You just finished a photo session and your clients are excited to see the final images.The next step is to decide which images you want to present and how to deliver them. Some photographers charge extra and give all images to the client. The client is responsible for printing. Other photographers, myself included, use a fulfillment service to host, view and print the images. Despite which method you use, we need to configure Lightroom to export a high quality image for viewing and printing.
The Export Module
To streamline our workflow, we are going to build an export preset that will be applied to all images in the set. Presets are Lightrooms way of applying many changes to a photo in one click. To build our export preset right mouse click on one image and select EXPORT, then select EXPORT again.
The Export dialog box appears with many options. We are going to focus on 3, File Settings, Image Sizing and Output Sharpening. Deciding to Watermark your image is a personal preference. This option can be found under the Metadata tab. Before we begin, make sure Export to Hard Drive is selected from the drop down menu and Export to: Choose folder later is selected in the export tab.
Select jpg for the Image format and sRGB for the Color Space. Most printers prefer sRGB and this color space appears good on many devices. Move the Quality slider to 100. These settings will produce the highest quality jpg for your image.
Image Resizing, Output Sharpening and Metadata
Leave image resizing uncheck and check Sharpen For. Choose whether you want to apply the sharpening for Screen, Matte or Glossy paper. I usually just check screen and leave standard as the amount.
Saving the Preset
Click Add under the Preset Panel. When the New Preset dialog box appears, type a preset name and select a folder to save the preset in. Click Create and your new preset will appear in the Preset Panel. Cancel out of the dialog box. We are going to apply the preset to a group of images.
Applying the Preset
Select all the images by pressing Ctrl +A [PC] or Command +A [MAC] . Right mouse click on one image and select Export. From the export list, select the preset you just created. Choose a location to export your images to when the Choose Folder dialog box appears.
I use Smugmug to host, view, print and deliver my images to the client. In a rare case my client may ask for a DVD of the final images. I push for Dropbox. Burning a DVD takes time not to mention the time it takes to deliver it to the client or mail it. Dropbox is a simple solution.
If you know from the beginning you are sending the images via Dropbox, save the images to your local Dropbox folder using the preset. After exporting, the images will automatically be available to your client.