You know what they say: There’s no better time than the present. And with all the uncertainty in the air surrounding job security and the strength of the economy, there’s never been a better time to create an additional stream of income. If you’re looking for creative ways to earn extra money this year, becoming a Photo Manager is a great path to entrepreneurship.

You may think you need to have specific skills or a photo-centric background to run a successful photo management business, but you’d be wrong!

Our certified Pros come from all walks of life and career trajectories – from trial lawyers to geologists to public school teachers to dance studio owners and everything in between.

What’s more important is the set of skills it takes to become a Photo Manager.

The Top 5 Skills of a Photo Manager

There are 5 overarching skills that will help you become a stellar Photo Manager: Project management and organization skills, a willingness to learn, some technological savvy, entrepreneurial aspirations, and an eagerness to help others.

Here’s a brief breakdown of each and a few words of wisdom from some of our Certified Pros about how their backgrounds helped them build their own photo organizing businesses.

Project Management and Organization

With literally thousands of photos to sift through, it should come as no surprise that project management skills and a keen eye for detail are must-have qualities for Certified Photo Managers.

How new Photo Managers cultivate their knacks for organization is less important. After all, many career paths require some kind of project management skill. Take Certified Pro Lisa Tonjes Moritz, founder of HOPE Organizing, for example.

“My previous career was in banking – totally not related to photo organizing at all,” she says. “But organizing was my thing. The bank moved me from branch to branch to get them more organized and ready for internal audits and things.”

After Lisa decided to leave banking, she realized her joy for organizing and eventually stumbled onto photo management. She already had the most important skills she needed to start her business.

But it’s not just organization and project management that come into play. Time management, communication, and planning come into every project, too. It’s up to you to ensure you’re staying productive and moving your clients’ projects forward while also communicating expectations, timelines, and any additional information you need to help them organize their photo and video collections.

A Willingness to Learn

There’s a learning curve to everything and becoming a Certified Photo Manager is no different. Successful Pros set out knowing they’ll never stop learning (and they have no desire to stop, either!).

“I think one of the best things I’ve always done is leaped a little further ahead than my skill set by taking on projects even if they challenged me,” says Jill Yesko Diana, founder of Discover Organizing. “I’ve always said ‘sure’ because I knew I would get the education I needed from The Photo Managers Pro community.

You’re leading your clients into a new world and helping them organize what is likely decades of memories. There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s imperative that you stay open to learning new techniques and technologies to better assist them.

Comfort with Computers

You certainly don’t have to be a technology whiz, but knowing your way around a computer definitely helps.

Now that so many photos are digital and the common goal of many photo projects is to digitize printed photos, you can’t afford to not know how to run a few programs, how to operate a scanner, or how to properly save photos – and retain their valuable metadata. And as you’re managing so much private and precious information, you’d do well to utilize a top-notch password manager.

From helping clients back up and organize their collections to helping them preserve printed memories digitally, it pays to have (or to be open to learning) some solid computer skills.

An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Becoming a Photo Manager means becoming a business owner: Entrepreneurial aspirations and tendencies are a must for anyone who wants to grow their small business. And now, more than ever, is the right time to get started, CEO of The Photo Managers Cathi Nelson says.

“The need for professional photo managers is growing daily as people increasingly become aware that they have lost control of their photos and videos. If you are ready to take on the challenges of owning your own business, are willing to make mistakes and learn, and have a tenacious spirit, this is a great opportunity.”

A Desire to Help Others

One of the rewarding parts of being a Photo Manager is helping others reconnect with their past. Many Certified Pros find this to be the most fulfilling part of their businesses.

“I help busy families tell their stories through their photos that will last for generations,” says founder of PSG Photo Solutions Philip Griffith. “I take great pride in helping my clients discover stories they may not know about embedded in their collections.”

The most valuable service you offer your clients is helping them preserve their memories for years to come. Clients can see when their service providers are passionate about what they do. Your genuine desire to help them will go a long way.

You Can Be a Photo Manager

Regardless of your background, becoming a Pro is within reach. Chances are you already have the major talents you need. The next step is to hone the extra skills necessary to work with photo collections.

Now is a great time to become a Certified Photo Manager and start a thriving side hustle or full-time business.

Why wait?

Ready to get started? Learn more about becoming a Professional Photo Managers.