Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's the Best method to Transfer Large Files?

There are many options available out there, that provide us photographers with the ability to send large files to our clients.  

Let's face it, most email services limit you to 5-7MB, and in our world, a single RAW file is 23MB.  What happens when you wish to send your client a PDF format contact sheet, containing 200-300 pics, or 40-50 touched-up high resolution JPG images, or a timelapse?  Even if the JPG format is compressed, it still ends up being a large transfer. Sending a PSD file for a large print to the lab is also a situation that needs to be taken into account.

Here are several types of transfer methods, most of which we have used/tried.

FTP Account
Some clients have an FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and that's convenient. However, what happens when the clients' IT guy changes a certain parameter, and you can no longer upload your work, and it is time-sensitive?  This recently happened to us, and we've since changed our method for file upload.

Cloud Storage
Although easy, this service can be tricky as to who you give access to what, and in the process, can be not only time-consuming, but also costly, depending on the amount of storage required.  But on the positive side, it can also act as a back-up of your precious images.  FileDropper is a good example, and prices vary from $0.99-$10.00/month.

eMail add-on
Some services can be installed as an add-on software to your existing email account such as Outlook.  This is the case with YouSendIt (now called HighTail).  You simply send your files as if you would send a regular email, and if the data is above a certain size, it gives you the option to send via Hightail.

Online Services
This is where it gets interesting (and a little confusing).  There are many services offered, and each have their limitations as to how many files you can send at a time, maximum file size, if you can have personalized message (logo), delivery notification, amount of allowable downloads, effective for a certain amount of days, etc...  Here is a list, along with links to their site, making it easy for you to compare, if you're looking for this type of service.

2.  DropBox
4.  DropSend

We use AodebeSendNow, as we find it has all the options we were looking for, in addition to it being a reliable Adobe product.