We Are a People of Stories: Wisdom on Saving Your Photos

APPO Members
Left to right: APPO Members Danielle Studer, Signe Pagel, Kristen Goodman, and Cathi Nelson.

We are just finishing up the filming of our second television episode of Family Pictures USA with our incredible host Thomas Allen Harris! We’ve enjoyed working with WGCU Public Media in Southwest Florida and have been meeting so many amazing families with incredibly diverse, rich stories and beautiful photographs to match! Check out our coverage in the Florida Weekly for a sneak peak on what’s in store.

During one of our photo-sharing events at the Heights Center in Fort Myers, Florida, we had the privilege of meeting Cathi Nelson, founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) as well as APPO members Signe Pagel, Danielle Studer and Kristen Goodman. APPO serves as an association that helps small businesses help others to save and organize their photographs. APPO helps to relive and preserve your best memorieswhich is exactly the passion that we hold here at Family Pictures USA!

We were thrilled to have them help in assisting many of the families and individuals and describing the various processes and importance of organizing, preserving and sharing family photographs. Signe, one of APPO’s photo organizers and founder of In-Focus Photo Solutions & Photography, recounts her first-hand experience working alongside Family Pictures USA in Florida, and shares some photo wisdom tidbits on how to preserve your precious memories!

We Are a People of Stories

Today, I had the privilege of spending the day with people who feel as passionate about preserving and sharing family photos as I do. The production team of Family Pictures USA was in Fort Myers to interview and videotape local individuals about their family stories for a three-part series which will be broadcast on the PBS network next summer.  Our local PBS affiliate, WGCU Public Media, provided a venue and staff to assist in leading the guests from one element of production to the next.  The producers invited Cathi Nelson, the founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) to attend today’s event, knowing that Cathi, APPO, and its members are passionate about preserving photos and helping families tell their stories through photos. Danielle Studer, Kristen Goodman, and I were there as APPO members in SW Florida to provide information to guests who seek tips about organizing, preserving, and sharing their photos.

Appo Members
Thomas Allen Harris with APPO Team Members. Photo courtesy of Anna Bejerano.

Twenty-five individuals or couples arrived for their appointments carrying photo albums, stacks of loose photos, framed family heritage prints, and memorabilia.  The event journey for each of them today would last approximately two hours as they moved to stations for make-up application, photography, document scanning, interview and videotaping, etc.  So, what did they do while waiting for their turn to be interviewed? Naturally, they told stories and shared their photos with the other guests and with those of us who were there to aid in the production of the event.

APPO Members
Photo Scanning Stations at our Fort Myers, Florida Event. Photo courtesy of Signe Pagel.

Here is some photo wisdom that was reinforced for us today as we watched and interacted with the guests and the Family Pictures USA production team. While today’s guests were using photos prints to tell their stories, most of this photo wisdom pertains to digital images as well.  Use this list to identify areas where you can strengthen your own family’s story and photo legacy.

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