Near and Far: An Inside Look at How We Help Our Out-of-State Clients

At Picture This Organized, we make our home in Colorado. But some of our clients, like Sheila Monkarsh, do not!

Several years ago, while packing to move from Colorado to California, Sheila was staring at thousands of printed photographs stored in plastic bins. She knew she couldn’t move all of them, because their new home would have less storage space and no basement.

The professional organizer working with Sheila suggested she contact Picture This Organized to digitize her photos before the move.

But our relationship with Sheila didn’t end when she left Colorado!

This is the story of how technology allowed us to continue working on Sheila’s photo collection in Colorado, while she got settled in on the west coast.

A Pre-Move Photo Assessment

Before Sheila moved, we met with her to assess her photo collection and talk about her goals. Like so many of our clients, she didn’t know where to start and felt overwhelmed.

Facing the stress of packing, she was in “less is more” mode, ready to pitch and purge nearly anything! We had to stop her from throwing away a lot of her printed photos before we started digitizing.

Time was of the essence, so assessing Sheila’s printed photo collection had to happen pretty quickly. “When I started looking at photos, I’d get caught up in reminiscing and lose track of time,” says Sheila. “Julie and her team helped me stay focused.”

Once we collected all of Sheila’s family information, we brought her printed photos to our office where they would stay safely locked in a cabinet when we weren’t busy scanning or organizing them.

PTO Locking Cabinet
Client photos stay safely locked in a cabinet in the Picture This Organized office.

Turning over all of her printed photos to our team removed a nagging burden that was weighing Sheila down in the midst of an already-overwhelming move.

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of Digitizing and Organizing

With Sheila was getting settled in her new home in California, we started scanning all of her print photos. We named each image and added details to each digital file. Along the way, we deleted duplicates and got rid of poor quality photos.

To keep Sheila involved in the process, we emailed updates and sometimes scheduled calls to discuss our progress or ask her questions.

For example, before we tossed any duplicates and poor quality photos, we checked with her, and usually got a hearty approval!

“It was such a freeing experience to get rid of stuff and tell them ‘Yes! Get rid of the bad printed photos!’ I didn’t want to carry around what I wasn’t going to have room for in storage,” she recalls.

In the end, we sent Sheila a smaller collection of her “A” and “B” (best of the best) photos, neatly organized in archival boxes.

Tackling the Digital Photos
The next step in our process was to combine and organize all of the newly scanned photo files with her digital photo collection.

We uploaded all of her images to an app called Mylio where Shelia could view her photos from any device (e.g. phone, tablet, computer, or external hard drive) and see them organized by date.

Protecting the Collection with Backups
We don’t consider our work on a client’s collection complete until all photos are backed up. Amazon cloud serves as one backup as well as a way for us to update her photo collection between devices.

For added security and secondary backup, we re-sync and update Sheila’s collection on an external hard drive that we keep in our office.

This gave Sheila peace of mind. “I’ve had friends who have lost photos in floods, and the photos are no completely gone, Nothing was backed up. I feel a real sense of security knowing that my photos are safe – and I know exactly where they are!”

Turning Family Photos into Keepsake Albums

Album creation is another service we provide for our long-distance clients.

Over the years, Sheila took a lot of photos of their three kids and their sports and activities, but never had the time to make photo albums. With the kids trying to adjust to new schools, friends, and activities, Sheila and our team decided that photo books would be a way to honor the kids’ and help keep the memories alive of their friends in Colorado.

We created a beautiful photo book highlighting the first years of their family life. We also suggested expandable, post-bound albums for each of Sheila’s kids to highlight their class pictures and sports photos.

To work on any of Sheila’s albums, she would mail us any printed photos she wanted to include. We also accessed her Apple Photos account remotely to export the newest photos or pictures from an Apple Photos Album folder she created for us.

As we designed individual pages for her kids’ albums, we would send Sheila links to proofs so she could go online and make edits and comments. She could look at the album as it was being created and give feedback on the process.

Family Album Example 3
One of the page spreads from Sheila’s Family Album.

Single Album Page Example 1

Single Album Page Example 2
Examples of two kids’ album pages we created and had printed for Sheila at Costco.

As we finalized each album page, we uploaded it to Sheila’s Costco Photos account to have it printed and ready for her to pick up at the store near her.

“I keep my photo books on my coffee table and people love them. I need more! Friends are so jealous when they see my photo books and see how organized all of my photos are!”

You Don’t Have to be Tech-Savvy to Work With Us Remotely

We may have started working with Sheila when she was across town preparing for the arrival of her moving trucks, but she continued benefiting from our services when she moved to her new home in California. She handed off a variety of projects, and freed up her time by getting things off her plate. And we accomplished all of the post-move projects from several states away!

Sheila told us that her experience working remotely was very easy. She didn’t have to be tech-savvy. We accomplished a lot in our phone calls, including the little bit of training she needed to access her online photo libraries.

Moving may have forced Sheila to dive into the project – but like all of our clients, organizing an entire lifetime of photos is not something Sheila would have done on her own.

If you’re ready for someone to help you manage your photo collection, we’d love to talk with you, even if you live outside the Denver area. Contact us today to set up a free 30-minute consultation.


4 thoughts on “Near and Far: An Inside Look at How We Help Our Out-of-State Clients

  1. HI Julie,
    Life has been very hectic-consequently I have done 0 on my photos. Will get back to you. So glad I’m still on your list. We will be in CO 3 months this summer-perhaps we can gear up then. Will get back to you soon! Pat

  2. Hello Julie,
    I’m currently out of hibernation ! Some days are like someone else lives in my body?. Jack and I have moved into a lovely senior community in Naples and love it,! If you know this pretend you don’t ???. I have recently tried to get to my photos- something always seems to prevent me from getting this activity in real gear. Sooo the question is where do I start to re- gear having you help me in this endeavor.

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