We've all been there. You're working on a project and you need an image for it. You know which one you want but you're not sure where it is. After searching your desktop and a couple emails, you start navigating through shared folders. You finally get to the folder "Company Event Photos" you were told the image was in, a sigh of relief. But then you open the folder and see 500 images labeled IMG31234 through - IMG31634. Now what? Hope the first image you open is the one you want? 1 in 500 chance isn’t so bad, right?
There are many ways to share images, from email to shared folders to online tools. Heck, you could print an image, fold it into an airplane and let it fly to its intended recipient. Some ways are certainly better than others in terms of efficiency, maintaining quality, and organization. Here are four common image sharing mistakes and some tips to prevent them.
1) Non-informative file names
Having thousands of images with no proper file names is an easy mistake to make. Images from cameras and stock photography sites typically provide random numbers as the file name. A random number doesn’t provide any value to you in finding the image or knowing what the file is. It’s simply the easiest and least time consuming way to store images. But how about when you’re looking for that specific image in a folder of files named IMG2312 through IMG2513?
Save yourself and your team time in the long run, give your image files proper names. Better yet, use a tool that will help you with the process. Either way, implementing some sort of file naming structure will greatly improve your teams ability to find the images they are looking for.
2) Sharing the wrong file format
File formats aren’t all the same. Different formats of the same image are required for different uses. Your marketer won’t be able to use a low resolution GIF you shared for the new print brochure. Likewise, a small JPEG of your logo won’t help your designer who’s revamping the website. Sharing the wrong file formats just creates more back and forth communication for getting the correct file type. Or worse, someone may try and get away with using the wrong format and create poor quality content.
When you’re working with images, it’s important to understand when to use what file format. Even just a basic understanding from a couple minutes of research can help you share the correct file format for the job. If you aren’t sure which format someone needs, maybe share a couple versions with instructions.
3) Sharing the wrong size on social media
Have you ever been going through your Twitter feed and seen an image that just didn’t look right. Maybe it was an image of a person and the top of their head is chopped off or a word graphic that just wasn’t a complete thought. It’s likely that the image looks great in full view but the auto crop the social network provides didn’t do the image justice.
If you’re sharing visual content on social media, stay up-to-date on how the various social sites are displaying images. Knowing the dimensions images are displayed at and how larger images are cropped can save you embarrassing and unprofessional shares.
4) Forgetting to attach the image(s) to the email
Thanks for the email but there aren’t any files attached. It’s a classic image sharing mistake. We’ve all likely done it before, whether we didn’t realize that the file was too large to be sent as an attachment or we simply forgot. Whatever the reason, more time is lost waiting on receiving the file(s).
If you’re sharing images by attaching files from your desktop, there’s always the chance you’ll get distracted and forget to attach the image. To prevent this, you can make a habit of attaching the image first. An alternative would be using a tool that stores your images and enables sharing via email within the tool. Better yet, have self-service access to your images to eliminate the middle man.
What are some of the image sharing mistakes you’ve seen or done?