Hiring a photo organizer is like enlisting a professional trainer to help get you in shape – it’s a process that happens over time. You wouldn’t hire a trainer to for one ten-minute weight-training session – and you don’t hire a photo organizer for one 15-minute block of time, either.
Hiring a photo organizer is a way to find a healthier approach to managing your photos. It will take time and effort to reach your goals, and you’ll want to hire the best possible people to help you along the way.
A lot of people want to know, “How much does it cost to hire a photo organizer?” and the answer to that question is always, “It depends.”
Let’s take a look at why photo organizing fees vary from client to client, what you should consider when you’re trying to decide if you should hire a photo organizer, and how we (at Picture This Organized) typically charge for our services.
3 Things to Consider When You’re Thinking About Hiring a Photo Organizer
Before you try to find an organizer to work with you, keep these things in mind:
1. Success requires a long term commitment.
Many people have photos all over their homes – in multiple file folders, in photo boxes in the backs of their closets, and hidden in hundreds of different folders on their computers and other devices. It’s no wonder a lot of people don’t know where their favorite photos are stored, and it’s not surprising that they keep most of their best family stories buried!
Whatever your photo situation looks like right now, remember that it took you years to get to this point. It will take time to get things straightened out. Sorting, organizing, digitizing, and backing up your photos will all take time, so you should expect to pay for many hours with a photo organizer.
Your success completely depends upon your level of commitment to the process, so you should also make sure you’ve got the time and energy to commit to working with your organizer and maintaining the system you create.
2. Photo organizing works best when you work with a professional who is well-trained and knowledgeable about the best approaches.
A qualified photo organizer will not only keep you motivated and accountable as you’re trying to maintain your new organizing system, but they can also prevent you from unknowingly doing harm.
For example, we always make sure you’ve keep the very best quality copy of the photos you’re organizing. You always want to keep the image from the original source, rather than a poorer-quality digital version from a CD or other source. We pay careful attention to these details, to make sure your photo collection is the very best it can be.
An professional photo organizer can put systems in place that are proven, and also customize those systems for your unique situation. Working with a professional also makes it easier to stay on track, exercise consistent discipline, and keep moving forward on your path to success.
3. Working with a photo organizer requires an investment of time and money.
Prices for professional photo organizing services are always based on the organizer’s value to you, the time needed to complete your project, and the organizer’s level of expertise.
The larger your needs are, the more time will be needed to organize your photos. How much time you’ll need to book with your organizer will depend on:
- The amount of photos you have.
- How many different devices you use for taking and storing photos.
- How organized (or disorganized) you currently are.
- The scope of your project.
Your investment will ultimately get you great results and give you enormous long term value, so hiring a photo organizer shouldn’t be a price-driven decision. When it comes to working with service providers like photo organizers, you always get what you pay for – so hiring the cheapest organizer probably isn’t a good idea.
Your family photos are priceless and irreplaceable. When you ask most people what they would rescue first if a house fire or other emergency threatened their homes, most people have “family photos” at the tops of their lists.
Why would you put your photos in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the experience or expertise to handle them properly? When you’re hiring a photo organizer, hire the most qualified (and most experienced) professional that you can afford.
Things That Will Affect the Cost of Your Photo Organizing Project
1. Your timeline. If you have a short deadline, some organizers will charge you a rush fee. Try to give your organizer as much time as possible so he or she can get to know you, your family, and your goals. If you absolutely must complete the work on short notice, you may have to adjust your expectations and work on just a portion of the project, so you can meet your timeline.
2. Getting help with scanning/digitizing of prints, slides, negatives, and movies. Scanning and digitizing of these items can be a time-consuming process, so you’ll need to pay more to have your organizer perform or manage these services for you. These services are typically priced by the scan, or by the length of the videotape, but some organizers charge by the hour.
3. The age of the media you’re working with. Newer media (like digital images) are typically less expensive to organize and back up than older, more fragile media (like home movies on tapes). Old prints and movie reels are more expensive to scan, because they’re more difficult (and more delicate) to work with.
If you’re organizing your digital images, costs will differ depending on:
- How disorganized your digital photo collection is.
- The number of devices you’re keeping photos on.
- The number of photos you’ve got in your collection.
If you have lots of photos across multiple devices, it will take longer to gather them into one place and organize them. Photo organizing services include looking for duplicates, and renaming your images based on the date the photo is taken, the event in the photo, and the person in the image. We do this renaming so you can easily search for your photos based on these details.
This process takes time, but is worthwhile to create a system that will allow them to locate specific photos. Imagine what it would be like to be able to find all of the pictures of your mom (or daughter, or spouse) by just doing a quick search on your computer. Or how easy it will be to create a beautiful and meaningful photo album to give to your son for his college graduation. When your photo collection is well-organized, these tasks are so much easier!
4. The type of project you need help with. When your professional organizer helps you with organizing and managing your photos, work will typically be priced by the hour, or by the session. If organizers are creating slideshow or albums for you, they usually charge a fixed amount, which includes a limited amount of photos, and a set number of revisions.
What to Expect When You Hire Picture This Organized
I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation to get to know prospective clients, and find out more about their photo organizing goals. After a client decides they want to work with me, I typically charge by the half-day session.
During your first (paid) session, we’ll do an assessment, which means we’ll gather media and items to get started, then organize a plan for how we’d like to move forward.
In most cases, I ask my clients to pre-pay for two to three sessions, which we’ll use for services like scanning, organizing, and backing up your photos.
As we work through the pre-paid sessions (either in person, or remotely), I’ll keep you updated on our progress. When we get to the end of your pre-paid time, we’ll agree on what our next steps should be, and I’ll bill you for more sessions, as needed.
If I’m scanning/digitizing your images, I’ll quote you a price that is a combination of a price per item PLUS the cost of my time to incorporate the new digital files into your organizing system. The more photos you have to scan, and the more delicate those images are, the more costly your digitizing project will be.
If I’m helping you organize your entire photo collection, it will require multiple sessions. It’s definitely not a one-afternoon job. We DON’T provide up-front estimates of project size and cost, because we don’t know how long your project will take to complete – but we DO provide regular updates and work with you to ensure you are getting the outcome you desire.
If I’m creating a photo album for you, prices will vary because every album is customized. Album creation involves three phases: Selecting photos, designing the album, and publishing the album. Each of these phases is priced separately.
To find out more about how it works when you hire a photo organizer, you can check out our previous post, What (Exactly) Does a Photo Organizer Do?
Want to Hire Picture This Organized? Here Are Your Next Steps
Picture what it would be like it you had:
- All of your irreplaceable old photos, albums and slides converted to digital format, so you could access share them easily, and you knew they would be protected for future generations.
- All of your print photos sorted and organized in bins, drawers, or boxes.
- Every photo on your camera memory cards, electronic device, and computers backed up and protected.
- Easy (and fast) access to every photo in your collection, so you could easily select images to share with friends and family and display in your home.
I know we’ve talking a lot about pricing and logistics in this post, but I want you to remember your ultimate goal: Being able to find, display, share, and enjoy your photo collection. We can help you achieve that goal – and even make the process fun and enjoyable.
If you’d like to organize your photo collection, create an album or slideshow, or digitize your photos or videos, I’d love to talk with you! Contact me to set up your free phone consultation.