I’m sitting in an airport ready to spend a week in Las Vegas for Photoshop World. I know this week is going to be filled with 18 hour days packed with a combination of learning and parties as I catch up with old friends. My parents taught me if I want to play I better have my work done. With a smile I started checking off projects in my TODOIST application. One last email check before I board the plane, all set. With coffee in hand, I boarded the plane feeling pretty good.

The Dreaded URGENT e-mail

Somewhere between Charlotte and Las Vegas, I decided to check my e-mail. There it was, the dreaded URGENT e-mail from an art director…

Need portraits with kids families and adult individuals. Conservative, somewhat somber but also some where they are smiling. Send to Rachel and myself for a portfolio review. I need it put together tonight for that client I mentioned. Please send it as soon as possible.

Since I don’t travel with a complete collection of all of my images, I sat and wondered how can I get a collection of high resolution images to the art director while cruising at 35,000 feet in the air. Then it hit me. I can log into my web gallery (I use SmugMug), select and copy the images I want to send.

The problem, I was using an iPad and the images I copied were low resolution. I looked out the window for a moment, then I remembered the new collect feature my buddy from SmugMug showed me. This feature allows me to collect a virtual copy of images and put them in a new gallery. Once I create the gallery, I could request a download link of the gallery. I can sent the link to the art director and smiled when I receive an e-mail saying That was fast.

Create a Virtual Gallery Not a Copy

If you use SmugMug for your online gallery, follow along with these steps. If you use a different gallery service, look at the concept of the steps and see if your service has something similar. Chances are they do, you just need to look for it. Creating a virtual gallery using the Collect feature doesn’t make a copy of your image, it creates a reference point to your image. If you change the reference image, the change will also be applied to your new gallery. Pretty cool!

Step 1: Login to your account.

Step 2: Click Organize.

Step 3: Click Gallery to create a new gallery.

Step 4: Add a descriptive title and description then click Create.

Step 5: Open a gallery you want to gather images from. Click the Share Icon and select Collect.

Step 6: Select images you want to collect for the new gallery then click DONE.

Step 7: Choose a target gallery then click Done.

Step 8: Collect images from other galleries. When you’re done, open the new Gallery and select organize.

Step 9: Click the download icon and select Download Gallery

Step 10: Forward the download E-mail to the Art Director and smile. At this point, the Art Director can either download the high resolution images and send them to the client or just send the client the Gallery’s URL.

Understanding the Concept

The concept is simple, create galleries and upload your images as you normally do. When you need a special collection of images for a portfolio or for a client to view, create a virtual gallery and send just those images. You can take this a step further by adding keywords or tags to your images. This can trigger an action to automatically add those images to a special gallery. If you’re not using SmugMug, check with your gallery provider and explain what you want to accomplish. Odds are they already have it built in or they can show you a workaround.