X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a promising spectroscopic technique to characterize imaging contrast agents with high atomic numbers (Z) such as gold nanoparticles (GNPs) inside small objects. Its utilization for biomedical applications, however, is greatly limited to experimental research due to longer data acquisition time. The objectives of this study are to apply a photon counting detector array for XRF imaging and to determine an optimized XRF data acquisition time, at which the acquired XRF image is of acceptable quality to allow the maximum level of radiation dose reduction. A prototype laboratory XRF imaging configuration consisting of a pencil-beam X-ray and a photon counting detector array (1 × 64 pixels) is employed to acquire the XRF image through exciting the prepared GNP/water solutions. In order to analyze the signal to noise ratio (SNR) improvement versus the increased exposure time, all the XRF photons within the energy range of 63 - 76KeV that include two Kα gold fluorescence peaks are collected for 1s, 2s, 3s, and so on all the way up to 200s. The optimized XRF data acquisition time for imaging different GNP solutions is determined as the moment when the acquired XRF image just reaches a quality with a SNR of 20dB which corresponds to an acceptable image quality.