Three ways to “FTP” your Photoshop and Digital Files…

FTP Info

Do you need to send a Photoshop file or another type of digital file to someone electronically, and it is bigger than your email provider can handle? Then you need to “FTP” it!

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. Generally, when your file is larger than 10 MB, you will need to FTP it rather than email it.

For those times when you need to send larger files over the internet, such as to a potential client (with a proper watermark, of course!) or a photo lab, you generally have 3 FTP choices:

  1. Use the client or lab’s user-friendly FTP service, usually available through their website.
  2. Use a web-based FTP service.
  3. Use your own FTP software.

The first choice should be self-explanatory and costs nothing – Businesses such as Costco will have a user-friendly interface that allow you to easily upload photos for printing.

The second choice would be to use a web-based FTP service such as or – This is great if you FTP rarely or occasionally, or you don’t want to hassle with the extra knowledge that having your own software requires.

Usually, if your file is smaller than 100 MB, the service is free. The only disadvantage to this type of service (unless you sign up for their premium services) is that they generally only allow one file upload at a time, and can be quite slow. Again, these services require no special knowledge: All communication between you and the recipient is done via email, and you use the service’s servers and user-friendly software for the actual FTP.

The third choice is to purchase FTP software for you computer. If you FTP on a regular basis, this is the way to go, and the software is relatively inexpensive. I use Fetch on my Macs, and FTP Shell Client on my Windows machines, but if you Google “FTP”, you’ll see that there are lots of choices.

You will need to learn some specialized knowledge with this method, but the know-how needed is really not all that hard to learn or understand. You will also need to know the recipient’s FTP address, username, and password.

OK, so that’s it! Now let’s hear your FTP recommendations and stories….


John 🙂

PS – By the way, since when did words like “Photoshop”, “FTP”, and “Google” become verbs as well as nouns?



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•  By the way, this is all based on my Photoshop book designed for photographers, “Not just another Photoshop Book”, available exclusively on Amazon:


Questions? Please contact me – also, feel free to comment and forward this to your photography friends!


Thx again, and cheers,


John Watts 🙂



7 thoughts on “Three ways to “FTP” your Photoshop and Digital Files…

  1. Hey John good article. I think we have those issues with any files, especially media files. I’ve used at home a web-based FTP client. It works fairly well. Have a look at UnlimitedFTP at

    At work we are looking at accelerating our file transfers as well as simplifying our emailing of large attachments. I’m currently evaluating FileCatalyst. We are still undergoing testing. The site is

  2. Check out The provide a web-based service that is so easy to use it’s like sending an email, so you don’t have to figure out what FTP is.

    You can send multiple files with a simple drag-and-drop feature, you can send it to multiple people, you can track where your files go, and you can even set up your own file transfer portal site with your logo.

    They work with tons of printers, design firms, and reprographics companies too.

  3. Thanks, Tony from for the info – –

    The only drawback I see for most of my readers is this may be a bit too much: This seems to be more of an “Enterprise” version, for larger companies – – Do you offer a free service for those using your product only occasionally?

  4. Yes, LeapFILE does offer service plans for smaller businesses (anywhere from 2 user accounts to 25 user accounts) so those are suitable for the typical print and design firms.

    However, there is a limited free service offered by a property owned by LeapFILE, and this will probably be perfect for those who will only need to send large files occasionally. The product is still under beta right now, but I think it may be available within the next week or two. The site is , which is a live site right now, but again the actual product is not yet ready. If people are interested, just fill out the Contact Us form that is provided as a link on that site, and you be updated when the product is ready. I’ll see if I can work out some sort of deal for readers of your blog, such as increased bandwidth or discounts for the upgraded plans. Just mention in the contact form that you are visiting from the Watts Digital blog.


  5. Outstanding, Tony –

    I love the way the site is set up, and the fact that you have solutions for ALL types of people/ businesses – – – I’ll be recommending it to my clients – –

    Thanks for the info and for going the “extra mile”!!!


    John 🙂

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