Visual content – photos, videos, gifs, infographics – is a universal currency. Whether you work in marketing, human resources or sales, chances are you’re using visual media to communicate every day.
As the photographer and digital asset manager for Pandora, Michael Baca is responsible for servicing every department with the photos they need. He shoots original, custom photography, manages stock photos, and distributes assets to everyone from HR to brand to social media to sales and marketing.
“I can’t really see how I could do this without PhotoShelter,” Baca says.
Baca uses PhotoShelter to store, organize and share visual assets. The system works as a two way street, where Baca can grant access to people who need assets on the backend, and they can browse the site and find what they need on their own.
“The goal is to have it be our internal stock site,” says Baca.
Streamlining Pandora’s photo delivery workflow with a cloud-based visual media library has a number of benefits for Baca and his team, including organization, accessibility, security, professional delivery and a strong visual identity.
Pandora’s collection has thousands of images, and it’s important for Baca and his stakeholders to have a system that’s easy to browse and search.
Before moving the visual media library to PhotoShelter, Baca was using Box, a system he says was fine for standard file sharing but did not offer enough support for previewing and sharing high resolution photo files. With PhotoShelter, he can organize photos with metadata, collections and nested galleries, which means his stakeholders can easily search and browse visual previews.
“Creating galleries that live within subfolders and primary image categories makes for a really organized and robust photography library structure,” says Baca.
Baca maintains tight control over what each stakeholder can see and download in the visual media library.
“It’s pretty segmented and layered out at this point because I’m using it for so many different reasons and purposes,” he explains.
Baca grants specific visibility and download permissions based on an individual’s needs and position in the company. For example, members of the brand design team, who have a high demand for images, have access to almost the entire library. If you’ve downloaded a music station on the platform then, trying to remove it can be a bit of a pain. Look no further and have a look into how to delete stations on pandora for an easy to-use tutorial!
Whether stakeholders can see one gallery or the whole library, the process for getting the assets they need is simple and fast. They can go to the site, search by keywords and find something that’s not only approved by Baca (meaning it’s fit for use by their department), but also cleared by legal, custom and originally sourced.
One of the reasons Baca uses a controlled approach to gallery access is to protect images of artists.
“Artist content is really sensitive,” he explains.
He trusts the security features that come with PhotoShelter, ranging from permissions control to redundancy (which ensures the images won’t get lost). The system is also very intuitive, so it reduces the risk of accidentally letting photos fall into the wrong hands. Baca says that the old system, Box, was not intuitive, and it was easy to accidentally unlock folders that needed to be private.
Now, Pandora can assure artists that their photos are safe and protected.
Baca uses PhotoShelter as a tool for delivering images to artists, whether he’s asking for approval for use by Pandora or giving them permission to download and post to social media.
It’s important to Baca to have a branded portal for delivering photos in a professional, user friendly way.
“It’s been great to have a really concentrated library that looks pretty enough but is functional,” says Baca.
A Strong Visual Identity
With Baca’s hire as the first in-house photographer at Pandora, the brand is making a commitment to custom, original photography.
“We want to strip away any filter and we want to present our work in a really relatable and personal way,” says Baca. “We want any photography that’s on social, in our marketing, to look like it came from the same camera. It’s consistent, it’s coherent, it’s speaking the same language.”
Baca is excited to continue building a strong visual media library and to help photography fit seamlessly with Pandora’s radio brand.
Cover photo by Michael Baca, courtesy of Pandora.