FTP (or File Transfer Protocol) is a technological network of connections that enable the transfer of large data sets (like images or video files) to a shared digital space—like a computer, server, or website.
Providing a secure and seamless digital asset management (DAM) platform where organizations big and small can store, browse, and share their brand’s best content is what PhotoShelter for Brands does best.
When we created the PhotoShelter for Brands DAM platform, one common predicament we wanted to solve was: How do brands get large amounts of data to a secure, easily accessible digital library instantaneously?
Having a digital asset management system helps, but there are many methods for building your brand’s asset archive.
One of the most efficient, preferred ways is through the use of File Transfer Protocol, also known as FTP, and we’ll break down exactly what it is, why it helps, and how to set one up for your organization or team’s needs.
What is File Transfer Protocol?
Let’s untangle the FTP acronym and give it some more meaning.
Remember that scene in Willy Wonka where Mike TV turns into data particles in the air?
Well, that’s kind of like FTP.
Simply put, it’s a technical term for a two-way conversation between computers or servers that allow the digital sharing of larger-sized files.
Explained plainly by Fortinet, FTP consists of two behind-the-scenes tech connections, “One connection is designated for the commands and replies that get sent between the two clients, and the other channel handles the transfer of data.” So, essentially, FTP works off of a ‘set it and forget it,’ tech relationship.
For example, the FTP tech conversation as it practically applies to the PhotoShelter for Brands platform looks like: A videographer documenting a music festival consistently uploading content to their employer throughout their event from their FTP-enabled camera and/or computer.
For international businesses, FTP is the most popular and secure method for sharing data.
Benefits of Using FTP:
- You can upload your whole asset archive and everything, including subfolders, will move into PhotoShelter for Brands intact.
- Photos and videos can go directly from a photographer’s camera to a PhotoShelter for Brands Collection or Gallery by using a wireless transmitter or Ethernet cable.
- You can upload images or videos taken in real-time directly into an existing Collection or Gallery in PhotoShelter for Brands.
- *Supports ALL file type uploads and file size limit is 20 GB*
- Unlimited number of incoming FTP connections
The Many Uses of FTP
If you’re having trouble decoding this technical explanation, you’re not alone. We have some easy answers for you.
Here are some example uses of how FTP can be used outside of image transfers:
- A website FTPs images from an internal server to populate page content
- A company FTPs old archives of data from one server or computer to an updated device
- A press photographer working for a live cultural event uses an FTP-enabled camera to transfer photos to their employer’s DAM
Note: If you are sent or create new FTP credentials, this only enables you to send or receive files from one destination to another. Having FTP credentials does not enable you to download, share, or edit assets.
How Austin FC Uses FTP
Want to know how the Texas capital’s first soccer team—Austin FC shares the Bright Verde energy from the field to fans’ social feeds instantly? Listen to Rankin White, former Team Photographer break it down below:
How Professional Sports Photographers Use FTP
Brevin Townsell, The Los Angeles Rams’ Team Photographer kicked off The PhotoShelter Summit by sharing his professional and brand journey toward the team’s 2022 Superbowl win. PhotoShelter was key to sharing the infectiously optimistic celebratory content post-win in real time.
“PhotoShelter played a huge role in our workflow because we still had a team practicing and preparing for the Super Bowl…We were able to upload images through FTP into PhotoShelter where all of our assets live as an organization and 90% of our organization are signed up as active users on PhotoShelter, so it’s fantastic to have the freelance team be able to share assets whether they’re in Australia, in LA, or covering something for the Super Bowl. PhotoShelter again was so big in all of this because every moment that you saw and everything that we shot either lives in PhotoShelter, was FTP’ed to PhotoShelter, or has been downloaded from PhotoShelter by our users. It’s been even easier this year since we’ve gotten more users signed up and now they’ve become invested in it.”Brevin Townsell, Los Angeles Rams Team Photographer
Travis Ellison is a professional sports photographer with over 10 years of career experience who recently became CEO and Founder of his own media production company. After working for organizations like MLB, The Minnesota Vikings, and SportsEngine, he decided to bet on his own talents and build his own book of business as a freelance contributor, and he now works with clients like the NFL, the Big Ten Conference, EA Sports Madden, and many more. To help him manage the delivery of assets to clients during live games or multi-day conferences, he relies on the reliability and ease of FTP.
Hear Travis describe how his workflow flows, below:
How Does It Work: Setting Up and Using FTPs
What do you need in order to set up FTP?
- An internet connection
- An FTP client installed on a computer (and we recommend using FileZilla,) or an FTP-enabled camera
- A computer, device, or server — and accompanying login credentials
Whether you’re using FTP for uploading or exporting assets the steps to get set up can look quite complicated, yet they’re deceivingly simple to follow!
Need to set up a wireless workflow ASAP? Watch this step-by-step video from our friends at Brigham Young University to get started! They utilize FTP to upload and export gameday media for all 21 of their NCAA teams, so the proof is the practical application.
Using FTP to Upload Files to PhotoShelter for Brands
Once you have the basic necessities (listed above) in place—an FTP-client-enabled device, a network connection, and a local server, you’re ready to set up contributors to upload into your DAM via FTP.
- Step 1: Determine the Library destination for FTP-uploaded files.
- Step 2: Create new Incoming FTP login credentials (username and password) and send them to your contributors. If you are doing the uploading, keep the credentials on hand.
- Step 3: Enter the new contributor FTP credentials into your FTP client, or instruct your contributors to do so, so the files are routed to PhotoShelter.
- Step 4: Configure your FTP client to use ‘1’ simultaneous connection as a best practice, and initiate your content transfer.
- Step 5: Go back to your DAM Library and navigate to the Library destination chosen for FTP uploads to see them uploading in real time!
Using FTP to Export Files from PhotoShelter for Brands
FTP isn’t used for just transferring files into a DAM or a server–outgoing files can be sent to internal and external team members and partners, too. For instance, if you work in the PR department for a professional sports league, you might be tasked with sharing large files and assets with media teams and members of the press. If you’re a brand partnerships manager and you often need to share an entire campaign’s worth of content swiftly with sponsors and partners, using FTP to export the assets will be the most reliable, foolproof option for fast delivery.
- Step 1: Destination server credentials – Must have server UN/PW
- Step 2: Create the new destination for your FTP’ed files
- Step 3: Go to Library, find the files you want to transfer, and select them all
- Step 4: Click on the ‘Actions’ Dropdown menu and select ‘FTP’
- Step 5: Select the destination you just created
- Step 6: Watch the transfer take place, or continue doing other work while your files transfer in the background!
FTP: The Easiest, Most Secure File Transfer Method
With over 15 years leading the DAM industry, we are recognized by our clients and creative professionals alike for providing an award-winning, hands-on, impassioned client experience. We practice one of our core company values: to help creatives thrive by helping creatives like you learn the best practices and methods for quickly and efficiently sharing the right content with the right people.
So, what have we learned about FTPs? It’s a reliable, trustworthy, preferred method for large data transfers, allowing anyone to copy files from one site (local or Internet) to another. PhotoShelter’s FTP capabilities allow you to transfer files to multiple concurrent destinations without your computer even being on. (Once the FTP transfer starts, you can be on your way! We’ll notify you by email once the FTP is complete.)
Put your data to work and work smarter and not harder!