FAQ: Photos

New to photos in Localist? Start with our introductory guide: Intro: Photos


Q: Should we remove photos from the platform?

A: No! Storage limits are absolutely not a concern and having a large photo pool will not affect the performance of your platform.


Q: Why isn’t the photo pool searchable?

A: To set up a searchable image pool, all users and admins would need to know and use consistent terms. This would be needlessly complicated compared to a user pulling an image from their desktop or the organization’s website. Instead, think of your image pool as an image repository rather than a menu to pick from–your platform will be most vibrant if users consistently add new images, not rely on what’s provided. If a unique photo cannot be provided, then Localist’s Fallback Chain steps in to ensure that a photo displays.


Q: What dimensions should I use for an image?

A: The cropper at it’s largest is 200×150 (4:3). We don’t publish the cropper dimensions on the event form because it ends up being more confusing for most users. They try to pre-crop images to match the “optimal” dimensions when there’s really no optimal. We don’t discriminate on size (by design!) and photo uploads should be treated like Facebook: the bigger, the better. You can always adjust the cropping of the photo thumbnail afterward if our auto-cropper doesn’t do it properly. Plus, while a cropped version of the picture is displayed initially, if you select the photo on the event details page then the entire image will come forward. The most common use we’ve seen of this is the top of a flyer image being displayed, but then when clicked the entire document is visible.

A little background on the cropper: It is currently a rectangle because it’s a universal tool that does not change when the photo display is altered. Since your platform may display a mix of rectangular, square, circular, rounded, etc. photos, we built the cropper with a large width to accommodate rectangles and could be shaved down to the center for squares and circles.


Q: How do I change the size of photos displayed on the platform?

A: First, decide which size you’d like to use: Localist provides several sizing options, which you can view by navigating to Content > Photos > select any photo > View All Sizes button (top right). The largest specified sizes we offer are “Big 300” (300 x 225) or “Square 300” (300 x 300). The “Huge” and “Original” sizes are related — original is the untouched, uncropped photo that was initially uploaded. “Huge” is the original photo scaled to fit within 750×750 at the largest when the original is bigger (it’s also what is displayed if you select an image on a Localist page). If the original photo is smaller, say 150 x 150 then the Huge photo will remain at 150 x 150 to avoid distortion.

Once you’ve decided on a size to reference, navigate to Settings > Appearance > Edit Theme Files for the theme you’d like to edit. In the editor, select the _event_item file under Shared Among Multiple Views. Search for the text “photo_for event_item size:” within the file (usually line 7 and 38). Here, you will see the photo sizes your platform references. Swap out this size with the size you prefer (i.e. size:big_300, or size:big, etc.) and save changes. To then edit the size of Featured images, repeat this process on the _featured_section file under Shared Among Multiple Views.

If you’d like to display a custom size, you can reference a larger size in the editor, then use custom CSS to change the display.


Q: Can I attach a PDF to an event?

A: This is not possible at this time, you could always export the PDF to JPG and upload it as the photo. While the event details page will only display the cropped portion, when clicked the entire image will come forward. That being said, we do encourage folks to upload as much text as possible to the event’s description instead of including it in an upload so that it can be indexed by search engines.


Q: Why doesn’t the Fallback Chain go into effect while I’m creating an event?

A: The fallback chain goes into effect after saving an event as it is a display change on the live event details page and not an actual photo assignment. The event/place fallback is automatically showing because it is just simply taking the place of our default gray star, which is why it can’t be “deleted.” If you choose to not upload another photo then after saving Localist will display the next photo according to the fallback order upon page load (no manual re-assignment is required), but not attach the photo to the event. A few reasons why it’s not attached and saved as a part of the event create form:

  • If a group/place etc. ever removes or changes their photo then the event’s photo would not also change. Since the photos are now rendered upon page load it allows Localist to display the most up-to-date photo.
  • In the same vein, if an event is re-assigned groups or changed to another place landing page the photo can change as the details do.
  • It would be confusing for an end user if a photo was automatically assigned during creation if they are unaware of the fallback chain.
  • Automatically assigning a photo upon creating/submitting an event would also deter users from uploading a photo that is more specific to their actual event.

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