News & Updates Archives | The Family Photo Keeper by Fancy's Photo Solutions
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I’m sure you have questions when you consider purchasing something. Especially something new. Something you can’t see or try out privately. Like my Virtual Family Photo Keeper Workshops. So I wrote this article to answer all your questions.

This is my helping service, and I’m naturally biased. So I’ve tried to make this as unbiased as possible so you can make an informed purchasing decision. After all, you don’t want to buy something that isn’t right for you. And I don’t want that either. I want super happy clients.

So have a look at my blog post below to see if the Virtual Family Photo Keeper Workshops are right for you.

What are Virtual Family Photo Keeper Workshops?

The Workshops are a dedicated time each month where family photo keepers can get together on Zoom while they work on their photo memory collections in the comfort of their own homes.

What’s included in the Workshop?

Accountability, community, and fun! In addition, you’ll have open access to me, a Professional Photo Manager, as well as other participants. You can ask questions, bounce ideas around, and get help as you need it.

How much do the Workshops Cost?

The Workshops cost $6 per event. The Workshops run for 8.5 hours, although you are not obligated to stay the whole time. But if you do, you’re paying less than $1/hour for all the help and company you need while you make progress on your photo management goals.

If you’re lucky, you may win the random drawing held at each Workshop to get your next one for free.

Why does the Workshop cost $6?

I believe it is so important that people get their photo memory collections in order. Both so they can enjoy them now, and also so they can leave a meaningful collection for future generations. And I’d like to help as many people as possible to do this. That’s why it’s so very cheap, about the price of a decadent Starbucks drink.

Is there a refund policy?

I do not offer refunds on Workshops. However, if you find, after you’ve registered, that you cannot attend, I will send you a coupon code that will allow you to register for one of the next three workshops for free. So there’s nothing to lose. I will apply your entire fee to a future workshop.

Who are the Workshops for?

The Virtual Family Photo Keeper Workshops are not for everyone, and I only want you to sign up if it will help you meet your own photo management goals. Past participants have worked on many projects: sorting, culling, organizing, inventorying, scanning, scrapbooking, creating photo books and more. Some work with printed photos while others work with digital photos. Whatever your photo memory collection needs is a perfect activity for the Workshops.

This is for you IF:

  • You know you need to deal with your photo memory collection, but you struggle to get started, or to keep going.
  • You enjoy visiting with other family photo keepers – sharing stories, photos, ideas and more.
  • You want to get started but worry you won’t know where to start or what to do first, and you’d like some help.
  • You’re willing to commit some time to meeting your photo management goals.

This is NOT for you if:

  • You don’t want to do the work.
  • You plan to leave it all for your kids to figure out.
  • You’re not interested in creating a collection that would be meaningful for future generations.
  • You already know all the answers and figure you’ll get to it “someday.”

Will this work for my Situation?

This will work for you if you have photo memories that need to be brought up to date, organized, preserved, celebrated or shared. Participants have worked on many projects: sorting, culling, organizing, inventorying for media conversion, scanning, scrapbooking and more. Some work on printed photos while others work on digital photos.

How Often Do the Workshops Occur?

The Workshops occur once per month, on the 4th Saturday of the month. However, my goal is to serve those who want the help, so I am open to discussing different options and dates.

How long are the Workshops?

They run from 12 noon Mountain Time until 8:30 pm MT. You do not have to stay for the entire time. I do it this way so that people with busy Saturday schedules or who live in different time zones can catch at least a couple hours each time.

Who leads the Workshops?

I do (Fancy), although they are very informal. We all work on our own projects, and I answer questions and teach processes as needed.

Do I have to leave my camera and mic on while I’m working?

You do whatever makes you most comfortable. Some people leave their camera on, others turn it off, and others have it on most of the time, but may turn it off while eating. As for the mic, we tend to leave those on, unless there is a lot of background noise. But there are no rules either way.

How do I access the Workshops?

Once you register for a workshop, you’ll receive a Zoom link will for the day of the workshop. You may also save the date to an online calendar. In addition, I send out a reminder email that morning with the Zoom link included as I’ve had some software glitches recently. Email me if you have any problems, and we’ll straighten it out.

Why Were the Workshops Created?

Previously in my business I offered in-person Workshops and Classes in my home. In the early 2000s the focus was on scrapbooking and organizing printed photos. As technology changed I added digital organizing and scrapbooking. And, as the scrapbooking market waned, I met more and more people who just needed help doing anything at all with their outdated photo memory collections, including people who lived no where near me. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed me to start offering Virtual Workshops so that I can help as many people as possible.

What results can I expect?

You can expect to make progress on your photo management goals. You can expect empathy and kindness from me and the other Family Photo Keepers. And there are other benefits as well. You can read about them here.

How Do I sign up?

If you’re interested in joining us, you can sign up here or by clicking the button below. Scroll down about halfway that page to Upcoming Events and choose which Workshop to attend.

What’s next?

I look forward to helping you with your photo memories! And if you still have questions, go ahead and click the button below. There’s a Message Me button in the upper left part of the page.

I used to offer only one way to preserve your photos for future generations. But as technology and life changed, I now offer multiple photo solutions in order to meet every unique need.


I’ve been offering photo solutions for almost 20 years and in that time I’ve worked with some amazing clients. Also over that time technology changed, life changed, and the ways in which I can help people has changed.

For those of you who don’t know my story, I thought I’d break it down for you below. Whoever you turn your photo memories over to gets to peek into your life. Isn’t it worth you getting a peak into the life of the person peeking at yours?

I think so.

