We all know that feeling. You’ve finally made it to the end of the editing process and it’s time to deliver your final images to the client. This final step of the editing workflow is sometimes overlooked but is crucial and should be carefully considered. Where will the images be used? What format and size? Is there a specific file naming structure? Did the client ask to use a specific image delivery system? Considering all of these items will help ensure you deliver your final work with the client’s needs in mind.
FORMAT / SIZE
Knowing the end use of the images will help determine which format and size to export your edited images in. Most likely your client has already given you image specifications for delivery but in the event that you aren’t, ask yourself a few questions. Where will these images appear? Will they be posted on a website or social media? Are they to be published in a magazine or used in a large store display?
If your work is going to be published solely online, more than likely you’ll be handing over your work as high res JPEGs under 1 MB for web. Anything larger can cause your website to run slow. I mean, nothing is worse than waiting for a page to load. The quality of your images can also suffer immensely when uploading to social media if they haven’t been appropriately sized down.
If the images are going to be printed in a magazine or used in store displays, you may want to consider exporting in TIFF. While you may be able to get away with JPEG for small prints, the quality of your images is super important for larger print jobs. No one wants a pixelated hot mess.
Sometimes the client may want to organize their files by providing you with a specific file naming convention. If this is the case, great. If not, structure your file naming so that it makes sense for the client and yourself. Don’t make it complicated but do keep in mind what will make it the easiest for you to find the photos again. Some things to consider: date, original file name, client or brand name, product name, campaign name, image dimensions, and where the image will be used.
With the rise of cloud storage and delivery services, there are so many ways to send images to clients. Once you’ve determined the right format for your final images, it’s time to decide which delivery service is best for the client. I’m sharing with you a few of our favorite delivery services that we use pretty consistently.
A personal favorite. This image delivery system acts as a photo gallery where clients are able to view photos, select their favorites, and download in various sizes. This system is very popular amongst wedding and portrait photographers. Personally, I love to use this service simply because of its presentation. It’s minimal and clean aesthetic is perfect for all of our work that is primarily for social media. Beware though, Pixieset only supports JPEG uploads up to 50MB each. This means that you won’t be able to upload any other formats meant for printing or PNG images that purposely have transparent backgrounds.
The cloud storage service we all know and love. Clients sometimes request to use this service specifically to deliver work and for good reason. They already use it for their own document storage and it’s one less thing to figure out. Unlike Pixieset, Dropbox is not limited to image storage and therefore, you can upload just about any file type or format that your client requests. Whether that’s a transparent product image in the form of a PNG, a GIF for social, or a large TIFF image for print. You name it. However, this service isn’t necessarily pretty or focused on the aesthetic. For that reason, I prefer to use Pixieset when I can because there’s something about delivering great images and being able to see them all next to each other in a beautiful gallery.
Another classic service. While WeTransfer offers storage to paying users, it’s one of the fastest ways of delivering up to 2GB worth of files. It’s free, easy, and uploads much faster than the other services. The only downside is that the client isn’t actually able to see the images until it’s been completely downloaded and the link expires after a month. Not exactly super friendly if you’re working with a client where there are adjustments that need to be made often. It does not offer the flexibility that Pixieset and Dropbox of being able to upload and replace an old file with a new one. Still a great service for when you need to send something quickly.
We hope you found this post useful. Do you have any favorite image delivery services? Share with us below.
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