Hi folks, Megan here again, Producer at CJ Inc. We recently delivered a couple of big jobs to clients, and it got me thinking about file management, tracking + job wrap-up. As the producer, I’m responsible for creating + managing the post production schedule, sending files to clients for approval, then delivering final images once all files have been been given the thumbs up. I work closely with Chase and the digital artist to ensure that we’re delivering exactly what the client has asked for, which means cross-checking each image with both the creative brief AND the contract to ensure that our bases are covered.
Here are some things to keep in mind prior to arriving on set.
What are the images going to be used for? A billboard or in-store signage? A web banner or e-brochure? Usage is usually defined at the contract stage, so it should be well documented and understood prior to shoot day. This will perhaps inform which camera you opt to shoot with and image resolution.
TIFFs? Layered PSDs? JPGs? RAWs?
Is shot #4 a horizontal or vertical? Be sure to have the creative brief handy if there’s no Art Director on set to advise.
_Naming convention + folder structure:
Has your client provided you with a specific naming convention or preferred folder structure? This is especially common on retail and catalog jobs, where each shot usually coincides with a garment SKU.
[If not, you may want to decide upon an agreeable solution before you start shooting.]
How many files are you providing? Are you able to upload to an FTP fairly quickly? Or will you need to send a hard drive to your client?
[If you are sending a hard drive, be sure to label it with your name + contact info so it’s easily identifiable.]
_Description of files + thumbnails:
Along with the hard drive, we like to include a memo (or cover letter, of sorts) outlining the project name, shoot description, deliverables + usage terms. All of the pertinent info relating to the files is concisely captured in 1 document for the client’s reference.
I also include a page (or more, depending on how many images are being delivered) of thumbnails, so the client knows what he or she is getting at a glance. A copy of each of these documents gets saved in the project folder on the server so if there’s ever any question about what was delivered and when, it’s easily trackable. File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing, and can leave a lasting impression on your client. You really want to nail it.
Feel like I’ve missed something important? Have anything to add? Feel free to leave comments below.
(Disclaimer: I’m no Digital Asset Manager, so if you want additional info on any of the items above, check out the Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video here.)
I too use wetransfer.com first to send the gallery with my edited images so the client can choose witch ones to work on. Then I’ll only use it again to send the finished images if the client is of “out of town”.
I was wondering what FTP use guys use or if you guys have an opinion on any of them.
Currently we are using Dropbox but are searching around to see if any of the contenders are worth looking into.
Thank you for your time!
We use MediaFire.com and love it!
Hi Megan, ths for the info but I have a question. You mention, “..File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing…”
Would you ever deliver images without first receiving final payment or do you deliver in good faith? My terms are usually “final payment upon delivery”, but being an independent and my contracts are relatively small, I would typically try to give great customer service and deliver as soon as I can, even if it means before receiving full payment.
Great tips for file management and delivery!