Kathleen Murchison joins us from KathleenMurchison.com in Dallas, Texas…
Share your story about how you became a photo organizer…
I got started with photo organizing by chance – I had a friend who had at least 40 albums and loose photos with 5 kids. She hired me to get her organized – I did – She paid me! Then another friend wanted me to scan all of her kids photos and make books – I did – She paid me! In the midst of all of this I was downsizing my mother and mother-in-law. These “jobs” were personal, but a great learning experience. Going through their photos, I decided to start scanning and organizing them instead of leaving them in boxes to clutter up my home. I loved touching the photos, memorabilia and newspaper clippings. Once I had culled through all of their photos, I started in on all of my printed photos – scanning and organizing those for my children and future generations!
Primary services and which do you most enjoy?
You could say I am a Jack of All things Photos and Master of – well- most of them! I offer just about anything you can think of regarding organizing; however, digital photo book design is my favorite by far. I also love working with my long-term clients we do everything together in small snippets but it’s continual work and, ultimately, forever friendships have been made.
How did you find APPO and how long have you been a member?
I found APPO by accident (well NOT an accident at all)! One day I was online and I just Googled photo organizers, and APPO popped up. I researched APPO, looked at costs etc. I was not ready right away. Six months later, I revisited the APPO website, and decided to join and became certified immediately. I have never regretted my decision. This was August of 2011.
Favorite tool or vendor you use for photo organizing?
My favorite tools for printed photo organizing are the Legacy Box, Sticky Notes, Sharpie Pens (I LOVE pens!) I keep lots of index cards around for sorting. I also love my Cricut spatula tool for removing hard to get photos out of albums. For Photobook Design, I primarily use Professional Photo Albums (PPA). Forever is fast becoming one of my favorite tools for permanent storage. I use My Workflow Studio’s digital organization system for digital organization.
What is a big (or small) mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I feel like the biggest mistake I have made is trying to learn it all at once. The Facebook page is a wealth of information, but it can be overwhelming. I would hear someone talk about a “new” fantastic way of doing something or a new vendor. I would stop everything and try to figure that system out. It gets too overwhelming, I would start putting things on the back burner in order to learn something new. Waste of time and not good for business. I am trying to work on a better workflow for ME and staying simple is key, I believe.
Best client success story…
I consider every client a success story! I personally love designing digital photo books, wrapping up the finished product and presenting the book to my client. The happiness they feel, the appreciation they have for what I do, and the relief they feel to have beautiful book of their special memories is PRICELESS!
What is your favorite family tradition?
Off the bat I would say Thanksgiving, however, I make the BEST French Toast in the world – twice a year I host a French Toast Sunday. Once in December and once in July (during the Tour de France) the whole family comes over – plus some friends- it usually goes all day long and next thing we know we are watching movies and cooking dinner – it’s definitely a favorite tradition.
If you weren’t a photo organizer, what would you be doing instead?
I cannot image what I would be doing instead…If I was not a photo organizer “professionally”, I am sure I would still be doing something with photos – I would probably put more time into volunteering my photo services.
Are your own photos organized?
My own printed photos are organized and scanned YEAH!!! My digital life is still “Under Construction” ever evolving and ever changing. I am slowly moving my personal photos into Forever.
Best tip for a new photo organizer…what you wish someone would have told you sooner?
I believe that being a successful photo organizer comes straight from the heart! Go out there and spread the joy and love you have for memories (yours and theirs)! Be yourself, you do not have to play to their emotions, show them yours! Passion is contagious, joy is contagious! People hire you on a feeling they have about you by reading your bio and seeing your photo on your website or APPO website
Say hi to Kathleen in the comments below and share something you learned from her interview…