Printing Press: 2018 APPO National Conference

Printing Press: 2018 APPO National Conference

Personal Photo Organizers Gather & Grow


More than 200 passionate and tech-savvy photo storytellers attended the 6th national conference of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 21–25, 2018.

The need for professional photo organizers has exploded over the past five years, as more and more people turn to professionals to help them manage their growing photo and video collections. These trained professionals help people make sense, and use, of those collections.

This year, 65 professionals attended the preconference intensives—a day and a half deep dive into one subject. The topics included How to Help Your Clients Emerge from Digital Photo Chaos to Business Foundations, the APPO Success Cycle.

In addition, 15 attended the first-ever Master Class. This program included an application process and was a gathering of the most experienced members of APPO. Moreover, they discussed hiring employees, opening retail locations and other challenges unique to their experience level.

Rachel and Andrew Niesen’s breakout session, Metadata Magic, Using Photo Mechanic and Lightroom ©Nick Kelsh

On Thursday afternoon, the remaining 135 attendees arrived and were able to choose from more than 16 breakout sessions. The topics were as diverse as Metadata Magic, Using Photo Mechanic and Lightroom; Photo Organizing with Apple Photos; Using Video to Tell Your Client’s Story; Scanning Photos with Your Digital Camera; Saving Kids’ Artwork; as well as Using SmugMug in Your Photo Organizing Business.

Jim Malcolm of Humaneyes Technologies, showcasing VR ©Nick Kelsh

During the main stage presentations, Jim Malcolm, the general manager of Humaneyes Technologies, showcased the future of imaging in his session: From 2D to 3D VR. The audience related immediately with the growing opportunities of connecting people with their past through virtual reality.

In addition, Peter Krogh, author of The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management series, talked about artificial intelligence in photo management. He shared his thoughts on the APPO community: “I go to a lot of photo-related conferences as well as trade shows. The APPO conference offers excellent programming on a wide variety of subjects. Frankly, I was impressed to find the depth and quality of information in a conference of this size. Moreover, it is highly professional and has a great sense of community.”

Peter Krogh discusses AI in photo management ©Nick Kelsh

In addition to main stage speakers and breakout sessions, the APPO incorporated their trade show into the conference. Companies such as Nixplay, Joy Album, Canon USA, Archival Methods, Hollywood Fotofix and the IPI – Member Network spent the weekend building partnerships with the photo organizers.

The Role of Personal Photo Organizers

Photo organizers are specialists who help people manage their growing photo collections. It is a personal process because the photos and videos are an entrée into peoples’ lives, important moments in their histories, like weddings, graduations, births, vacations, memorials. They are the moments people want to remember. The photo organizers teach clients how to curate as well as safeguard these collections. Some of the services photo organizers offer include:

•    Organizing digital images as well as videos
•    Key wording, editing and also photo restoration
•    Organizing printed photos and memorabilia
•    Creating traditional or digital photo albums
•    Creating video slideshows or video biographies
•    Scanning prints and slides
•    Converting outdated media into viewable formats
•    Creating one-of-a-kind photo gifts
•    Installing backup systems
•    Technology instruction/education
•    Family history research

appo-member-logoThe APPO’s annual educational conference has been growing year after year. Consequently, it is one of the cornerstones of the organization’s commitment to education and training. APPO is an association for small businesses who help people tame their photo chaos and create projects that enable them to relive and preserve their best memories. What they offer can either be a complement or integral to traditional services offered by photo specialty retailers.

Next year’s conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, March 27–30, 2019, in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Photo specialty retailers are welcome! Contact APPO founder Cathi Nelson at 860-904-5365 or for more information.