Friday, September 28, 2012

How do you send large images of your artwork?

This post examines how people make large images available to me and how you make large images available to others.

As I review art competitions, open exhibitions and major exhibitions in national galleries I get access to a lot of very large high quality, high resolution images of artwork.  However these high resolution  images are only rarely sent to me via email.

Picselect website
Here's a summary of the ways that galleries make images available to me.
  • some galleries host their images on their own website in secure space.  I had to provide credentials and be approved before I could enter this space.
  • some galleries use a secure hosting website which is not the same as their own website.  The Press Association's PicSelect is one such site
This is the Press Association's premier publicity distribution service, supplying thousands of print-quality images, video and audio files into the hands of influential journalists and editors at the heart of the media industry.
YouSendIt website
  • some galleries use software and cloudbased computing to give you access to files which are too large to email - using software such as YouSendIt
  • I hardly ever get sent a CD with images.
With the exception of the latter, what they all have in common is that all I get is a link to the image.  

This can be either a hyperlink in a press release or on a website or in an email.

Interestingly, the only people who send me large images tend to be artists or small galleries who are not tech savvy.

Maybe it's time that artists and smaller galleries got rather more sophisticated about how they make high quality images available to potential buyers and reviewers?

Or maybe they have already?

How do you send your large high quality images?

Tell me what types of services and methods you currently use to send large very large high quality images to potential purchasers, clients or galleries.  

This might be in the context of:
  • digital entry to art competitions or open exhibitions, 
  • submissions to galleries, 
  • illustration work for clients or 
  • information for prospective purchasers.
Please answer the following queries and/or leave a comment below and I'll use the information to help share information with a wider circle of artists about current and best practices for sending images.
  • Do you send images compressed or uncompressed? (eg jpeg or Tif?)
  • Do you zip files?
  • Do you voluntarily limit the file size? (if so what sort of limit do you use?)
  • If no prescribed method is stipulated, do you use specific software or cloud services to transmit images?
  • Please indicate whether you are an artist or a gallery when responding.


  1. Hi Katherine,
    Thanks for this. Another great piece of information as usual. In the main if the images are for a competition or exhibition submission, i would normally submit according to the required instructions ie file size limitation, file format etc. I also use yousendit for larger files though i am finding dropbox quite useful as well.
    I very seldomly use zip files these days as thd zip files can themselves be quite large to email. Sometimes if multiple files have to be sent to a reviewer, i compile them into a single pdf document which makes it easy to email and view. I am an artist.
    Hope this helps. Kind regards Anne


  2. I am an artist and so far have only shipped large pieces after being bought on Etsy. but I had no idea that this is where is all takes place. Another insite into the wonderful world of art.
    peace n abundance,

  3. I have been trying many different methods, and find that Dropbox is the best so far. I was directed to it because I wanted to work on a musical slide show with my daughter. I can even load an actual program so a cohort or myself can work on it elsewhere. I'd like to hear from the big galleries and professional graphics people on their preferred method.

    Betsy Taylor, Mill Art Center & Gallery


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