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Audubon Nature Institute’s Digital Transformation with Efficient Asset Management

With PhotoShelter, Audubon Nature Institute streamlines asset management, allowing more time to celebrate nature through visual storytelling.

  • 67k+ images and videos managed through PhotoShelter
  • 1k+ requests for visual assets automated per month with PhotoShelter
  • 421k+ followers across social media channels

Celebrating Nature Through Visual Storytelling

Audubon Nature Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, operates a family of museums, parks and conservation initiatives dedicated to celebrating and protecting nature and wildlife. As an educational resource, environmental guardian, and venue for family entertainment, Audubon strives to inspire a passion for nature. With a wealth of visual content to manage, from stunning wildlife photography to informative graphics, Audubon needed an efficient way to handle and showcase their digital assets.

The Challenge: Managing Content Chaos

Heather Stanley, Director of Creative Services at Audubon Nature Institute, oversees a wide range of creative tasks and maintains the integrity of Audubon’s brand and visual standards. Her day-to-day work includes coordinating with photographers, videographers, and various departments to ensure all visual content aligns with Audubon’s branding and messaging. This extensive workload made managing the organization’s digital assets particularly challenging:

  • No centralized solution for storage. Heather previously stored all content on her computer and numerous hard drives, making it difficult for others to access needed assets. She noted, “Before, everyone was waiting on one person to get an image slide, scan it, and share it.” Photographers and videographers had no efficient way to upload content to a shared media library, leading to disorganized and scattered files.
  • Difficulty maintaining brand consistency. Creative content lived in various places, causing issues with keeping everything current and on-brand. Heather and her team struggled to ensure that all files were high quality, consistent, and easily accessible. She emphasized, “I manage the brand, ensuring everything we share shows Audubon in the best light possible.” One of Marketing’s goals is to bring visitors to Audubon’s doors and having a consistent brand and access to a variety of visual assets helps them accomplish that. “We work with a lot of local, national, and international media. To be able to share our photos and videos efficiently through PhotoShelter is important. I can easily send high-resolution content and the media is able to download and share it quickly.”
  • Risk of losing the archive. In hurricane-prone New Orleans, not having cloud storage meant the potential loss of their entire archive. Heather had to physically transport her computer and hard drives during evacuations. “If I left the office, people had to wait until I returned for images,” she said, making her the sole gatekeeper of new content access.

“It used to be a struggle to share images. Before this digital age, our photographers shot in slide format and we’d have to scan the slides or make copies for each person who wanted that photo. It was a challenge to get assets in a timely manner, and to share them as widely as we did.”

Heather Stanley, Director of Creative Services

The Solution: Centralized and Efficient Asset Management

Before adopting PhotoShelter as their DAM system, managing assets at Audubon was inefficient and didn’t allow for sharing large files like videos or high-resolution files. The new system brought about significant improvements:

  • One easy-to-access single source. PhotoShelter provided a single place to house and organize all content across facilities and departments. This included a deep historical archive, making it easy to find and share assets. Heather highlighted how simple it is now to access and utilize their extensive content, enhancing efficiency and productivity. She mentioned, “It’s a huge help because people can quickly search, find, and download what they need through our digital library.”
  • A home for all content of various formats. The system housed not only images but also videos and other files for creative and branding purposes. Heather described the new streamlined process, noting, “When we have images, promotional video, and B-Roll for a project or event, I can immediately sort and tag it in a PhotoShelter gallery and share it with my team.”
  • Improved collaboration and permissions. Different permissions can be set for collaborators and partners, ensuring secure and appropriate access to assets. Heather pointed out, “We work with outside agencies and media so it is helpful to  give them special access to pull what they need through PhotoShelter.”

“PhotoShelter gives us a place to tell our stories and to show our stories as accurately and as compassionately as we can. It also has a solid structure to house all of the archives and our organization’s history.”

Heather Stanley, Director of Creative Services

Branching Out with Better Asset Management

The transition to PhotoShelter has transformed Audubon Nature Institute’s operations. Gone are the days of scrambling to find photos and videos or using outdated content. Now, everything is streamlined and easily accessible, allowing Heather and her team to focus on what they do best—creating compelling visual stories that inspire a love for nature and wildlife. As Audubon continues to educate visitors about conservation and the natural world, their digital assets are now as well-curated and show all of the facilities and animals at their beautiful best.

“PhotoShelter’s analytics are another perk of the online library. It helps us understand how people use the library and what they are looking to find. It also shows how much content our team produces each year and how hard we work to capture as many moments in time as we can.”

Heather Stanley, Director of Creative Services

The museums and parks Audubon Nature Institute operates on behalf of Audubon Commission include:

  • Audubon Park and Riverview
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Woldenberg Riverfront Park
  • Audubon Aquarium
  • Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center
  • Audubon Louisiana Nature Center
  • Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species
  • Audubon Wilderness Park
  • Audubon Insectarium


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