today I want to write a “little bit” about how I communicate ideas with models, visas, etc. and customers in advance of a shooting (if this happens virtually – I still prefer a personal meeting to discuss that), and send my pics to them after a shooting. I want to state in advance that I’m in no way sponsored or payed by this platform to write this blog ... what you get here is the (my) truth and nothing but the truth ... 😉
PicDrop – basic stuff
PicDrop is a platform which was developed for photographers specially to exchange pictures and related data. The fist beta-version went online back in 2013 (if I recall correctly), but I can’t really recall when it went “live” ... what I can say is, that I had an eye on it from the beginning and joined in in 2015 ... enjoying the services ever since. At first I used it for the sole purpose of storing data online ... as a cloud-storage which was cheaper than dropbox and others ... it was only after a while, that I realized how useful the other stuff was (mostly because of their FB-page and blog).
Picdrop is basically a paid online-storage service, but you can start out with a 30-day trial version which is for free. After that period it changes into a “mini-account” with max. 3 galleries and 1 GB space, which won’t last long ...😉
Really useful are the bigger packages, which you can find here: https://www.picdrop.de/web/pricing
Now I want to start out by showing you the “look and feel” as well as some useful features. This is not intended to be some sort of manual or documentation for the platform (they have great stuff in their blog for that purpose), I just want to give you a short overview and my 2 cents at the end.
Look and feel for customers
For the customers the page presents itself like you see in pic 1 ... the backdrop and logo in the left upper corner can be changed of course. What I really like as well is the fact that you can integrate pictrop into your own website and customize the URL so it looks like it is part of your website as well. That seems like a little detail to some, but I really think it looks a lot more professional.
If the customer (or whoever I want to exchange pictures with) has made his way past the login (which can be set up quite easily and quick), all galleries which he is allowed to see appear (Pic02).
You can set up the structure like in any explores with multiple subfolders (you can see the “tree” on the left side) just as the project demands it.
If you open one of these galleries, you can see all the content as well as the navigation tools (Pic 03). As you can see there are some filters as well as some tools to create and save collections.
I really like to use picdrop to let the customer create his own favourites, which he can highlight with a simple color-code (which I can use to filter the pics). And the real highlight for me: that filtering can be exported to lightroom or capture one, which saves me a lot of time.
In addition to that, all the pics can be commented, which makes it really easy to communicate changes, possibilities, ideas, etc.
Backend/Possibilities for the adimistrators
As an administrator you have some additional tools and advanced views (of course). Naturally, you can see all galleries and pictures in your picdrop-account (stating the obvious) and you can pin your favourite galleries on your starting page as well (which really helps).
Additionally, you can configure the “look and feel” as well as the functionality and security for all the customers folders (Pics 04-06)
This gives you the freedom to permit up- and downloads (separately), write a welcome-note, set up a password and even influence the link you send them.
And of course (as mentioned before) you can see all the comments and markings your customers made As mentioned before, maybe the best tool on the platform is, that you can use those markings for filtering and export the result to lightroom and capture one ... this really saves a lot of time, especially if you have loads of pictures to deal with.
My opinion/my experiences
Together with the obvious software you need as photographer such as RAW-converters and Photoshop, this might be my most helpful tool for doing my job. The possibilities for communicating with customers, models, makeup-artists, ... are much easier with it, and much faster as well. As I’ve stated in the beginning, I use it since 2015 and it is constantly improving. I think a big part of this is owed to the support team, which is doing a fantastic job ... every e-mails gets answered fast and personally and if you have any idea for the page, they really consider it and even invite you to test the improvements in a beta version, if they decided to implement them (that’s how support should be done!)
The only little “flaw” I’ve found (or better: which just occurred to me – I’ll forward that to the support in the near future) just recently is, that you can’t really use it for data other than the most common picture-formats (RAW is accepted) and a few other file-types such as PDF. I’d really like to have that restriction “loosened” a little bit in order to be able to use it for other files as well (e.g. office-documents, zip-folders, ...). I’d just like to have “all” in one place ... now I have to use some other cloud-services (like dropbox, amazon or the adobe-cloud) to have all the files available online. Maybe they have done that out of fear from misuse ... but it would really be helpful (at least for me), if that wouldn’t be restricted.
As you can imagine, I really like this platform and I can really recommend it for all photographers out there.
And if by chance anyone from picdrop is reading this: you really do a great job ... keep up your fantastic work!!! You have at least one satisfied customer ... 😉