FAQ’s

Digital Services

Honestly? Nothing! That’s the best part! Bring your questions and we’ll work together to determine the best solution for you!  

If you have a scrapbook or photo management question, this is a way to get one-on-one assistance. If you are interested in photo organization, this is an opportunity to identify the best option for you: on your own, with my assistance, or full-service. I recognize that a professional photo organization session is a big investment, and I want my clients to have as much information as possible and a clear understanding of the process before they make a commitment.  

We will work together to set up a 2nd computer screen share meeting,  during which we will concurrently talk on the phone. The screen share  will enable me to install any necessary software and begin the process of consolidating your photos onto an external hard drive. You will receive an email including: a link to confirm our meeting time, screen share directions, and a link taking you to the client agreement and payment collection. Once the agreement has been reviewed and signed,  you will be charged the first $500 of the fee.  The agreement and payment needs to be completed prior to our 2nd meeting. 

After consolidating all of your photos onto an external hard drive, I will begin the process of removing duplicates, sorting into a simple year/month folder structure, and backing it all up to the cloud service of your choice. I will be in touch via text messaging throughout the entire process. My goal is for this to be as hands off as possible for you, but I may occasionally need you to sign-in or approve prompts on your end. Once the project is complete we will meet via screen share for me to show you the newly organized library and how to maintain it going forward. You will also receive an invoice for the remainder of the service fee (minus the initial $50 consult fee) to be paid within 15-days of receipt.

We will work together to determine a regular day and time for ongoing coaching sessions. I will email you a private event link from which you can book each session, enabling you to receive email and text reminders if desired. You can choose to meet with me weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I will invoice you on the last business day of the month for that month’s sessions.  

Using screen share software I will request permission to view your computer’s screen and control the mouse. This makes it possible for me to organize your photos remotely, no matter where you are in the world. You are in control of your computer at all times and can end the session if you choose. I am able to initiate downloads and start certain phases of the process during a screen share, but may occasionally need additional approval to access certain photo sources or install the software necessary for the organization process. Much of time the programs used can run in the ‘background’, allowing you to use your computer as usual. Other times I will need to be actively organizing your files and will contact you via text message to confirm availability of your computer. We can leave the screen share open to allow me to monitor the progress of the project and address any errors or notifications that appear. Alternately, if you prefer, we can close the meeting while waiting for the software to run during the stages that take the longest (parts of centralizing, duplicate search, automated sorting, and final back-up). We would be in contact via text message, so when that particular step is complete, I can open the meeting again to continue the process.

No problem! I can still organize your images for you. We would work together via screen sharing to gather and copy all of your images onto a new external hard drive, that you would mail to me to complete the organization process. We are very careful to leave your original photo sources intact to ensure your images are safe locally if something would happen to the external hard drive in transit. Once I have organized your library, we would ‘reverse’ screen share where I give you remote access to my computer to begin backing up your newly organized photo library to the cloud before I mail the external hard drive back to you. This ensures the organized library is safe in the cloud in case the external hard drive is damaged in transit. We would then have a short screen share session to walk you through your new library and teach you how to maintain it going forward.

Yes! I can still organize your images for you! We would work together via screen sharing to gather and copy all of your images onto a new external hard drive, that you would mail to me to complete the organization process. We are very careful to leave your original photo sources intact to ensure your images are safe locally if something would happen to the external hard drive in transit. Once I have organized your library, we would ‘reverse’ screen share where I give you remote access to my computer to begin backing up your newly organized photo library to the cloud before I mail the external hard drive back to you. This ensures the organized library is safe in the cloud in case the external hard drive is damaged in transit. We would then have a short screen share session to walk you through your new library and teach you how to maintain it going forward. 

It’s up to you! If you prefer to not complete the entire project remotely, we would still begin via computer screen sharing to gather and copy all of your images onto a new external hard drive. We could then arrange for in-person delivery of the drive for me to complete the organization process. We are very careful to leave your original photo sources intact to ensure your images are safe locally if something would happen to the external hard drive in transit. Once I have organized your library, we would ‘reverse’ screen share where I give you remote access to my computer to begin backing up your newly organized photo library to the cloud before you pick your external hard drive up. This ensures the organized library is safe in the cloud in case the external hard drive is damaged in transit. We would then have a short screen share session to walk you through your new library and teach you how to maintain it going forward. 

You will need to be available for 45-minute screen share during the initial consultation and then again for another 45-minute screen share at the end where I walk your through your photo library and ongoing maintenance. During the time in-between, I will communicate with you via text message. Once we have taken the steps to centralize your photos, I will text you to set up screen share access (it only takes a few minutes on your end) and I can work independently from there to complete the organization and back-up steps.

