Sunday, March 20, 2016

Meet our Sponsor: Preserving Your Heritage

Note from Jean: Today's interview is with Michele and Dorothy, Tour sponsors from Preserving Your Heritage

Jean: Michele and Dorothy, you represent Preserving Your Heritage. Before we get into your business, tell us first how you met and what led you to partner-up in this unique service?

Dorothy: Dorothy is a photographer, Michele is a family historian. We found the Association ofPersonal Photo Organizers (APPO) at a RootsTech conference. After learning more about the organization, we realized it was a perfect fit for us.

Jean: OK, let’s talk about the service. Your website – – tells us that you can help folks get those photos organized, including the ones that are in negative format or slides. Do people send you their materials of this type and you get them printed? What is the procedure (without giving away trade secrets, of course)?

Dorothy: Yes, we organize and preserve photos in any format- negatives, slides, printed, digital and even video. A typical project starts with a “getting to know you” session either over the phone or in person. We look at all of the boxes of photos, digital images, ephemera and keepsakes that you have. We listen to your goals for this collection-do you want organizing help, scanning, storage, digital photo books, digital art? Then we create a game plan to get you to your goals. We can help in whatever aspect you want from just creating the plan, serving as a coach and giving advice when you need it, doing some or most of the work for you, or taking away your chaos and sending back your images wonderfully organized.

Jean: Is there any hope for the box of un-labeled, un-dated photos? Do you handle those too?

Dorothy: Depends on what you are hoping for. We can help organize these photos either chronologically or thematically, using clues in the photos to help place them in the correct order. Then we can compare to other photos to see if we can help identify the people in them. There are Facebook pages and websites that try to help identify the people in the photos. We may have some luck in identifying the people but we may also end up with beautiful family photos that we know are family, we just don't know exactly who they are.

Jean: You offer some unique gift ideas. Tell our readers about some of the options they might like for birthday or other holiday gift giving.

Dorothy: Personalized photo gifts make some of the most meaningful and valued gifts. With the advances in photo technology, the options are endless. Your photos can be beautifully and professionally printed on almost anything- glass, aluminum, leather folios, phone cases, pillowcases, even bamboo! Of course paper, canvas and photo books are still an excellent option. There are an endless number of possibilities to get your photos into the hands and hearts of the people who will treasure them.

Jean:  But you don’t just offer to DO it for folks, you also have classes and workshops, including DIY retreats! Where are you located and how does one go about reserving a spot for one of these? How much advance notice is required?

Dorothy: We are located in Central North Carolina. We do offer workshops and classes to help people who have the desire to organize and preserve their photos but need help getting started. We also offer DIY sessions where individuals can bring their photos and use our high-speed scanning equipment to digitze their photos. You can contact us through our website – or by sending an email to In the next few months we will begin offering online photo organizing tutorials for those who are unable to travel to one of our workshops.

Jean:  You are members of the Association of Professional Photo Organizers (APPO). This is a new organization to me. Can you tell us a little about it, where it is headquartered, what sort of conferences they have? Some of our readers may be very interested in getting involved.

Dorothy: APPO is a professional membership organization that provides Personal Photo Organizers with training, support, and tools to help individuals and families manage their photo collections and preserve their life stories.

The organization was founded by Cathy Nelson as an answer to the growing need of our digital age to provide assistance with organizing an influx of digital photo memories, printed photos, media and memorabilia.

The APPO Conference & Expo is the only educational conference & expo for photo organizers in the world. The conference features dozens of small group and interactive workshops covering all aspects of the art and business of photo organizing.

Jean: Is there one thing that can be the most detrimental to our family photos? What can we do to prevent this?

Dorothy: Printed Photos – Improper storage, too hot, too cold, damp or humidity can destroy photos quickly. Prevent this by storing images in a cool, dry, dark place. Do not store your photos in the basement or the attic. Store your photos in archival safe folders, boxes or albums.
Digital images – For digital photos, not migrating them often enough or having proper back up and storage can be an issue. Check hard drives, flash drives and external hard drives periodically to be sure they are working. Migrate images to an external hard drive every couple of years. Be proactive, don’t wait until a disaster occurs to try to retrieve images. Follow the 3,2,1 philosophy – at least 3 copies on at least 2 different devices with at least 1 stored off-site.

 Jean: Thanks so much Michele and Dorothy!

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