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If you have ANY questions about the process below, email me for clarification.

How to send and receive Smart Previews

The newest versions of Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom (5, 6, and CC) allow for compressed previews of RAW images to be embedded directly into the catalog. This allows me to edit your images without you having to send me the original RAW (huge) files. This means you only need to send me the catalog with smart previews, which are about ten times smaller than the original, RAW files.

Two things though. If you send Smart Previews, I can’t cull. That’s one function unavailable for Smart Previews. Also, if you don’t have at least Lightroom version 5, you can’t use Smart Previews. If you have Lightroom 3 or 4, you will need to upload the original RAW files to my FTP.  Please keep them in one clearly labeled folder. Return instructions at bottom of this panel.

How to send me Smart Previews

Cull your wedding/event/boudoir/portrait/family shoot

Filter down to final culled images, so those are the only ones showing

Cmd/Ctl + A to highlight those images

Go to: File > Export as Catalog

Inside that dialog box:

Choose destination location for new catalog

Name the folder (your last name, your client name)

Only check “Build/Include Smart Previews”

Do NOT check Export negative files or Include available previews

Lightroom will build your new catalog, so watch the progress bar at the top left

Go to your selected folder destination, where you will see the new catalog, with the extension “.lrcat”

Zip that folder (compress), then upload that to my FTP server (see instructions below)

Once I get the zipped folder, I will open it, edit your images

I will save out the changes and return the zipped catalog to you

Unzip that catalog, then open it (relauch Lightroom with that catalog). Don’t worry, Lightroom knows these images are connected to the ones in your master catalog

Press Cmd/Ctl + S to save the new metadata to file

Relaunch Lightroom again, this time with your master catalog. You will see the unedited images. Select them all then go to Photo > Read metadata from file, and my edits will appear


Filezilla is a free program found here:

  • Know where your Smart Preview catalog or original images are. One folder/catalog is easiest
  • Download FileZilla (or Cyberduck for the Mac or any other free FTP interface)
  • Open the FileZilla interface window
  • Enter this in HOST:
  • Enter user name  mango
  • Password is the same:  mango
  • Press Quick Connect -you will see that you are now connected to my private FTP server
  • Under "Local Site" navigate to the folder where the file(s) is/are on your computer
  • Click on it and all the contents of the file should show up in the window below
  • Double click on the folder you want to send via FTP and there should be a progress bar showing as it's uploaded to the remote site
  • Might take a while for large folders depending on YOUR upload  speed. If it is slow, this will take a long time. To see what your upload and download speeds are, go to speedtest.net
  • When all the files are done uploading, go to "Server"
  • Press disconnect

If the HOST address doesn't work, don't panic. Sometimes my FTP changes IP addresses without warning. Just email me at the address below and let me know so I can send you back the correct IP address to enter in HOST. If your upload is successful, please email me and tell me it's there! Otherwise I won’t know. Once you are an established client, I will create a private FTP folder for you


For Lightroom 3 and 4 users:
Once your files have been post-processed, if you have sent

RAW files, I will return the xmps to you via email.
Here's how you will use those files:


The quickest way is for me to send you the edited xmp files. Xmp files are the 'sidecar' files that tell Lightroom what to do to the image. The files are really teeny and can be sent to you zipped in an email. Since they are specific to different versions, let me know which version of Lightroom or ACR you have so I can send you compatible files.


You will receive an email with the zipped xmps--both B&W and COLOR if you sent separate folders for each. Unzip and leave them open.

·         Go to Lightroom. Open the catalog/collection with the images you sent to me

·         Right click and select “Show in Finder” (Mac) or “Show in Explorer” (PC)

·         It will open the folder where these RAW files are on your computer

·         Navigate to where you have all the unzipped xmps and select them all

·         Drag and drop them into the RAW folder—(if you already have xmps in there and it asks you if you want to replace or overwrite existing xmps, do so)

·         Each RAW file should now have a corresponding xmp

·         Go back to LR; select all images in the catalog/collection in the LIBRARY module.

·         Right click on any image, scroll down in menu to Metadata and choose Read Metadata from Files.  You will get a window that advises you changes have been made in an external application. Say that's okay.

·         The progress bar will show that your images are updating with changes I’ve made

·         Your original ratings and labels will remain intact –they reside with the catalog or collection, not in the xmp. Any color labels or star ratings I've added for culling purposes will also come along with the xmps.

If your wedding has been culled, just select the filter as mentioned in my email, and only the culled and processed images will appear.

·         Then you can make any artistic final adjustments you want before output or you can output immediately. Now you can review my work and output your files at your leisure!

If you'd prefer, I can return full-sized and/or email-sized jpgs to you via FTP. These will be ready-to-use for client preview, proofing and album design. I can also return the images as DNGs. Your choice!

When your job is ready, I will email or call you to confirm delivery of your edited images via FTP.


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