All of your digital images and videos will reside within a single Photo Library folder, with subfolders organized by Year and Month. If you have pre-existing organization in place (like event specific folders), I will do my best to keep that intact and merged into the final Photo Library. Please note that, depending on your original photo sources, I may discover a small number of photos missing the information telling us the date they were taken. Any images I am not comfortable filing by date will be contained in an ‘Unknown Dates’ folder. You can choose to leave them there or drag and drop into the correct month/year folder based on your knowledge of the image. Either way they are centralized and safely backed up.  

Digital files contain helpful information, including the date on which the image was created. I can use this information to sort your images into folders by year and month. Please be aware that depending on the image’s original source there may be instances when this create date is not an accurate representation of the image. Examples may include images captured by a camera whose date was not set correctly or some scanned images. Whenever possible, I will separate images with suspicious dates into an Unknown Dates folder for you to review at your convenience, comfortable in the knowledge that they are still safely backed up.

Every project is unique, but most are completed in 2 to 8 weeks, depending on the size and complexity of your photo library. Timing varies based on your current state of organization, the number of photos in your collection, the speed of your computer, and your internet strength.

That’s the goal! During the wrap up call I will demonstrate the simple maintenance steps and provide a written maintenance plan that you can reference as needed. Also, I offer Maintenance Sessions if you decide you would prefer for me to update your library in the future (but most clients don’t need them).

Example photo sources: phone(s), computer(s), external hard drive(s), existing cloud services such as Dropbox, One Drive, Amazon or Google. We will discuss your current photo storage situation during the initial consult, so we will know the exact sources we will be gathering photos from.

Due to the remote nature of this work, I will guide you through the transfer of photos from media including CDs, DVDs, and memory cards. Alternatively, you can mail them (or if local, drop-off) to me and I will digitize them onto a USB drive for you for $5 each. The USB drive can then easily be plugged into your computer to transfer the images to the external hard drive.

Yes, you will need to have an external hard drive, which allows us to centralize your photos into one location for organization and backup. At the end of the process this external hard drive will serve as one of the backups of your Photo Library.

While we may be able to use an external hard drive you currently own, depending on its capacity and age, I may recommend we use a new one. Usually, a 2 TB drive works well and costs around $60. This will be discussed during our initial consult.

Also, the majority of clients will need a subscription to a cloud based service (recommended: Amazon, Dropbox, OneDrive) if you do not have one already. Prices vary for each cloud service. If you choose to organized your Photo Library within Apple Photos, depending on your preferences, you may need to purchase additional software to complete the process.

For most clients, I recommend Amazon, One Drive, or Dropbox. They all allow for automatic uploads from your phone, store full size files, maintain the organized Photo Library folder structure, and make it easy to restore your library to your computer or external hard drive should either fail.  Depending on how you prefer to interact with and access your Photo Library, Backblaze is another possibility.

While it is possible to use iCloud, it can be very slow and is difficult to easily extract your organized library. It is also a sync, not a true backup, which can be confusing if you are viewing your images across multiple devices. 

While Google Photos and Google Drive are both popular cloud services, I don’t recommend them for this process. Google Photos, like iCloud, is a sync and does not make it easy to restore your organized Photo Library to your computer.  Google Drive does not offer automatic upload from your phone, and though it is a true backup (not a sync) and does maintain the Photo Library folder structure, it has limited photo search functionality. 

You can certainly continue to use iCloud and Google, but this means they would not be the primary hub for managing your complete Photo Library. If there are other cloud services you are interested in, I am happy to discuss!

Not a problem! We would want to ensure that your organized photo library is stored on at least two different forms of media; if you are not using a cloud service that would likely be a computer and at least one external hard drive. It would be important to store a copy of your photo library off-site. This would keep your images safe in case of catastrophic damage to your home.  

Nope! When our photos are strewn across multiple devices and storage systems it can be hard to know where to start. Once your photos are centralized into an organized library, it is much easier to make a plan for removing unwanted images. Plus, you have peace of mind knowing your images are safely backed up in the meantime.

The screen share is a private, locked meeting. You authorize the screen share each time in order for me to access your computer. When you close the screen share program, I no longer have access to your computer. You are always able to watch me work and see everything that I do. If at any time you need to close the screen share (to take a Zoom call or pay some bills online), you can! 

