Confessions of a Photo Organiser

December 21, 2020

As a professional Photo Manager, I have a perfectly organised photo collection … NOT

I can’t talk for other professional photo managers but I for one have to (unfortunately) admit that my collection is far from being perfectly organised. Yes, there you go … I’ve said it! How is that possible, you ask? Keep reading and you’ll find out …


Confessions of a photo organiser







Confession # 1  – I’m good at procrastination, too

In 2016, I flew back home to Switzerland and spent 10 days with my mum. During that time, we sorted, decluttered and scanned our entire family photo collection. The printed photos that is. After 10 days, I flew back home to Melbourne with a USB (actually with 2, one needs to have at least 1 backup copy after all!) containing almost exactly 4,000 scanned photos, going back to the year 1900.

The plan was to process the digital versions by the end of that same year. Ahem, 2020 is almost over and I’m still not done *blush*.

Having said this, there was some progress. Mum came to visit a couple of times in the meantime and I also went back annually. Each time, we spent some time recording stories that go with some of the photos, especially the older ones. Simply because people who knew the stories were already very old and we felt we needed to record these memories first.

My strategy (which keeps failing, maybe I need to try a different one), is to work on these scans for 20 minutes daily. If I had done that, I’d have finished long ago. As it is, I’m about 2/3 through and my current goal is to finish it early 2021. Anybody out there who wants to keep me accountable? If so, feel free to send a message from time to time!


Confession of a photo organiser 1



Confession #2 – I struggle to finish things

As a professional photo organiser, I want to stay informed about what’s out there. That can be new software and apps that keep popping up all the time, new hardware options etc. We all know how fast technology changes. So, I download these apps and programs to have a closer look and try them out.

More often than not, I decide that they are not something I can recommend to my clients but I don’t to get rid of the programs and clean it all up straight away. Hence, I’ve ended up with a few unused things on my various computers and from time to time I sit down and clean it all up. Which of course takes more time than it would if I always did it straight away.


Confession of a photo organiser 2



Confession #3 – I still have some old drives to declutter

Even though I’m pretty good at decluttering in general, I still have a couple of old external hard drives that hold photos. I know I’ve got these photos in the current collection but still want to have a look and double-check before I get rid of them.

All in all, it wouldn’t take much time really, but I keep procrastinating. Maybe I should follow our own advice that we share over at the DIY Photo Organising Podcast and in the guide ‘How to stop Procrastinating about your photos’.


Confession of a photo organiser 3



Confession #4 – I am outsourcing some of my personal scanning

I have personally digitised the majority of my own printed photos, but until very recently, there were still some left to do. They were mostly stuck in albums and I didn’t want to take them apart.

However, my podcast co-host and colleague Fiona from Photo Helper is specialising in scanning and I’ve outsourced that las part of the project to her. Best decision ever! Finally, I have the peace of mind that it’s all backed up and I can enjoy those photos so much more.


Confession of a photo organiser 4



Confession #5 – I am behind with photo book creation

One of my goals is to create annual photo books and also some others, especially from trips. Unfortunately, I’m years behind. Not all is bad though, the last 3-4 years are up to date because I found out how I need to trick myself to actually do it. Especially after trips.

What I do is setting a day aside to curate all those photos from the trip and to then create a photo book immediately after our return. Otherwise, life is just too busy, and it won’t get done. When I do this, I also had to learn that done is better than perfect. If for example a photo is missing from the book because it turns up later (something that usually doesn’t happen because my gathering process is very thorough), so be it. It’s not the end of the world.

My strategy to easily create an annual book is to monthly curate the new photos that keep coming in and to use a rating system. That way, it will be a matter of a few minutes at the end of the year to choose the photos for the yearbook and to create the book. This has worked great over the last 2-3 years, but I still want to do all those prior that time (more about that topic in my recent post about ‘How to create a photo book in 5 easy steps‘).


Confession of a photo organiser 5


Conclusion: Nobody is perfect …

As you can see, I’m far from perfect and neither is my photo collection. In my dreams I’d take a week or two off and get it all done and dusted. Maybe I should simply send hubby and the boys on a fishing holiday to have the place to myself to finally tackle it all!

If this feels familiar and you’re great at procrastinating about your photo projects, too, then check out our free guide ‘How to Stop Procrastinating about your Photos’ over at or simply book your free call with me here.





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