Do you love photos? If you have a passion for preserving and sharing images and are looking for a new business opportunity – consider becoming a Photo Manager! Whether it’s a side hustle, a second act, or a full-time career, photo organizing, and photo management could be your answer to a flexible, lucrative income. Here’s why…
Years ago, nobody had ever heard of professional business coaches, personal trainers, or even home organizers. But today, they are household concepts. We really believe the same will be true for professional photo organizers. These types of service opportunities continue to grow because people are just too busy to handle everything on their own.
While the demand for photo organizers continues to increase, a growing number of people are also looking for meaningful work that provides them with flexibility and income growth. It’s a perfect match!
When you ask people how they feel about their photo collection, these are the words you’re going to hear over and over again: overwhelmed, frustrated, helpless, other people know more than I do, I’m not good with technology. People are experiencing a huge amount of anxiety when it comes to their photos. Not only is this a growing field for digital photos, but most people believe it or not still have boxes and bins and drawers and photo albums full of printed photos that need to be curated and scanned for the future. And along with those boxes of analog photos, there are family home movies in lots of formats that are no longer assessable. Then there’s kids’ artwork, old newspaper articles, letters, and meaningful memorabilia from the past, all of these things make up the work that many photo managers do for their clients.
Why the Work that We Do Matters
There is a quote that says, “There have been great societies that did not have the wheel, but no societies that did not tell stories.” If you are thinking about becoming a Photo Manager as a business, you want to connect with the emotional “why” around people’s photos. Nothing is sexy about photo organizing, but what is really meaningful is when you get people to really reflect on why their photos and videos matter so much to them.
People come to photo organizers for help because their photos are a mess. They have thousands of photos on their phone and it’s not backed up, or maybe they lost their phone and they realize that everything’s at risk. They ask this question though, “Do my kids really care? Are they going to ever really want to look at these photos?” They’re experiencing floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and hard drive crashes, and realize their foes are at risk of disappearing forever. Oftentimes, sometimes a family member has been diagnosed with dementia or a terminal illness, and suddenly, those photos and stories take on a whole new level of meaning. There’s a graduation coming up, a wedding, or a life celebration and people need to find those photos because they want to make that video slideshow or posters when they realize their photos are a mess.
What Does a Photo Manager Do?
Most people have boxes of photos, slides, and negatives. Many people will send their photos away to a big-box service to be scanned. But, instead of helping them organize, they end up with the same photo mess, in a new digital format. Photo Managers will organize a physical photo collection before scanning and digitizing so that the client only pays to preserve the items that matter to them for the future. In order to do this, the photo manager may start doing some interviewing and creating a family timeline.
Another really common job that most photo organizers do provide is scanning. It provides a digital backup copy and helps ensure that family photos will be safe and accessible for future generations. It’s a great entry point into photo organizing without a lot of overhead as only basic equipment is required.
Digital Photo organizing is one of the fastest-growing services our members provide. One of our experienced members, Jordan Babeon, loves to say that the average family now has the same number of digital assets a small business did just a few years ago. Digital photo organizing can even be done remotely! We have many members who do this for clients anywhere in the world.
In a digital photo organizing project, a photo manager will help the client to consolidate everything into one place, create a backup copy, remove duplicates, add keywords, and then recommend a cloud service or an online gallery.
Once the photos are organized, both digital and printed, there are so many fun things you can do to help clients share and enjoy them. You can make photo books, video slideshows, online photo galleries, framed photos, wall art, and more. These things really bring photos back to life for somebody. Young families are again beginning to appreciate that it is much more entertaining for their kids to access photos through photo books than on a phone screen.
Other services a photo manager might provide are home movie conversion by digitizing old VHS tapes or camcorder videos. Many of our members talk about the joy their clients have when they hear their parents voices again after 30 years when it’s been captured on an old 8mm film reel. It’s a powerful experience to unlock those memories again.
Some photo managers also do genealogy research, others focus on making video ontages for special events. The critical takeaway, though, is that not all photo managers offer all of these services. There are many points of entry into this business and you can choose to offer the services that work for you.
Who are/What is The Photo Managers?
The Photo Managers is a global organization with members all over the world. All of our members share the same passion, to help people and businesses curate their photo collections so they can share their stories.
How will Being a Member of The Photo Managers Help You?
Members of The Photo Managers enjoy many benefits. It starts with a “business in a box” solution to getting started in this field. We provide access to the best training and tools, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and figure out everything for yourself.
The benefits of membership are represented in our “5 C’s”:
Core foundation. Establish your foundation of knowledge about the field of Photo Management.
Credibility. All of our members share the same code of ethics and are respected by their association with The Photo Managers.
Community. One of our mission statements is “A rising tide lifts all boats”. We have a community of hundreds of other professionals from all walks of life and experience who helped one another via our private members-only Facebook group, regional meetings, member huddles, our annual conference, and other opportunities for connection.
Competency. Increase your competence in all areas of this new profession. Courses are included in your membership including Building Blocks of Digital Photo Organizing and Organizing Your Clients’ Printed Photos. Many other workshops and a monthly training webinar are also available to you, plus our full library of all our past training topics.
Collaboration. Every September, The Photo Managers host Save Your Photos Month. We provide materials for all our members to go out into the community and present themselves as an expert in photo management. This includes press releases, PowerPoint presentations, and social media graphics. We also have an amazing array of partner companies who give our members significant discounts.
Watch the full video for more from The Photo Mangers Founder, Cathi Nelson as she takes questions from the audience about how to start your own business as a professional photo manager.
For more information about becoming a photo manager, visit our Become a Pro page.