Also, I take multiple precautions to protect your images. We will leave the original image sources intact whenever possible, working with copies of the images. Once everything has been consolidated, I will make ANOTHER copy of the centralized images on the external hard drive to revert to if an issue would arise during the organization process. This would be a rare occurrence, but it offers peace of mind that no matter where we are in the process, your images are secure.

The system I follow makes a point of leaving your digital files on their original source. I will copy and paste the files onto an external hard drive for the organization process. Once everything has been consolidated, I will make ANOTHER copy of the centralized images on the external hard drive to revert to if an issue would arise during the organization process. This would be a rare occurrence, but it offers peace of mind that no matter where we are in the process, your images are secure.

True duplicates are removed using software, going beyond file names to analyze images by file size, dimensions, date, and type.  After the program runs I spot check flagged images to ensure they are truly duplicates before removal. 

Please note It is possible that depending on the file data some duplicates may remain. For example, if two images are technically duplicates, but have drastically different file sizes (such as full resolution + low resolution versions) the software may not flag them as true duplicates. Once the project is complete, if you continue to find these types of duplicate images and would like to do additional clean-up on your own, I am happy to demonstrate how the duplicate software works and advise on suggested settings. You can then run the program at a lower matching level, which would pull images for you to quickly and easily review. I can install the software on your computer at no additional charge.  

I will not be making subjective decisions about the ‘best’ image from a group of similar images. 

 

Your privacy is very important to me. As I’m organizing your photos it is mostly about software and file names, not the images themselves. I spot check duplicates or anything without a date. I will see some of your photos but not the majority. If I do find anything of a sensitive nature I will move it into a separate folder for your review so it will not be uploaded to your cloud service.

Because the unthinkable can happen. Natural disasters. Fires. Tech failure. Wouldn’t you rather have peace of mind knowing these irreplaceable images are safe off-site?

Scanning & CD/DVD Conversion

You book your project from my website, completing a short intake form at that time with information about the project.  Within 1-2 business days I will email you a service agreement to review and sign, along with packing instructions for mailing me your items to scan or convert. You ship them to me and I take care of the rest! 

Once complete I will email you an invoice based on the number of items digitized. After payment has been received, I mail back a USB drive containing digital copies of your items, as well as the items themselves (if desired).

There is no deposit to get started. You will pay to ship the items to me. I scan them and invoice you when the project is complete. I will pay return shipping to you.

It’s up to you! If you live in the Des Moines, Iowa area we can make arrangements to drop off your items in person. 

It’s up to you! On the Project Form you’ll indicate if you want me to return the original items in addition to the digital files.

The digital files are returned on a standard USB flash drive. One is included with each scanning project at no charge. If you’d like additional flash drives (a copy for other family members, for example) I charge is $10 each for most projects. 

I create a digital folder structure that matches the physical organization as you have sent it to me. For example, if your photos are organized into envelopes labeled by year, I will create digital folders that match those years; each envelope will become its own digital folder.

No organization is required for this project, but any organizing you have, I will match digitally.

Please note that while the file name itself will match the organization as you have sent it, the scanned image’s ‘create date’ will be the date it is actually scanned. I can correct the create date to the actual date of the image if provided (or whatever approximation you wish) for an additional fee of $50/hour, billed in 15-minute increments.

I aim to create a digitized image of the physical item that is as close to the original as possible. I do not offer restoration or editing services. 

If you’re nervous about shipping, I recommend sending items to me in smaller batches. You don’t need to put everything in one box at the same time! It can also be helpful to add a small amount of insurance when shipping, as this can increase the care with which your package is handled by the shipping company .

Of course! I can digitize prints, negatives, slides, and oversized items, up to 12×12. You can send me all of it!

Unfortunately, the answer to this one is no. I do not digitize video, but I am happy to make recommendations for trusted conversion services!

Albums

A 10×10 hardcover photo book with lay-flat, luster photo collage style pages. You have the option of sending me only the photos you would like included, or for an additional fee, send them all and I will choose for you! The annual year book includes up 400 images over 70 pages, while the theme/event album includes up to 100 images over 20 pages. Additional pages can be purchased if needed (the album holds a max of 100 pages). Upgrades for paper type and additional cover options are available as well. If you are interested in more options, please contact me with the details and I will get you a quote!

After purchase, look for an email within 1-2 business days containing instructions for uploading your photos (between 100 to 400 photos depending on album type) to a private shared folder.  I will design your book and share a first draft with you. This gives you an opportunity to provide text and request changes. Once the requested changes have been made, I will send you another proof of the completed album for approval. Once approved, the album will be shipped to you!

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