Enter Canto: A Foundation for Smooth Creative Operations
Landesa stores their vast archives of images, infographics and videos in Canto. The communications and fundraising teams most often access these assets for the website, social media, emails, presentations, posters and media requests.
Landesa uses keywords to denote overarching topics such as continents and programs. Nicole also created a custom field called ‘Categories’ that includes the topics team members most frequently look for, such as ‘Women and Girls,’ ‘Landscapes and Farms,’ and ‘Land Titles,’ and a custom field for countries. This makes it really easy for team members to use the filter feature to find images.
Throughout the implementation process and beyond, Nicole has appreciated Canto’s dedicated customer support.
“With the rollout process, Canto has been extremely supportive. Anytime that I’ve reached out with a question or a feature request, somebody gets back to me right away,” says Nicole.
It’s All in the Metadata
The Landesa team has found Canto’s metadata management capabilities extremely useful for keeping their library organized and preserving essential information so that their photos continue to be useful in the future.
“We do our best to know exactly where the pictures come from and organize and tag them appropriately. A big goal of moving to Canto was to keep track of this metadata: where the photos were taken, who was in it, if there are any copyright restrictions. That way, if we were doing a story on a program with women farmers in West Bengal, India, we can make sure we’re using a picture from the right time and location,” says Nicole.
Nicole also loves that Canto enables the team to keep track of consent forms for the people they photograph.
“I’m really excited about how Canto fits into our photography consent process. We always make sure to obtain informed consent from the people we interview and photograph, but keeping those files connected to the pictures wasn’t easy. With the ‘Related Files’ feature, we are able to ensure that moving forward, every photo of a person has the consent form attached to it. I’m passionate about ethical practices and consent when it comes to photographing beneficiaries in nonprofit work, and Canto makes this high standard possible,” says Nicole.
Empowering the Team to Self-Serve
For the Landesa team, it’s been a game-changer to have immediate access to the assets they need. And for Nicole, this means she’s no longer a bottleneck for image requests.
“The filter system is my favorite way to show people how to find the pictures they’re looking for. We’ve set it up to be really easy to filter by category and country. It’s a really powerful tool,” says Nicole.
Internally, all staff have been trained on how to use Canto, whether it’s communications and fundraising selecting and sharing photos, or other team members who need to download assets.
“The communications and the fundraising teams have gotten pretty good at creating collections and then sharing that with a link. Staff in our organization have gotten used to receiving a share link and then opening that up and downloading the photos,” says Nicole.
“Canto has been revolutionary for my job. It’s freed up my time to be able to do other things. It’s empowered other people in our organization to not have to rely on me. After we first implemented Canto, I had a few colleagues come up to me and tell me, ‘This is amazing.’”