Frequently Asked Questions

Browse F.A.Q. Topics

Membership

  • What file formats are supported?
    The free Product Content Network™ supports any file type, of any size, up to 500MB per file. We only limit your total free account storage to 2GB, but offer easy upgrades to larger Storage Packages through our Plugin Store.
  • Who can upload assets?
    Any manufacturer member is able to upload assets and those assets are stored in a shared company “Gallery”. In short, this means that everyone in your company will be able to see and use the assets you’ve uploaded. Manufacturer members can choose to publish their assets, which makes them visible to the retail community, but manufacturer members can never see the assets of another manufacturer. There is also an extended publishing privacy plugin for added control of your brand assets.
  • Can marketing agencies sign up?
    Agencies can currently pre-register for accounts, but can’t sign in to the Product Content Network™ just yet. We’ll be adding this usergroup in the future and as soon as it’s available, we’ll provide login details for those users. As a workaround, retailers and manufacturers can “add” a marketing company to their account by issuing them a company email address. Feel free to contact us.
  • Are there limitations with the free Product Content Network™?
    Shotfarm’s Product Content Network™ provides essential functionality free for manufacturers and retailers. We only limit your total free account storage to 2GB, but offer easy upgrades to larger Storage Packages through our Plugin Store.
  • So…how do you make money?
    For a retailer using manufacturer-supplied product images, their problem can be divided in two fairly equal parts: Number One: gathering the images from their suppliers and then… Number Two: processing the images for use in ecommerce and print. Shotfarm offers free tools to solve problem Number One. Retailers can download any number of high resolution source files provided by their suppliers. But the solution to problem Number Two is a little different for everyone. In addition to our Rich Media Hosting for Ecommerce service, Shotfarm has a suite of easy-to-use Plugins. When further processing is needed such as renaming, resizing, editing or hosting, members turn to Plugins. You’ll find a growing list of low-cost add-ons that can automate most of the manual tasks associated with the preparation of images for use in ecommerce and print.
  • Is Shotfarm really free or am I going to need to upgrade to get any real use out of the system?
    The essential features you see on Shotfarm’s Product Content Network™ such as upload, search, request, download originals, and share, are 100% free. We’re committed to providing a single place for the entire industry to connect and believe that the only way to do this is to make it available to everyone for free. We only limit your total free account storage to 2GB, but offer easy upgrades to larger Storage Packages through our Plugin Store. And when further processing or functionality is needed such as renaming, resizing, editing or hosting rich media (images, video, 360 spin), our members turn to Shotfarm Plugins. Our Plugin Store features a growing list of low-cost add-ons that can automate most of the manual tasks associated with the preparation of images for use in ecommerce and print).
  • How do you verify users?
    Currently, all users of Shotfarm must have a working email address issued by a verifiable company that is properly associated with the retail or manufacturing industry. Here’s how it works behind the scenes: When the first employee of any company requests an account with Shotfarm, we manually verify the validity of the company and the email address entered at signup. As additional employees of that company sign up for an account, Shotfarm automatically verifies those employees by matching their email addresses back to the original member’s. If, for some reason, this system won’t work for you, feel free to contact us so that we can manually set you up.
  • How do I know whether to sign up as a retailer or a manufacturer?
    Our general guidelines are as follows: You are a manufacturer if your company makes products and typically distributes product images to others (resellers). Manufacturers are also often called Vendors or Suppliers. You are a retailer if your company sells products that others manufacture and you typically require images from them.
  • Is there a commitment?
    Absolutely not. Use it as much or as little as you like for as short or long as you like. Any time you want to cancel your account, just let us know by contacting us.

Technology

  • What if my company already has a DAM (Digital Asset Management System)?
    Shotfarm picks up where DAMs leave off! Think of Shotfarm as an industry-centralized transfer system that simplifies the exchange of assets (and communication). Our goal is not to replace DAMs but to replace FTPs, CDs, DVDs, email attachments and multiple image library logins. However, with the Shotfarm Plugins, you can extend the capabilities of the Shotfarm Platform to become your DAM.
  • Who can see and download my assets?
    Retail users can see any assets that have been published by Manufacturers, but will only be able to download them if they’ve been given permission. Manufacturer users will only be able to see and download their own company’s published and unpublished assets.
  • What web browsers do you support?

    Shotfarm works best with modern web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Modern, up-to-date browsers are more secure, faster, compatible, and provide a better overall web browsing experience. We also support Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and newer. Check your browser version at Google's whatbrowser.org website.

