When the puppies are born I help clean them up and put colored ribbons around their neck. The colors coordinate with their birth order when possible and helps me track the puppies' progress and any concerns that may develop. It also helps in learning their new little developing/emerging personalities. I take baby pictures often and the ribbons make it possible for you to recognize your puppy in the pictures.
As far as picking a puppy long distance, I was skeptical at first. I thought that there was no way that anyone would be interested, but so far everyone has been very satisfied. If you think about it, when you go to a pet store or even the breeder, you are interacting only a very short time with the puppy and the breeder. In my situation, you see pictures day in and day out and I develop a relationship with the new owner that gives me a good feel for what their household dynamics are like. As we talk I start to get an idea of what you are looking for in a puppy.
So far, every time someone has looked at the pics and asked me questions, they have picked the same puppy without me ever telling them my opinion (of course, i am always happy to tell and guide you, too). I have even told people when i thought i didn't have a pup that would be a good match. I want you to be happy, and most of all, i want the puppy to go to someone that will be a loving family and a great home for a very long time.
Having said all that, i don't feel there is any disadvantage to picking the puppy on-line.