When planning my wedding seven years ago, I knew I wanted to hire a solid photographer who would give me full digital rights to use the photos as I wished post-wedding. Don Mears and his wife, Lindsay, did a stellar job to say the least! While a traditional wedding album was included in the package, I wanted to make digital wedding albums to give our parents as a gift. I did a bit of research and learned of My Publisher and I've been using them for various photo book projects ever since. I cherish my traditional album from Don & Lindsay, (it is absolutely gorgeous!) but it remains safely tucked away in its storage box most of the time, while my digital album is out and about for anyone to flip through any time. And let's get back to the gifts... it's an understatement to say that both sets of parents LOVE their books. It's a stunning documentation of our special day and we all still flip through and cherish the memories of that sunny September day seven years ago. Seeing the joy this gift brought to our families made me want to give more. Photo gifts are unique, personal and truly priceless; they share our memories and tell our stories.
Fast forward to 2012, after I'd been a stay-at-home mom for three years and was looking to return to the workforce. I had so many business ideas during my time at home, but one kept coming back to me. Photo books. And yet, I couldn't see how making photo books could be a profitable business. So I signed up to attend Tory Johnson's Spark & Hustle conference that summer, hoping to get some inspiration for starting my own business. It was there I ran into Coach Jenn Lee, who I'd exchanged e-mails with earlier in the year. I was excited to introduce myself and to thank her for offering business advice to me (that I failed to follow up on!) The first business I told her I was considering was a career as a Virtual Assistant, after all, much of my corporate experience was in executive assistance. But then I mentioned photo books. And her face lit up. And apparently so did mine. She immediately pounced and could see that making photo books was my passion. And ironically enough, she'd been hired by the recently formed Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) to provide some coaching support. So she asked if I'd ever heard of them. "No," was my simple answer. Within a week, an employee of APPO called me to follow up on the interest I'd shown Coach Jenn. Two weeks later, I joined APPO. Three months after that, I'd completed their certification program and had officially launched Picture This Photo Solutions, LLC. It's been a whirlwind ever since!
Many are confused by my varied background in dance, then archaeology and now photo organizing, but I find a connection between all three. For one, I was never a "cubicle" person, even though I toiled away in one for many, many years. That's the dancer in me. Wanting to be up and moving around. And two, I've always had a deep love for history beginning with day trips to Colonial Williamsburg as a young girl and being absolutely fascinated by the "living" history represented there. It truly was like stepping into the past. So pursuing archaeology made a lot of sense to me. And it's also quite a physical activity when working in the field. But what does photo organizing have to do with any of this? Every person has a story to tell. And those stories are often buried in their boxes of photos. And as mentioned in yesterday's post, there are many treasures to be found at the bottom of those boxes. So photo organizing gives me the opportunity to be up and moving around, helping my clients sort through their photos, while also hearing fascinating stories about their lives and, like icing on the cake, I get to HELP people, which is another lifelong passion of mine. To sum it up, photo organizing takes everything I love and wraps it up into a nice, neat career that fulfills every passion of mine while making a difference in my clients' lives.