How Zera Photo uses Digital Pigeon to manage and protect high-resolution photographs

27 September, 2018

Francis Zera is an architecture, construction and aviation photographer based in Seattle, with clients around the world. His focus on the skies translates well with his global audience, as he works with airlines and airports, corporations such as Microsoft, Dow Chemical Company, and Deutsche Bank, and hotel groups like the Marriott, Starwood and Best Western.

Francis has been taking professional photos since 2000, and also serves as an adjunct photography instructor specialising in architectural photography at the Art Institute of Seattle.

After a high-profile file sharing service continued to let Francis down with slow transfer times, poor reliability, and other technical issues, he began researching other large file sharing solutions.

Today, he is a happy Digital Pigeon user, and relies on our secure, lightning fast, and ultra reliable large file sharing service to streamline his workflows.

"It's just so easy to figure out and I never have any complaints. It's how it should be!" - Francis

1) Sending RAW stills and footages to his retoucher

In the digital age, it comes as no surprise that we work with colleagues and professionals that we don’t see regularly in an office.

Francis sends RAW photograph files to his retoucher on the other side of Seattle, about an hour away from him.

He relies on Digital Pigeon to send:

  • Up to 200 megabytes per file
  • Multiple files per send
  • RAW file types, including .CR2, .IIQ, and .TIFF
  • Video clips for editing

Digital Pigeon handles these volumes quickly and reliably, without loss of quality. We also support multiple file type previews, so his retoucher can easily scan the different images even without special software.

2) Receiving edited photos back from retoucher

After his retoucher has done all his work, he can can simply send over the touched up files through his Francis' upload files link. The retoucher doesn’t need a Digital Pigeon account (or to register for anything) to download the files or send them back to Francis.

"The retoucher adds his invoice as a PDF in to the upload - and it works, it's just a simple process that makes my life easier." - Francis

This entire process is completely secured and controlled by Francis, thanks to Digital Pigeon features like password protected files, automatic expiry dates, and more.

3) Sending finished work to clients

Francis then uses Digital Pigeon to deliver final images to clients. He usually has to send a few GBs of files at a time, often 8bit or 16bit TIFF images.

The vital functions in this step are;

  • The files must present well and include Francis' branding
  • Clients must be able to preview the files quickly without loss of quality
  • The delivery must be quick and seamless
Francis Zera
Zera Photo

"My clients dig Digital Pigeon. I have literally never had anyone have any trouble using the software. No one ever asks - Hey, how do I download all the files - or how do I download just one file?"

Francis uses our custom branding option to present his photos with his own branding, and boost the professional delivery of his work.

"I have a really cool photo of a 747 on my download page that clients see when they access my files. It has my phone number and email address on it also." - Francis

4) Securing access control over his work

Francis' business model, like many photographers, is to license their work to their clients.

However, some of his clients may not understand how his licensing works, and inadvertently share images with a sub contractor. This is where Digital Pigeon comes in.

"It's really nice that I can set the files to expire and prevent further access. Because I'm setting it up in a way that's not creating a permanent repository, it stops people from pilfering or sharing to unauthorised users." - Francis

Digital Pigeon has multiple features that protect intellectual property, such as watermarking (if you’re sending proofs), expiry dates, password-protected access, and more.

If you’d like to try Digital Pigeon for your photography business, simply click the "Start Free Trial". You can try it out for 14 days for free and you don’t need to add a credit card. (Mention this article, and we’ll extend your trial to 45 days!)

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