Conference Highlights: APPO 2014 (Association of Personal Photo Organizers)

Remember that awful, no good February that we just went through? A high point for me was getting to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) conference in Dallas. I almost didn’t make it due to one of those monster storms, but I’m glad I did. One of the things that separates a pro from the pack is the pursuit of continuing education. I attend at least one conference every year (usually more) because it is an excellent way to stay on top of trends and technology, because it is a great way to find cool new stuff to share with you, and because it is just plain fun. It’s a real challenge to distill all of the best stuff down into one article, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Association of Personal Photo Organizers

Funny, but one of the first thing that I noted was that I need to make time to better organize my own photos. I tell you that not because I am disorganized, but because every single subject matter expert shared that they themselves were not as organized as they wanted to be. It doesn’t happen on it’s own. If photos are important, then we need to carve out time to make sure our memories are preserved, and then shared with others, maybe in fun formats like these.


I learned about some pretty awesome, simple, and elegant ideas to help you understand the entire ecosystem of digital photo storage and management, whether you are a PC or a MAC. More to come.

We talked  A LOT about backups for your memories. When it comes to electronic backups, the experts agree that you want to backup NOW. Today. Don’t try to get organized first. Forget whatever mess you are starting with. Back it up anyway! Photo preservation goes WAAAAY beyond scrapbooking, although I learned a few things from some scrapbooking pros, Linda Stevens and Deb Warga.

APPO Conference

Keep it simple, sweetheart. If you are just starting to organize your digital photos, the best photo organizing program is the one that came with your computer, whether that is MAC or PC. Start there.

Things are changing All. The. Time. One company is audacious enough to claim to store your photos, videos and audios FOREVER. How? They maintain that the price you pay one time will cover ongoing storage AND transition to the next generation of media in a private, secure, and backed up way, that you and your descendants will be able to access. Watch this space. photo archiving


Most of us have photos, slides, film and other media like this, and it’s all going to pot faster than we realize.

Photos, slides and media at APPO conference

But we can turn all of that into beautiful, durable, professional albums like these that will last 100 years and more.

Photo Albums at APPO Conference

But sometimes just want a photo to hold and share. How cute are these minis?

mini photo albums at APPO  conference

Because nothing replaces what we feel when we reconnect with old friends like Bonnie Hillman Shay from the Chicago area (…

Bonnie at APPO

Or making new friends, like Natalie Gallagher ( and Diana Waller (…

friends at APPO

It’s all about our stories. This group of professionals are hooked up and ready to help make the complex more simple for you.


We even have some bona fide Hollywood stars in our midst. You may not recognize her, but Rhonda Vigeant and her crew are what make the film roll out on the West Coast and nationwide.

Rhonda Vigeant at APPOAll of us are looking for the best ways to showcase your special moments, your stories, your family.

If this sounds like a lot to take in, believe me, I feel it. I am definitely going to need more minions to help me help you in this bold new field of personal photo organizing. OK, maybe not that particular minion, but isn’t he cute?

APPO conference

So, are you ready to organize, preserve, digitize, and share your photos for the next generation? We can start today. Or come to classes being scheduled now (tentatively starting June 3). I’ll keep you posted via my newsletter, so make sure you are signed up to receive that.

What’s your biggest photo organizing question?