Your questions, answered here!
What does a professional photo organizer do? Why should I hire you?
Professional photo organizers help their clients manage, organize and preserve their photo collections. I’m a certified professional member of The Photo Managers (TPM), the international leader in photo organizing and management.
I adhere to TPM’s Code of Conduct and Ethics. I’m also a lifelong learner and take part in TPM professional development courses at regular intervals. I have 20+ years of experience in the photo industry and follow best practices to make sure we safely preserve your precious photo memories for generations.
Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes! You can schedule a free 30-minute discovery call with us here. We’ll discuss your goals, the state of your collection, and how we can help.
What can we cover during the initial meeting? How much time do we need?
Our first meeting should be at your home (preferably) or another location, such as a coffee shop. This is the best way for us to assess your collection, learn about your goals and how we can best help you achieve them. We’ll get a better idea of your project and your objectives. The meeting can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
We will need some basic family history from you. We’ll gather your images – making copies of digital files and transporting any prints / albums in waterproof bins – and bring it all back to our office. We will send a photo plan, along with a working agreement / contract within 48 hours.
What happens after the initial meeting? What is your process?
Most of our work combines scanning and preservation with digital photo organizing. With digital, we use Adobe Lightroom to organize most collections. If you are happy in the Apple ecosystem we will work in there. We work with clients using either Macs or PCs.
Once your photos are organized and backed up, an optional add-on service is to keyword events and / or facial tag people to create a searchable digital library. Print photos are scanned at high resolution and added to your digital collection. We store prints in archival, photo-safe boxes that correspond to their digital counterparts in your new library. Your organized photos will be archived, backed up and easily accessible for sharing and creating photo books, family websites, videos and more.
How do we communicate during the project? Will you be giving me periodic updates?
We share progress reports at regular intervals via your preferred contact method.
Do you work remotely? Or do we travel to you / do you travel to us?
We can work remotely, as well as meeting you at your home or a specified location.
How long does this take?
It depends on what you want done, but on average most projects take a few weeks to a few months.
Will you discard my photos?
No! You are the one who decides what stays and what goes. We can remove duplicate / blurry / redundant photos from the collection but will keep them in a separate folder for your review.
How do you protect my privacy?
Your privacy and trust are of the utmost importance to me and essential to my business. Other than the vetted partners used for digitizing old film media and making photo books, we at Past Present Pix are the only ones who will be working with your images.
How much does this cost?
Everyone has different levels of chaos and goals with their photo collections, which is why we quote on a per-project basis. We can typically give an estimate during our first in-home session or after we’ve made a thorough inventory of your collection.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
What are some media formats that you work with?
We work with all formats – prints, albums, scrapbooks, slides and negatives, digital images and videos, as well as old film media.
Some of my media is fragile, I am concerned about someone handling it. How do you work with that?
We are well versed in archival best practices. Cotton or nitrile gloves are used when handling all your media. We will recommend proper archival storage enclosures (all acid-free, lignin-free, photo safe, PAT approved). A conservator is recommended when necessary.
Do you need my input or can I just explain what I need and let you take it from there?
We value your input and explanations of your goals. You should also be available if questions or issues arise during the process. That being said, once we’ve agreed to a photo plan, we won’t need much involvement from you as we do 99% of the work.
To get the most benefit, it’s important that you’re committed to the process, open to change and willing to develop some new habits. You may need to invest in some hardware or software programs, and / or archival storage boxes for printed photos, albums and memorabilia.
Do you offer coaching or training for people who want to do most of it themselves?
Yes, we offer customized coaching packages, and can meet in person, remotely or both as needed.
I know what I want; however, this project will be delegated. Can you work with my 1) interior designer 2) corporate communications head 3) household manager 4) spouse?
Yes, we have worked with all the above. We’ll make sure the channels of communication are open so everyone agrees on the process. We are transparent with our work and will keep all relevant parties involved and updated as needed. Your satisfaction with our work is our top priority.
ENJOY, SHARE, PRESERVE
What are some of your favorite ways to use media to commemorate an important celebration or milestone?
We love creating video timelines / highlight reels, slideshows, custom photo books and unusual gifts with favorite photos for special events.
What options do you offer for saving, updating and sharing media within my family, my community group or my work group?
Diversity in backup storage is vital as no one format is 100% stable. We recommend using the 3-2-1 backup method: 3 copies, on 2 different types of external hard drives, and one cloud-based. You should store one drive off-site.
Or you could store a copy on your computer’s hard drive (if you have room), one in cloud storage and one on an external hard drive. You will need to periodically update the copies as your collection grows. As for sharing, we have several online file-sharing services we can recommend, depending on your needs and budget.
How do I keep my media organized and updated so that it is accessible for future projects?
We offer a complimentary one-hour photo management session once we deliver your collection back to you. We are always here to answer questions you have about your collection and the work. Quarterly and annual photo management programs are available if you don’t want to DIY it.