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In a pre-digital studio, photographers used Collections for viewing and selecting slides and negatives. A Shutterstock Collections is the modern-day update. Think of it as your own custom folder full of shortcuts to images.

As long as you have a Shutterstock login, you can use Collections to keep track of images you might want to download later. Collections only take a few minutes to learn, and they can save you a lot of time. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming a Collections power user.

– Start a Collections fast.

On every Shutterstock image page, and below every thumbnail on our search results pages, you’ll find a light bulb icon. Click on it and you’ll see a drop-down menu inviting you to create Collections and add the image to it. You can also use that drop-down menu to add that image to an existing Collections, if you have any.

– Work with multiple Collections.

Need to share two similar Collections with separate clients? Save time by copying the images from one to another. First create a new Collections; you can have as many as you want. Then, it’s really simple to copy images from Collections to another—just open the first Collections and select the images you want using the check box beneath each one, then click on the “copy” command at the top of the Collections. You can also move or remove images if you want them gone from your Collections.

– Navigate from Collections to Collections.

Quickly access your most recent Collections by clicking on the “Collections” link in the top Shutterstock menu. Once you’re there, click on the down arrow next to the name of that Collections to switch from one Collections to another.

– Collaborate on a shared Collections.

If your colleague also has a Shutterstock account, you can collaborate on a Collections together. Simply hit the “share” button at the top of your Collections, enter the colleague‘s Shutterstock user name, and hit “share collections.” The next time your colleague logs in, they’ll see a message on the Shutterstock homepage inviting them to view and contribute to the shared Collections.

– Send Collections to a client.

It’s easy to send a Collections to anybody with an e-mail address. They’ll get a short and sweet e-mail with a link to the Collections in it. The recipient can view your Collections, but not edit it.

– Link to Collections from a web site.

Send the Collections to your own e-mail address and copy the URL from that e-mail. Treat it like any other link. For example:

Check out my Collections!

Creates a link like this:

Check out my Collections!

Visitors who follow that link can see your Collections but not edit it.

– Use the Collections workspace (or make it go away).

If you’ve added an image to a Collections recently, Shutterstock will display a little workspace near the bottom of your browser window where you can access that Collections. Click the up triangle to expand the workspace, or the down triangle to make it smaller. If you’ve made the workspace as small as you can and want to get rid of the little bar at the bottom of your screen, just click on the X.

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Remember, you are never obligated to download any of the images in your Collections. They’re designed to make it easier to work with Shutterstock and to save you time.

More about Collections:How Collections Can Benefit You, from the February 2008 Shutterstock Newsletter.

Photo: Gualtiero Boffi /Shutterstock