rating.

You can also set a rating to an individual image while you are viewing it singularly. Simply mouse-over the appropriate rating and click to set.

Rating in batch

When viewing multiple images in the lightbox, select those you wish to rate by clicking anywhere in the gray area under the thumbnails. Orange borders will appear around the selected images. You can then click the “RATE” button above the thumbnails to set the appropriate ratings.

Viewing Ratings Matrix

Because each user can set their own rating, we’ve created a matrixed view to see how everyone else that you’ve shared the lightbox with rated the image. Click the “Ratings Matrix” button from the thumbnail view. Ten images are displayed per page along with a column per shared user.

Lightbox Rating System

The matrix view allows you to see how everyone rated images within your lightbox.

If an image has any comments associated with it, a “(comments)” indicator  will appear underneath the rating. Clicking on this indicator will display the comments.

Leave a Comment

You can leave a comment on an individual image, or for the entire lightbox. When viewing the thumbnails contained in a lightbox, click the “Comments” button that appears above the thumbnails. This will reveal a comments “tray.” Click the “add a comment” link to leave a comment about the entire lightbox.

Leaving a Comment on a specific image

While viewing an image singularly, click the comment bubble icon above the image or the “add a comment” link below the image to add a comment. The comments appear in a threaded fashion under the image, with the newest comments appearing first. There is no way to edit or delete a comment once it’s been made.

Sharing Lightboxes

The most fundamental aspect of lightboxes is the ability to share them with others to create a collaborative environment. While viewing a lightbox, click the “Share” button. You will be presented with three options:

  • Select a Photographer/Image Owner: Using this dropdown you will find the names of all the photographers whose images have been added to your lightbox. For example, if there are images in the lightbox from three different photographers – Paul, John, and Mary – all three of their names will appear in this list. This method allows you to share the lightbox with a photographer without having to know their email address.
  • Enter an E-mail address: Here you can enter in the email address for the invitee. You cannot share the contents of your lightbox without knowing the e-mail address of the user you wish to invite.

Once you select an invitee for the lightbox share, there are three checkbox options

  • Allow person to invite others:If you create a lightbox and want to control who has access to the images and comments, you might not want to give invitees the ability to invite others.
  • Allow person to remove, rate, sort and comment on images: If you do not check this option, the lightbox is read-only for the invitee. They will be able to view images, comments and ratings, but they will not be able to leave any annotations, add/remove images, change the sorting order, etc.
  • Email me a copy of this invitation: Emailing yourself a copy of the invitation allows you to see exactly what the invitee will see in the email he or she receives.

Image Security

Most lightboxes that you might have encountered in the past were merely galleries that could be forwarded ad infinitum. This poses a problem if the images contained within the gallery were only meant for a specific person to see, and not some random third party.

The ImageVault light box is permission-aware at the image level. For example:

  • The photographer sends an invite-only gallery of executives to a magazine editor.
  • The editor adds images from that gallery to a light box.
  • The editor then shares the light box with his/her editor-in-chief.

Since the editor-in-chief never had permission to view the images in the invite-only gallery to begin with, s/he will see an “Image N/A” notice.

In order to then see the image(s), one of the following must be true:

  • The images are set to publicly viewable.
  • The viewer has an invitation to the gallery in which the images are contained.
  • The viewer is the image owner (that’d be the photographer!).
  • The viewer has been invited to the light box by Brett Gilmour Photography.


My client created a light box, how can I view it?

Your client must share the light box with you before you may view it. They can do this by clicking on the Share button and either typing in your email address, or selecting your name from the Photographer/Image Owner drop-down list. See the section on Sharing Lightboxes for more details.

Is it possible to grant hi-res download permission in batch/ allow my clients to download in batch?

This is not currently possible. At the present time, you may only allow download permission on a per-image basis from a light box.

I cannot view the images in their light box, I only see an “Image N/A” notice. Why is that?

This can happen for security reasons if the light box was shared with a user (by another client) who should not have access given the visibility settings of the gallery in which the images are currently being contained.

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