As a wedding photographer, I give all of my clients the digital images from their wedding day.
I used to deliver these in a beautifully packaged DVD that had a custom image of the couple printed right onto the DVD. It came in a modern metal case, and when wrapped up nicely with a bow it looked awesome. I loved every part of it.
But then Apple decided to release new MacBook Pros without a disc drive in them.
So that cute customized DVD? It’d be useless to any client that has one of the new MacBook Pros.
Just like Apple killed flash websites, they’ve now also made the DVD an outdated way to deliver images to your clients.
Sure, at the moment only a very small percentage of people out there would have this problem, but if you have high-end clients, they are more likely to have one than the general public. And the last thing I want is to come across as outdated or give them something that they can’t even use 2 years from now.
So, I accepted the fact that it is time to move on to a different way of delivering digital images to my clients and started researching. I decided that flash drives were the best way to deliver the images and am really happy with the switch. In fact, I’m so pleased with it that I wish I had done this a few years ago.
Here’s everything you’ll need to know about switching to flash drives for digital image delivery for your clients.
Flash drives are not expensive and do not have to be purchased in bulk
Part of the reason I was resistant to switching to flash drives was because I expected it to be a lot more expensive than it actually is, or that I’d have to buy way more flash drives than I needed in order to make it affordable.
After researching many options, I came across Pexagon Tech. Not only can you customize your flash drive for very little cost, there’s no minimum order. So even if you just need 1 drive, you can still do it at a reasonable price. Awesome.
If you’re a high volume studio that offers digital images to many of your clients, you can get a price break by ordering 200 or more, but that wasn’t something I’d do as I only need about 20-30 of these per year.
Flash drives can strengthen your brand
Flash drives can be customized to match your branding by selecting custom colors and by printing or engraving your logo onto the drive. I didn’t realize how much I would love this until I got them in the mail. We went with a swivel drive, with a yellow base and a silver metal cover that swivels around. Our logo was printed onto the metal cover in white and looks super awesome. I like to add a ribbon to my drive to “finish it off” so to speak.
How to package flash drives for your customers
There’s a variety of ways that you can package your flash drives to reinforce your brand and look professional.
Pexagon Tech has a large number of very nice flash drive packaging options, but when I was browsing my local craft store, I found some 3.5″x3.5″ jewelry boxes with padded inserts that I liked that were super cheap. There’s also a lot of other little boxes like this on Amazon if you decide to look there as well.
I add a piece of yellow fabric that I found on clearance for hardly anything to the padding so it’s a bit more custom to our branding, then I put a yellow ribbon bow (also super cheap if you buy the ribbon on a spool) and it’s complete. I add a customized thank you card (ordered through Zoo Printing) and off it goes.
Other people get engraved wooden flash drives and deliver them in wood boxes. Or you could get a custom proof box from your lab (such as these boxes from ProDPI) and include a few prints with your delivery so that they know what professional prints should look like. There’s a variety of options that you could do depending on your branding and business objectives. I go simple because that’s part of our brand.
What size flash drive should you order?
I went back and looked at several weddings we’ve photographed lately and found that 4GB was generally plenty for us, so I ordered mostly 4GB with just a few 8GB drives for those really long wedding days or times when we covered the wedding and rehearsal dinner. Because the price is the same if you buy 1 or 100, this was not a big deal.
If you give out digital files regularly, go back and look through your archives to determine the best size for you. You’ll save yourself money by not buying larger sizes than you need, and if your amount varies significantly you can always order several different sizes all in the same order. Gotta love having flexibility!
What holds you back from moving to flash drives?
With DVDs now practically outdated, what holds you back from switching to flash drives? What are some other alternatives that you have considered using? Leave a comment below and share! I’d also love to see any images to packaging that you’ve come up with if you’re willing to share that as well. Thanks!
Also, for full disclosure, I make a small commission if you use the links in the post above, so thanks for using them to make your purchases. It helps support the site.