Stand out from the crowd by delivering a great online service, as well as great photographs.
There are two irreplaceable services that are a must have if you’re going to make it as a photographer.
First and foremost, you need to take great pictures. (That should be obvious.)
Second, you also need to be able to deliver great pictures—literally. Can you provide hi-res, edited, useable and approved images in a format that makes it easy for your client to get what he/she paid for?
That’s half the reason you’ve been hired.
The way that you organize and share your images has never been more important.
Are you giving your clients a way to see and approve the pictures before you deliver? Are you giving them the space to make suggestions? Are you sorting and titling your pictures so they can find the right ones easily?
You can save everyone a lot of time and heartache by thinking through an easy, secure, and reliable method of sharing your files, and then delivering on time.
Here are some options to consider that make sharing and sending easier.
Programs like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and Hightail all offer you the ability to create shared folders with clients where both parties can view and comment on the work. WeTransfer lets you easily send a selection of files, and track when they are opened. All of these high-end services are similar, so choose the service that suits your style. On balance, Google Drive offers more space at a cheaper price but Dropbox is probably slightly better at sharing files.
Each of these services is simple to setup, efficient, and provides the client with a sense of creative collaboration in the project—which is the kind of feeling that could lead to them giving you more work.
Cloud-sharing your images also takes the delivery pressure off the photographer. If you upload a hi-res image that your clients can see and download, then they can format it for the many ways they want to use it.
Another excellent option for delivery of large files is via FTP, a slightly older protocol which is provides a simple server to client model of sharing. Anyone can use it, and it’s stripped down and simple; all it does is share the files.
You can deliver very large images via FTP, and you can batch upload if you need to send multiple files at once.
Another great feature of FTP is that you don’t have to complete the entire transfer in one go. The transfer will resume from where it was paused in a previous session and carry on until complete.
The Envato website has an excellent tutorial on best practices for delivering photos where you can learn about various cloud options, as well as FTP.
Last but not least, we need to talk about email.
Make e-mail your last resort for sending images. Just because it’s easy, quick, and sitting right there in front of you doesn’t mean you should mail your photos. It’s clunky and unprofessional. Bear in mind that hi-speed, uncapped data is not a guarantee for many people, particularly international clients, and that most email servers limit the size of files.
If you have to send your work via email, it’s not the end of the world. But approach with caution.
Sharing large files has never been easier, and doing it properly will distinguish your business from the rest.