The wing of a United airplane appears in the center of the image. Some clouds are in the distance. A patchwork of land appears below, viewed from an airplane seat.

Photo Refuge Migration

This fall marks three years of Photo Refuge LLC.   It was almost one year ago that I announced the evolution from hands-on digitization to advising and coaching.  At that time, I did not know that a move from Virginia to Colorado was in my future.  My husband and I will be relocating to Denver in September 2019.  We are attracted by the proximity (a day’s drive) to multiple national parks, monuments, and forests.  We desire a city that is more walkable and bikeable, and while Colorado has its share of dry summer heat, we won’t miss Virginia’s humidity.  

A white canopy appears on the right side of the image, then blue sky above the Union Station signage in the center of the image. The lower third of the image is train tracks with no trains.
Denver’s Union Station train platform, July 2019.

I have enjoyed working with each of my clients and the variety of projects presented over the past three years, and I have come to appreciate how very time consuming photo organizing projects can be.  A new city will yield a plethora of things to explore, so I have decided to wrap up photo organizing work with clients.  

I have not had as much time as I would like to work on digitization of my own family materials, but I hope that will change when we relocate.  I do plan to maintain a Photo Refuge site and write about my experience digitizing, categorizing, and presenting a collection of family memories.  My sister has dubbed me the family historian, and it is time for me to live up to that designation.  I also intend to maintain a presence on LinkedIn.  

A wall in a lobby with 11 framed vintage photos, spread over 5 rows. All are black and white long prints.
The photo organizer had to stop and admire this display of vintage photos in an apartment lobby.

I am grateful to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) for training and sharing of best practices, to Richmond SCORE for business startup workshops and mentoring, and to all of the clients who entrusted their family memories to me (especially those who were first on board back in 2016).  Establishing and working at Photo Refuge LLC enabled me to transition from a 20-year career of forecasting, project management, and strategic planning to this next phase of my life in DEN (this open-air Summer DEN at the airport was a welcome respite after a week of move planning).

I don’t know what Colorado has in store for me and Kevin, but we are both comfortable with the uncertainty.  The move is exciting, even with all of the unknowns.  RVA has been good to us, and we will cherish the memories created there (many in photo form).  The move to CO is a deliberate decision, and that is what energizes us the most — building something new together and selecting a destination that aligns with the mutual interests we have developed after more than two decades together.  

A long, rectangular water fountain with about an inch of moving water shows the reflection of a taller building just north of it. You can see some columns and about five windows. A leaf is also visible in the water on the right.

Reflections on Photo Refuge

Photo Refuge was established a couple of years ago, and I have been reflecting on its evolution the past few months.  Not only does my personal business continue to evolve, but the photo organizing industry as a whole experiences frequent change.  Software, applications, services, products, and technologies – businesses that photo organizers depend upon – are constantly exiting and entering the market and modifying pricing and services.

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About 11 coffee capsules in a black container, upside down, varying colors.

Active Projects and Project Inquiries

After I introduce myself as a photo organizer, the next comment is typically something like, “So do you…?” Fortunately, the answer I provide is usually:  “Yes!” We digitize old media, sort printed photos, design photo books, organize digital photos, prepare slideshows, and more. Clients include families, photographers, and businesses – anyone desiring to preserve photographic history.   Continue reading