Organizing is a very diverse field, with so many options for specialization. Some of the possibilities we’ve featured in the past include Family Manager Coach, Organizer Coach, Concierge, Senior Move Manager, and ADHD Coach. Today we welcome Natalie Gallagher with information about becoming a Personal Photo Organizer.
How often do you come across boxes of disorganized print photos In the process of organizing your clients’ home offices, basements, spare bedrooms and family rooms?
In the midst of decluttering, have you ever stumbled upon a closet full of old VHS tapes or a drawer full of camera memory cards?
I have witnessed first-hand the guilt, frustration, and anxiety that clients experience when their photo collections are in a state of disorder. I imagine that you have as well. Although our clients place a high value on their photo collections, they typically categorize photo management as a “someday” task, due to a lack of necessary skills, knowledge, and time required to implement a photo management system.
This is your opportunity to be a hero to your client by offering photo organizing services!
“Every 2 minutes, we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800’s”. – 1000memories.com
There are an estimated 1.7 trillion printed photos stored in albums, attics, and shoeboxes across America. Even more overwhelming is the volume of digital images currently generated…nearly 10 billion photos per month. It’s no wonder that retrieving a particular photo has become a frustrating challenge for the average family.
Not only do people struggle with finding photos, they are often at risk for losing their photos and videos due to insufficient backup systems, outdated media formats, and unsafe photo storage containers.
Photo management is a universal challenge.
What is a Personal Photo Organizer?
As a Personal Photo Organizer, you will assist clients by developing systems for organizing, preserving and sharing their print/digital photos and media. There is a wide range of specific services you can choose to offer, including:
- Organizing print photos
- Organizing digital photos
- Converting outdated media into viewable formats
- Installing back-up systems
- Scanning print photos/slides
- Creating traditional or digital photo albums
- Creating custom photo gifts
- Providing technology instruction/education
Most Personal Photo Organizers choose to specialize in a few of these services (e.g., print and digital photo organizing), and outsource certain components of a client project by subcontracting with other vendors/organizers (e.g., media conversion and scanning).
Projects can range from the simple (e.g., setting up a photo backup system) to the complex (digitizing a lifetime of print photos and home movies). In addition, the level of client involvement in a particular photo organizing project can vary greatly. Some clients will choose to have you complete all aspects of the project off site, while others will prefer to work alongside you in their home, or simply have you provide a plan that they can execute on their own.
Training and Support
If offering photo organizing services appeals to you, then I strongly suggest becoming a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). Established in 2012, APPO is a membership association that trains, supports, and provides industry tools to its members. APPO also provides education to the general public regarding the importance of photo preservation, organization and storytelling.
I can’t say enough about the benefits of APPO membership! As a member, you have access to a treasure trove of resources, including:
- training webinars
- a closed Facebook group and online forum comprised of other organizers who are eager to assist one another
- exclusive access to cutting-edge photo products
- discounts with APPO partners/vendors
- a listing in the APPO “Find an Organizer” directory.
APPO hosts an annual conference, which I attended in 2014. I was extremely impressed by the excellent training that was offered at a very reasonable price. Members can also choose to complete a certification process that consists of a series of online tests, documentation of client hours, submission of client recommendations and an interview process.
Since the field of digital photo organizing is complex, ever-changing, and heavily steeped in technology solutions, professional organizers who offer photo organizing services should be comfortable with technology. Staying on the “cutting-edge” of the field requires that you consistently invest in continuing education.
Above all else, this specialization is for individuals who have a passion for helping clients to share their life stories and safeguard their memories!