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API Functionality

The API provides access to some of FlashFoto's internal image processing libraries to perform simple and complex image manipulation tasks. These tasks are divided into various groups of functionality that will be outlined below.

File Management

These API methods provide some generic support for uploading, retrieving, deleting, and enumerating the images that you have uploaded into the system.

People Detection and Smart Photos

Our API is able to find the locations and sizes of a known number of faces in your photos. Once this information is determined, our API is able to automatically crop photos to appropriately fit prints, greeting cards, photo books, and more! In the past, photo output providers have relied on the user to center and crop their photos depending on where the object of interest is in the photo. With Flashfoto, Inc.’s People Detection and Smart Photos technology, photo output providers will save drastic amounts of time and money previously spent re-cropping photo. With more accurate and automatic cropping results, customer satisfaction and retention become much easier goals for photo output providers.

Face Detection

The facial detection call first identifies all individuals in a photo, and then returns the coordinates of each person according to the approximate height and width of the head, as well as the angle of rotation. Knowing the locations and sizes of faces within photos makes it substantially easier to add accessories to the individual (such as a hat).

Crop & Compose


SmartCrop® automatically finds people within images and intelligently re-frames the image surrounding. Digital cameras take photos at one aspect ratio (4X3), and then the photos are printed at a different one (4X6) causing a disparity in where the main focal point should be. No matter the size of the area to be fitted, SmartCrop will adjust the photo so that the point of focus is always centered. This is ideal for automatically creating profile pictures, thumbnails (to showcase products or photos), and avatars.

Typical automatic center of the image cropping for 4x6 print on left.

SmartCrop automatic results on right where our subject keep the top of her head.


SmartCompose® identifies people in a photo and creates a “safe-zone” around the person or group of people. Once the safe-zone has been determined, the image is then automatically fit into any layout, template or frame, all while protecting the safe-zone. Additionally, SmartCompose® has an internal scoring system that can process a set of frames or templates and determine which frame is the best fit for any given image, therefore maximizing the complimentary shape of the frame and the content of the image. This is ideal for creating customized photo cards and photo books.

Typical automatic center layout on left.

SmartCompose automatic zoom and center on subject is on the right.

Face & Hair Segmentation

The Face & Hair call takes the detected face returned from the Face Detection call and removes the background. The result is a mask of only the person’s face and hair, allowing for their head to be placed on other people’s bodies in photos. In the past, background removal technologies were unable to include the person’s hair in the mask. Flashfoto, Inc’s patent pending Face & Hair technology is the first of its kind to include the users’ hair. This allows for a more realistic recreated photo in which the user puts their head on another person’s body.

Mugshot Segmentation

Mugshot technology is very similar to Face & Hair, except that the mask created includes the person (people’s) upper torso. This mask can then be put into a desired background photo. Ideally, using Mugshot allows for greater flexibility in photo and scene creation as opposed to Face & Hair.

Uniform Background Removal

Flashfoto, Inc's background removal technology automatically identifies people and objects in an image, and removes the background. This creates a mask of the person or object that can then be applied to either a white background or any new background desired. Flashfoto, Inc’s background removal technology is ideal for licensed content, promotions and online applications in which companies are looking to offer their customers maximum personalization.

Image Manipulation

Image Manipulation calls are provided to aid in small odds and end tasks that can be used to tie everything together.