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How PhotoShelter Helps Harney & Sons Manage a Growing Library of Images

With PhotoShelter, Harney & Sons reimagines global collaboration, elevates content creation, and helps grow their brand.

  • 17k+ assets housed in PhotoShelter
  • ~200 invited users to PhotoShelter
  • 800+ product SKU numbers

Harney & Sons Brews Success with PhotoShelter to Solve Modern Challenges

Since its humble beginnings, Harney & Sons Fine Teas has grown to an internationally renowned brand, committed to delivering the finest quality tea. To educate tea lovers and showcase their products, they rely on a large collection of images and content, now streamlined and easily accessible thanks to PhotoShelter. 

The Challenge: Disconnected Teams and Siloed Information

Alex Harney, Creative Co-Director and Lead Photographer at Harney & Sons, oversees the company’s visual storytelling. His day-to-day involves coordinating with over 300 internal employees, managing creative content with the marketing agency, and collaborating with numerous domestic and international distributors. This extensive collaboration and content management presented significant challenges:

  • Scattered and hard to find digital assets. Photos, videos, and marketing materials were spread across multiple platforms like Flight, Google Drive and Dropbox, making it difficult to locate the right asset quickly. 
  • Over 800 product SKUs with constant updates. With a large number of products and frequent updates, the team needed an efficient way to organize product imagery and creative content, tagging them with appropriate details to make them easily searchable.
  • Collaborating with many partners and stakeholders. The company’s previous DAM system limited the number of users and had a complex interface, slowing collaboration with their 300+ employees, marketing agency, and global distributors. “At first I wasn’t giving our distributors access to our brand assets but in the end it was clear that wasn’t serving our brand, so we wanted to move to giving all of our distributors access to our branded visual assets,” said Alex.

“The issue that I had with…other DAMs was a limit on invited users. That made me really stingy with who got access to what. I think I had 75 seats, tops, and it was going to be another $2,000 to buy another 75.”

Alex Harney, Creative Co-Director and Lead Photographer

The Solution: Breaking Down Collaboration Barriers with PhotoShelter

Before PhotoShelter, the creative team’s workflow was slowed by inefficiencies that made collaboration and asset discovery a constant challenge. Now, they enjoy a smooth, collaborative workflow that empowers their team to find the right assets quickly and easily. Here’s how PhotoShelter revolutionized their photo management:

  • Collaboration reimagined. With unlimited invited users on PhotoShelter, collaborating with all of their stakeholders became a streamlined process. “I looked at PhotoShelter, I liked what we could do with it. It was simple enough. Our [former DAM] had some bells and whistles that not all people across technological knowledge or skill sets could fully understand, whereas PhotoShelter was pretty intuitive. And I would say it’s even getting more intuitive, especially with AI Visual Search, which I really like right now,” said Alex.
  • AI Visual Search helps discoverability. This feature aids in finding files even when specific elements are not tagged upon upload. “I really like the PhotoShelter AI Visual Search. It really helps us search images for things that we don’t normally tag images with.”
  • Streamlined photo uploads with Workspaces. Workspaces help streamline photo uploads from contributors, sharing files with clients without giving access to the entire Library, approving content, and more. “PhotoShelter’s Workspaces is a huge game-changer for us at Harney & Sons… It allows us to, rather than using something like WeTransfer or Dropbox, get files to clients… I don’t need to necessarily give them access to the entire PhotoShelter library. I only want them to have access to certain items. I can create a collection within Workspaces that they can invite people to. They can comment, and then they can download, but they’re not in our system, so to speak. And it’s been really helpful for contracted photographers too, so they can upload and then I can give them feedback and have the files when I need them.”

“We’re getting a lot of value from what PhotoShelter is able to help us provide to our clients, the distributors, or even within our internal team… anyone who needs access to our content.”

Alex Harney, Creative Co-Director and Lead Photographer

A Recipe for Success: Streamlined Content, Enhanced Collaboration

PhotoShelter has become an indispensable tool for Harney & Sons, empowering them to tell their brand story with clarity and confidence. By taming their chaotic image library and streamlining collaboration, the platform has freed up valuable time for the creative team to focus on what they do best: crafting exceptional tea experiences and showcasing their beauty through compelling visuals.

“Being able to provide to all of our distributors an extensive library and growing collection of our product shots – both cutouts and lifestyle – really helps them as brands to really push themselves on social media, advertising, and all sorts of other things… I would say it’s part of the reason why some of these distributors have had so much success in the last few years when we opened it up to them.”

Alex Harney, Creative Co-Director and Lead Photographer

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