Let’s talk to Deronda Moore, an established Photo Manager from Oklahoma! Deronda joins us to share her advice for Photo Managers just getting started.
Deronda Moore has a degree in management science and computer systems. Her job in corporate America was working for major airlines as a business/data analyst. When her contract ended, she decided to start a business that allowed her to utilize her education while also giving her a creative outlet. It was Deronda’s mother who found out about The Photo Managers and approached her with the idea of making this her new career. After learning more about the other professionals who had become Photo Managers, Deronda decided to become a member and a Certified Photo Manager in 2014.
What area of photo management do you specialize in and how do you find your clients?
In the beginning, I was interested in designing slideshows and it grew from there. A client might want me to design a video but they didn’t have a way of digitizing their photos. So I started digitizing photos and gradually added slides, negatives, and videos. Now, I enjoy offering a variety of services including digitizing various media and memorabilia, as well as designing video montages and albums.
My first large client found me through The Photo Managers. Now, I find clients through a local Facebook group. I’m also involved in my local chamber of commerce and have been part of a local networking group which was extremely helpful to me.
What surprised you most about your career change from Data Analyst to Photo Manager?
I’m often surprised by what clients ask for. Just when I think I know what kind of services people will be looking for, I will get approached and asked to do something new. I don’t mind trying new things if a client requests it because it tests my abilities, and sometimes my creativity.
What do you like most about what you do?
What I enjoy most is the variety. I love to design and I love to help people so it’s great to able to bridge those two loves along with my other interests like genealogy. Projects and people are constantly challenging me so it’s that variety that I love about this job. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with finding one thing you want to do. We often say to do what you love and outsource the rest. There are lots of options for subcontracting within our community.
What do you find most challenging about being a Photo Manager?
Even though I have a technical background the one thing that’s probably the most challenging is the technical aspect of photo management. Technology is constantly changing. One client may have a PC, the next one a Mac, and they want to manage their photos differently from one person to the next. It can be challenging to keep up as technology changes and provide clients with aspects of technology that they can handle.
What skills from your past experience helped you to be successful as a Photo Manager?
I worked for a major oil and gas company for quite a few years and I had different roles over time. I did training, some design work, writing proposals, and also speaking which I’m still working on. That business background from working at that company over the years gave me a lot of skills that I bring over to my current work.
What advice would you give to people just getting started?
If you want to do digitization of movies, start with one piece of equipment and get to know what software works best. You’ve got to have a converter going from the VHS state to the computer, the software being able to recognize the video, and then know what types of VHS Machines will work best and give you more.
My advice would be to get familiar with your equipment and determine your workflow before you start. Start with one type of media and add on from there. Document your processes so you can look at your notes when another client asks you to do a similar job in the future.
How has membership in The Photo Managers benefitted you?
I don’t think I would be as far as I am today without The Photo Managers. Being able to collaborate with other people and their experiences and ideas is a valuable resource. Also, the webinars that have come up with over the years, and the training programs from other colleagues that are experts in their own areas. If you want to learn something this is the group to learn from and if we can’t find something then we’ll find an expert that can help us.
This is the first association I’ve been in where I didn’t feel like it was competitive whatsoever. It’s definitely a collaboration of everyone’s thoughts and ideas. There are more clients who need us than there are photo managers.
Watch the video of our interview with Deronda to hear more details about her business and hear her answer questions from the audience.