Monday, March 3, 2008
Special Delivery - The Best Ways To Transmit Images
Getting images to your clients fast is a hallmark of the Internet era, but too many pros get sloppy in their haste to get things there "right now." Here are a few tips on how to deliver work fast.
In the immediacy of the digital age, we often don't send prints in favor of fast transmission over the Internet, or we burn a CD and race for FedEx at 4:30 in the afternoon. At DPP, we've received far too many CDs with illegible handwriting on the disk, and when we insert it, we're greeted with a list of file names like img_085.jpg. Images sent over the Internet are worse. After downloading a StuffIt file that has some mystery name, the embedded image file names are usually the same useless alphabet soup. Being high-tech is no excuse for being sloppy. Every CD or DVD that leaves your studio should be prepared with the same care you'd have taken with traditional prints, and file names should make it clear to your client what the image is!
From the beginning of the shoot to labeling, renaming, metadata creation and batch processing to the final delivery of your project, there are ways to make the file delivery process quicker and more efficient using today's various technologies from hardware to software.
Preparation Is Paramount
A way to present yourself in a professional manner is to create an efficient workflow with the minutest details, which makes all the difference. One of the tools that benefits this sort of union is Microsoft's Expression Media software (formerly iView MediaPro), an asset-management tool that does most of the prepping, organization, renaming and batch processing for your imported photographs.
“It's a tool that people will use in their own different ways,” says Phil Hayward, Program Manager at Expression Media. “It will do everything for a photographer, from import to the first draft of the image and choosing what image the photographer wants to deliver to the client. It can go through annotation and then organization to the end purpose of the images, which is delivering to the client.”
Another function in the Expression Media software is the ability to send a catalogue of your selected images to your client via e-mail. The client in turn has the ability to download reader software from Microsoft to look at this catalogue and comment on the images sent with a notepad, where the client can make remarks and send them back via e-mail to the photographer, says Kevin Bier, leader of the Expression Media team.
“An important thing to mention is that Expression Media is scriptable,” says Hayward. “What they can produce for a photographer is the whole workflow in script, so that after I've shot and after I've assembled everything that I need, I can press a button to submit all this to my clients, and it can actually check all things I've done to see if it's big enough. Or they might have required fields like model releases in the annotation, and the script can check to make sure all those things are present and flash the ones that aren't. It's a nice delivery tool to free the photographer from all that sort of drudgery.”
Other excellent programs that work as digital asset-management tools include software such as Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture and Canto Cumulus.
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