What is the best way to convince clients to send original image files instead of screenshots of images?

Some clients send screenshots of images instead of the image file. Is there a reliable way to communicate that it would be easier for them, and for us, if they simply sent the image file instead?

I work in print (magazines) and I need as many pixels as I can get – screenshot are not only sent at 72dpi, but they often need cropping before they can be used.

This is an example, from a clients blackberry (personal imagery blurred out):

Screengrab of a holiday photo including phone UI

I have also received screengrabs from iphones, androids and desktop operating systems. In many cases the clients are clearly showing that they have access to the image they should have sent, and they have chosen to take a screenshot and to send that instead.

This is not a 1-client problem, I have this conversation with people regularly. On no occasion has a client understood what the problem is, and I have ended up getting their images printed, either very small, or very upscaled.

I communicate with clients by email, and sometimes verbally over the phone.

“Some of the images attached to your last message are
screenshot/screengrabs, would it be possible for you to send the image
file to me directly? instead of opening it and taking a screenshot.
You can attach the .jpg (or whatever file format I see in the image
sent) to your email and send it to me that way.”

Any thoughts appreciated.


I simply state:

“Send me the absolute largest image(s) you have.”

This, most of the time, gets me much better files. By specifically using the term “largest” it allows the client to interpret that how they wish — whether they see “largest” as meaning biggest dimensions or most memory (MB) doesn’t particularly matter. Either way, it helps avoid getting the 100kb 200x200px images. Often it means they send the ~8MP ~3MB image they happen to have.

If files are still subpar….

…. I’ll explain more (print production requires more, web images are unsuitable, etc)…

…. and offer alternatives (purchase stock images, recreate images, etc)….

…..which customarily means increases costs….

….. suddenly I find clients more motivated to actually find larger images.

I don’t really try to “convince” clients of anything. I state the facts — send me resolution appropriate images or pay more for me to purchase/create resolution appropriate images. Or, realize the project will use very poor quality images.

If a client is not vested enough in their own project to heed my warnings, I can’t force (convince) them to be vested. Any subsequent quality issues due to materials supplied by the client rests on the client (my contract states as much).

Even though I dislike it, I’ll use the worst possible image if that’s all they send and aren’t willing to correct the issue. I simply make certain everything is in writing and they have been notified prior any reproduction that the quality of what they sent is substandard. I also notify them again in writing with any invoice that client-supplied images are/were below recommended and advised standards.

Note: My clients don’t use messenger or SMS apps to send me anything – mostly because I choose specifically not to communicate with clients through these apps (for good reasons). My clients use email to send files or they provide links via things like HighTail or DropBox.

Source : Link , Question Author : McKlatch , Answer Author : Scott

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