  • Do you support Video?
    Yes, the free Product Content Network™ supports video files (or any other file type!). We support all video codecs and formats (including .mp4 and .wmv, of course). Videos can also be previewed within Shotfarm. We only limit your total free account storage to 2GB, but offer easy upgrades to larger Storage Packages through our Plugin Store.
  • What file formats are supported?
    The free Product Content Network™ supports any file type, of any size, up to 500MB per file. We only limit your total free account storage to 2GB, but offer easy upgrades to larger Storage Packages through our Plugin Store.
  • Who can upload assets?
    Any manufacturer member is able to upload assets and those assets are stored in a shared company “Gallery”. In short, this means that everyone in your company will be able to see and use the assets you’ve uploaded. Manufacturer members can choose to publish their assets, which makes them visible to the retail community, but manufacturer members can never see the assets of another manufacturer. There is also an extended publishing privacy plugin for added control of your brand assets.
  • Can a retailer download ANY manufacturer’s images?
    In theory, yes. However, in order to protect manufacturers’ assets from unauthorized use, Shotfarm has built a simple permissions structure that works on a Company-to-Company basis. As a retailer, you only need to establish permission once with a particular manufacturer. This is easily accomplished by clicking on an asset you’d like to download and then using Shotfarm’s ‘request access’ feature to contact the manufacturer. Once granted, you and all of your co-workers will have ongoing access to that manufacturer’s library.
  • I’m not giving away the rights to my images, am I?
    Not at all. Think of Shotfarm as a CD of images that you sent by mail to a retail partner. It’s just a transfer device. Inherent in the transfer of images, however, is the transfer of any and all associated usage restrictions. It is entirely incumbent upon the suppliers and their recipients of those images to be aware of, enforce or abide by, any such restrictions that might exist. Please read the Terms of Use if you have further questions.
  • What access do others in my company have?
    The same level of access to your company’s assets is shared by any co-worker who is a Shotfarm member. Everyone in your company is able to upload, edit, share and delete assets that are owned by your company. We believe in the intelligence of our members and their ability to share the management of their company accounts. The Shotfarm system does offer the ability to forward permission and asset requests but you’ll need to determine your own workflow when using those tools (i.e. determine a single person to whom all requests should be forwarded). If not having an administrator makes you queasy, please remember these three things:
    1. Shotfarm’s free Product Content Network™ is NOT the place to store the only copy of your company’s master files! If these were accidentally deleted from the system, you’d simply upload them again.
    2. Shotfarm keeps a running log of who uploaded, downloaded, edited, shared, or deleted assets to help you manage use of the system.
    3. If an admin level turns out to be something a lot of companies need, we’ll build it.
  • What are the permission levels for manufacturers’ assets?
    There are currently four access levels within the system that apply to assets uploaded by manufacturers:
    1. Upon upload, a manufacturer company’s assets can be accessed by any employees of that company who are also Shotfarm members.
    2. Upon publishing (optional), a manufacturer company’s assets will become ‘public’ which simply means that they become visible to any verified retailer who is also a member of Shotfarm.
    3. Upon granting library access (optional), a manufacturer company’s public assets will become downloadable by selected Retailers who are verified and also members of Shotfarm.
    4. Extended Publishing Privacy Level One plugin (premium feature). A manufacturer can limit the visibility of their published brand assets to retailers that have been granted download access to their library.
    Lastly, to protect your privacy, manufacturers are prevented from seeing each others’ assets. In cases where it’s necessary to give visibility to another manufacturer, you can share assets by creating and sending a LightBox.
  • How do you handle metadata?
    Within the Shotfarm system, important metadata standards such as EXIF, XMP and IPTC offer little benefit. Here’s why: Retail members of Shotfarm only need the basic ability to find and verify product images. By making six common fields of product information available to all manufacturers: Manufacturer Name, Brand Name, Manufacturer’s Part Number, Model Number, Product Name and UPC (EIN/ISBN), we believe that retailers will be able to find what they’re looking for (if it’s on the system, of course). If we learn from our users that Shotfarm needs more robust metadata support, we’ll build it to order. This might be a good time to share a company philosophy: Underbuild over overbuild, always. This simply means that we don’t want to spend money developing stuff that nobody wants just because we think it’s cool.
  • Can I share assets with non-members?
    Absolutely! When you share an asset with someone who isn’t a member of Shotfarm, they’ll receive an email with a link to that asset (or group of assets in a LightBox) that allows them to access only what you want. When they click the link, they’re presented with a gallery of images in their browser. They can either download all of the images you’ve prepared for them in a single zip file or they can select and download individual images. For non-members, LightBoxes are valid for three days (72 hours). If the recipient signs up for an account within that period, the lightbox won’t expire and will always be available to them in their account.
  • How do I find the assets I need?
    Shotfarm provides a one-to-one field search to make it the fastest process possible. You can search using any combination of the following information for a single product: Brand, Product Number, Product Name, UPC (EIN/ISBN) or Manufacturer Part Number. You’ll receive results containing all of your supplied information, so you won’t have to wade through a bunch of extra results. We also provide dropdown menus that list all of your LightBoxes, your company LightBoxes and your partners’ LightBoxes for quick, easy access.
  • What product data do you support?
    Product assets are uniquely identified by the Manufacturer Name upon upload and to Publish assets to the Retail Community the following required fields: Brand, Model Number and Model Name. Users can also add information such as Color, Size, Manufacturer Part Number, UPC (EIN/ISBN) and Description. Non-product assets such as logos can be defined by keywords.