Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Shutterfly Upload plugin:

Q: I want to upload the best quality images that offer me the most flexibility for various print sizes. What export settings should I use?

A: Try these:

File Settings: Quality 100
Image Sizing: uncheck the “Resize to Fit” box
Output Sharpening: uncheck the “Sharpen” box

Q: When I specify an export quality setting of 100, the resulting JPEG is much larger that my original JPEG. What’s up with that?

A: During the export process, Lightroom will render a new JPEG, applying any Lightroom settings, export settings, etc. When you select a large quality value, a minimum amount of compression will be applied to the final JPEG ensuring that no detail is lost and the highest possible quality is maintained. The file may be big, but the image will look its best.

In reality, however, you can probably reduce the quality slider (say, to 80) and not notice any change in the image — but you may see a huge reduction in the file size! You’ll need to experiment to find your “sweet spot” in the trade-off between image quality and file size. If you would like more information, check out Jeffrey Friedl’s article on the subject: “An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings”.

Q: I’m receiving an error that Shutterfly is complaining about a Bad Timestamp. What does this mean?

A: Check the date and time settings on your computer — they probably need to be adjusted.

The reason for this is that a timestamp is exchanged between the plug-in and Shutterfly as part of the hand-shake during the upload process. Shutterfly requires that the timestamp be within 15 minutes of the date/time set on their servers (corrected for timezone differences). If the difference is greater than 15 minutes, Shutterfly cancels the upload request.

Q: When I try to authenticate my user ID to Shutterfly, my web browser displays a page with the following error:

HTTP Status 400 -

The request sent by the client was syntactically incorrect ().

What’s going wrong?

A: The most likely cause is that your computer’s date and/or time are not within 15 minutes of the correct time (see the previous question). Please adjust your computer clock and try again.

Q: How do I capture a log file to report a problem that I’m having with the plug-in?

A: To enable logging, follow these steps:

  1. open the Lightroom Plug-in Manager
  2. select “Shutterfly Upload” from your list of installed plug-ins
  3. expand the “Shutterfly Upload Global settings” section
  4. check the “Enable loggging” and “Log to file” boxes
  5. expand the “Plug-in Author Tools” section
  6. press the “Reload Plug-in” button
  7. press the “Done” button

Now, reproduce the problem. Once you’ve captured it, return to the Plug-in manager and turn off the plug-in’s logging (un-check “Enable logging” and press “Reload Plug-in” again).

Take a look in the “Shutterfly Upload Global settings” section. The “Show Log File” link should be active. Click on it to see the file (a text file named “ShutterflyUpload.log”) in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Attach it to an email and send it to

don -at- don-mckee -dot- com

(replacing “-at-” and “-dot-” with “@” and “.”, respectively). Along with the log file, be sure to include any error messages you received, the plug-in’s version and build stamp (found in the plug-in’s “Status” section of the Plug-in Manager), and the operating system you’re running on.

Q: What are some of the “user error” problems that folks have run into?

A: I’ll start the list and add to it as needed:

  • firewall settings that prevent connecting to Shutterfly. If you have consistent trouble connecting, try disabling your firewall and trying again — if it works, you’ve found your culprit.
  • computer date and/or time set incorrectly. Shutterfly requires that your computer’s date and time be set to within 15 minutes of the correct time.

Q: Will the titles and captions that I added to my pictures in Lightroom be uploaded too?

A: Unfortunately, no. The Shutterfly website does not currently support uploading any metadata along with your pictures. You’ll need to visit the Shutterfly site if you want to assign image titles or captions.

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