How I Became a Certified Photo Organizer

How I Became a Certified Photo Organizer

I have always loved photographs. I love taking pictures and I especially love organizing them. I’ve been creating photo albums since I was in High School when my family took our first trip to Argentina.

Amira HemmeFast forward over the next 40 years – through marriage, kids, grandkids; moves around the country from Albany, NY to Houston to Dallas to Ft Wayne, IN, and finally settling in the Houston area; through various corporate companies and positions, including software developer, Project Manager and Business Analyst.

Over these years, we have been very fortunate to have taken many great vacations, both in the US and internationally. In the US, we’ve been to Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon National Parks, Tucson, San Francisco, San Antonio to name a few. Internationally, our trips included Argentina, Israel, Italy, Spain, China, Tanzania, and Turkey. Each of these trips got its own photo album. Initially, the photo albums were physical albums, which you could hold in your hands and turn the pages. Later, they became virtual photo albums that could be shared with friends and family using a web link.

I also created albums for family occasions, such as Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, special birthdays. And these also evolved from hard covered albums to virtual albums to digital albums created using an on-line service.

During one of my visits with my daughter who lives in Sacramento, I met a woman who was visiting her daughter in Sacramento. We started talking and she told me that she did not live in Sacramento, but had just come from an APPO conference. She explained that APPO is the Association for Personal Photo Organizers. APPO is a great organization for finding Photo Organizers and for supporting Photo Organizers with educational material, connections to vendors, and networking with other like-minded Photo Organizers.

When I met this woman, I had not yet retired from my corporate job. But I knew that when I did retire, I would want to become APPO Certified. And, indeed, that is what happened. I retired in June, 2017, after 18 years with the company. I took the courses and became APPO Certified in August, 2017.

In the next six months, from August, 2017 to now (January, 2018), I’ve purchased several scanners, digitized photographs and slides, created digital books and calendars, organized digital photos, digitized scrapbooks, and taught some classes on how folks could organize their own photos.

I came to realize that there are two pillars of Photo Organizing: Digitizing the photos, and Organizing the photos. Both take time. Both could take money. I have invested in professional grade photo scanners to enable the creation of good quality scans. The more time-consuming part of the process is Organizing the photos. Even if you hire a professional Photo Organizer, you will need to invest the time to sort through the pictures and identify the individuals and stories behind the pictures.

All these topics, and more, will be discussed in further detail in subsequent blogs.

I firmly believe in the power of pictures to tell stories and share memories.

If you’re interested in finding a Photo Organizer in your area, please visit the APPO website at If you’re interested in finding out more about me and my services, please visit my website pages.

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