Why I Ditched DVDs for USB Flash Drives, and You Should Too
Ah, the good old DVD. I used to think it was such an easy way to deliver images to my clients from their sessions. I’ve been doing that for over 5 years. But over time, it became tedious. Tiring. I had to get the printer ready, hope that it would behave and print my custom DVD label, get the rest of the packaging ready, and then do it all again. Making DVDs was so time consuming!
Then I purchased my MacBook Air. Guess what Apple did? They removed the DVD drive from the laptop! I have an iMac as well, so I can always use that one, but it was then that I realized that I haven’t actually physically put a DVD in to a computer in a few years, with the exception of making DVDs for clients.
I knew it was time to ditch the DVDs!
More and more, your clients are buying computers that do not have DVD drives. They have other devices that they would like to store images on as well – their iPads, Android tablets, and things like that. Providing them with their image files on USB drives just makes so much more sense!
Custom Flash Drives are inexpensive, and you do not have to purchase them in bulk
I first discovered PhotoFlashDrives at WPPI a few years ago. I immediately fell in love. Their staff was so amazingly nice as I asked them a ton of questions about their drives, so I knew when I was ready to switch from DVDs to USBs exactly where to go.
I have purchased both my USB thumb drives and my black boxes from PhotoFlashDrives. The boxes have a nice hinged lid, and the insert is cut to perfectly fit they square wood USB thumb drive. They have an endless range of options for both USB drives and for packaging on their site.
One of my favorite things about PhotoFlashDrive? They can make just one custom drive at a time for you. NO minimum order! Engraving on them is FREE, whether you have it printed on the flip drives or engraved in to them like mine. I order drives as I need them – that way, I don’t have a lot of money tied up in USB thumb drives waiting for me to photograph the sessions. (Of course, if you want to order them in bulk you can, and at a better price.)
You can choose to have additional engraving on the other side of the drive as well, also for free! You might want to put your client’s name and the date of the session? There is limited character space, but maybe “With Love” and your client’s name for when they give it to their sweetheart?
I have been beyond thrilled with these drives! Two thumbs up. Five out of five stars. However you want to rank them, they are excellent!
A Great Deal for Photographers!
Photographers get great deals on products via the PhotoFlashDrive website (USB thumb drives, packaging, client gifts, print boxes, and so much more) all the time by using the links in this post.
What Size Flash Drive Should You Order?
My boudoir sessions would easily fit on a 2gb USB Flash Drive, however I order the 4GB drives. When my clients purchase the high-resolution photographic image files, I give them image files in full size for them to print, and web-ready size with my watermark for them to use online if they would like. I also provide them with the Animoto slideshow I have made from their session, so that allows me to have room for that.
I only photograph weddings now by referral, but for those clients I purchase the 16gb thumb drive, just to make sure there is enough room for everything. Better to have too much space than too little!
Preparing for Your Custom USB Flash Drive Order
PhotoFlashDrive offers great instructions with their ordering process on what files they accept and the size information. I sent in an EPS file, which is a vector art format and can be easily scaled up or down with no resolution losses. You can opt for a digital preview to be emailed to you when you place your order.
Once I placed my first order, they assigned an artwork number for that design (the one featured here) and now I can enter that number with each future order and know that it will be placed exactly the same way and the same size.
How Long Does It Take to Receive the Flash Drives?
This will vary in part depending on which shipping option you select, but I have found it takes approximately two weeks to receive the drives. This allows them time to do the custom engraving on them, in addition to getting them to you. Plan ahead, or choose to pay the upgrade charge to rush your order through; they will then go out in 1 business day and you will receive them in 2-3 days (or longer) depending on your shipping option you choose.
Pretty Packaging for USB Flash Drives
It was very important to me that I had packaging that matched my existing brand for my USB Flash drives. I currently use ProDPI’s eco-friendly packaging for my prints and albums, and paper and totes from Paper Source for my thank you notes and presentation bags. The totes come in the perfect size to put a USB thumb drive box in – which makes a perfect presentation for my clients!
While PhotoFlashDrive has a number of options for packaging, I chose to go with their black silk boxes with the custom cut insert for the square wood flash drives. It offers what I felt was the best look for my brand. I like the light wood of the Maple flash drives with the kraft paper boxes that I also use.
You could look for jewelry boxes, metal tins, and other items to use for your packaging. There are so many options out there! Just make sure it fits with the rest of what you offer and the feel that you want your brand to have for your clients.
Have you switched to USB Flash drives or thumb drives for your clients yet? What do you love about them? Please share in the comments!
Visit PhotoFlashDrive to get great prices on all USB drives all the time by using the links in this post.
DISCLOSURE: There are affiliate links in this post for PhotoFlashDrive. I will receive a small commission on purchases made through them; that money goes towards keeping the site up and running and supporting my travel habit. I was not paid to write this post, and all opinions in this post are my own. I paid full price (minus any coupons they had at the time) for all products featured in this post.
I'm a professional photographer and a story strategist. My Superpower? Helping you grow your confidence and build a profitable business that supports the life you want to live. It is time to be a Life Boss. You are Enough.