This IS the Year You'll Get Your Photos Organized

I promise myself this every year. I’ve goggled photo book-making sites that offer the hope of effortlessly beautiful end products. I’ve gone to the Container Store and bought archival boxes to hold the oldest family photos. I’ve stared at the big screen monitor in our studio and tried to sort thousands of digital photos into tidy folders. And yet… know where I’m going….I still don’t have a wedding album and I couldn’t pull together a video of my daughter for her high school graduation (in 4 months!) if I tried. According to the Association of Professional Photo Organizers (who knew this was a thing??!), I am far from alone. Millions of Americans who say they value their photos more than anything else in their house still have these images scattered in corrosive plastic photo albums from the 80’s and all over their computer with dubious backup. How do we get this done??

You may have your own system (which I’d LOVE to know about! I’m open to all suggestions - email me at, but here’s how I’m going try it this year:

Step 1)

Figure out what your top goal is and start in bite-size chunks. My first project is modest — the wedding album. I literally have all the photos I want already scanned and online; I just need to edit and pick the best ones. Then I’m going to use Artifact Uprising to create a Layflat Photo Book. This company produces luxurious photo books (fyi, it’s the one Oprah uses) with a variety of covers and engraving available.

After that the video of Avery for graduation?? (gulp, that seems hard right now - which leads me to Step #2…)


Step 2)

Get someone to keep you on track. Whether having a friend over for a regular session or hiring someone, it’s worth setting up a plan to keep you accountable. It is SO easy when you’re alone to let your mind - and heart - wander as you delve into all the old memories. Having someone there keeps you much more focused. I found someone through the Association of Professional Photo Organizers site who can come to your house on an hourly or project-basis and guide you through it til you’re DONE. Wish I didn’t need this but I clearly do!

Step 3)

Preserve your memories. Make yourself a promise to do two things:

* Get your favorite images out of the boxes, musty old photo albums & off the computer by printing them out — whether for new photobooks or for framing.  I work with a local company, Dodge Chrome, to do this - they do amazing printing and even restoration of damaged older photos. If you are outside of the Washington DC area, you can do this via LegacyBox, an online service that even Disney trusts to do their work. You can convert slides, home movies, etc. to state of the art images and videos. Or for more basic things, try Shutterfly.

* Back it all up! This should probably be first on the list but it sounds so boring I made it last. Still, it’s really important! I am not very technical so I have an Apple One to One membership (about $99/yr for unlimited in-person coaching) where I go into the Apple store and work with one of their experts on making sure everything is secure - both in the Cloud and on thumbdrives, which we keep in a fire-proof mini safe. If you are not eligible for a One to One membership because your computer is too old, you can also participate in their in-store classes or make an appointment with a Genius if there’s an issue.

Email me ( any tips or success stories & I’ll share them on upcoming posts - inspiration is good! And thank you, Ginny W of Lilac & Page for suggesting this topic — you always have the best ideas.