The Beginning Before the Beginning

Long before I started my photo solutions business I was an early childhood educator for many years. I loved my students, like any good teacher does. And I was constantly taking pictures of them working in the classroom. This was in the days of film cameras. I always ordered duplicates so I could keep one set for myself and use the other set to create construction-paper books of our classroom activities for the children to “read.” I made sure to print their names in the books and to place short captions under each picture. I would also write longer stories about their activities which they would ask me to read out loud. And sometimes I would have them tell me the stories and I would write THEIR words down about the photos.

Then I had my daughter, Robyn, in 1990. As much as I loved my students, I really wanted to be with her, my only child. When she was 1-1/2 years old I was able to be a stay-at-home mom while offering child care for other children. Again I took lots of pictures and made lots of books for the children. They loved them, and I knew it was good for their self esteem as well as pre-reading skills.

I Found A Solution

In 1994 I attended a Creative Memories class where I learned about scrapbooking. I felt I’d found the holy grail because I had a 5-drawer dresser crammed full of photos in the store envelopes by this time. Not just the four years of Robyn’s life, but the nine years of marriage before she was born. And all my students, of course.

Scrapbooking – the way it was taught in the class – was about writing down the stories that went with the photos. Yes, there were stickers and colored paper and I cut photos into all kinds of crazy shapes. But the focus was on journaling the stories so that they would never be forgotten. In fact, we didn’t even call them scrapbooks then – we called them photo albums. In any case, I found a way to turn my construction paper creations into something just as meaningful, but better designed and longer lasting.

Open scrapbook showing family photos from Father's Day and Family Camp

A page from one of my scrapbooks

 

One month after attending the Creative Memories class my mother suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, was in a coma for 3 weeks, and then died. This devastated my father. He opened up a closet and showed me at least 10 paper grocery sacks filled with photos still in their store envelopes. He asked me to make something for the memorial service, so I used my new skills and tools to create a display showing photos of my mother from childhood until shortly before her death. I received many heartfelt comments on it from the attendees of the service.

Scrapbooking Created Community

One of the best things that came out of the scrapbooking era was community. My Creative Memories consultant would hold workshops, and for a small fee we could gather together in her home to work on our albums. I made new friends, I learned new techniques from other scrappers as well as the consultant, and I got away from my own duties at home for a short while. We didn’t all have the same values, but we all valued our families and the photos we took of them. I loved being part of this community where, together, we celebrated our memories.

Changes in the Scrapbooking Industry

When I first started scrapbooking the only places I could get the photo-safe supplies I needed was from my Creative Memories Consultant. Sometimes I could find equivalent supplies in stationary stores, but not often. Within a couple years, though, I found scrapbooking supplies in hobby stores, department stores, and in little scrapbooking stores popping up all over the place.

At first I was elated with so many new designs to consider. But as time went on I realized that most of the supplies that the stores were selling took the focus off the photos and stories and put it on the decorations, and that just didn’t appeal to me. In addition, the quality of the supplies was not always good. While Creative Memories supplies all met ISO standards for photo safety and their albums were guaranteed for life, what was sold in the stores did not meet these standards. I ended up giving everything I’d purchased to Robyn to use as art supplies.

I Started My Business

In 2002 we moved from Silicon Valley to a semi-rural part of New Mexico. Later that year I decided to become a Creative Memories Consultant. We had homeschooled in California, but Robyn wanted to go to school to make friends, so I started a business to make friends. She only lasted at school for 6 months, but I continued in the business. I just took her with me when I was teaching classes and running workshops until I felt comfortable leaving her at home for several hours..

My background in teaching found a new home my business. I loved teaching people not only how to scrapbook, but how to organize their photos, how to create beautiful – but not overbearing – enhancements for their photos, and the importance of journaling their stories for future generations. I’ve always been good with computers, so as technology changed, I taught them how to organize their digital photos as well, and how to create photo books. Although I sold and taught digital scrapbooking software, my focus was always on the stories first.

The Photo Solutions Market Changed

By 2013 Robyn had graduated from college and was out of the house, and I was working full time in early childhood education again and running my business as a side hustle. I barely had time to scrapbook myself, although I still held monthly workshops for my clients. This was my life, but this increase in busy-ness was more widespread than just my life. Mark Mizen, formerly the Technology Director for Creative Memories, reported that according to Google Trends, scrapbooking searches declined by around 70% between the peak in 2005-2006 to 2013.

In June of that year Creative Memories announced they were leaving the scrapbooking market and focusing on quick albums. Around the same time I stumbled across The Association of Personal Photo Organizers Facebook Page (now called The Photo Managers). Through research, I learned that there were many other ways I could use my skills and knowledge to help people with their photos and memories. I joined the organization in August and attended my first annual convention in Dallas in February 2014. I was so excited to start offering expanded services while still helping my scrapbooking clients.

And Then My Life Changed

The next month I travelled to California to take care of my dad when he got pneumonia (he had COPD). I stayed a week, got him back on his feet, and returned to New Mexico and to my job. A month later I was back in California, and I spent the next 5 months caring for him until he passed. And then I spent the rest of that year and half of 2015 dealing with his two properties and all that stuff that grown kids get to deal with when their parents die. He never remarried and in 20 years of being a widower he had accumulated a LOT of junk.

And those 10 grocery sacks of photos were still waiting for me in the closet. Along with lots of thumb drives, a cell phone, several computers, and more.

boxes of computer junk

My Dad’s stash of junk

Finally: All the Photo Solutions

In November 2014 Creative Memories returned to its scrapbooking roots when Caleb Hayhoe purchased it. His previous company had sourced Creative Memories’ imported products for many years. And I launched the new version of my business in July 2015. Since then I’ve continued to support my scrapbooking clients while offering other photo solutions to those who need them.

Through working full time and taking time to care for family, I never lost the commitment I have to the importance of family and family stories, especially for children. There is so much research out there that shows the benefits of printed photos and family stories on children’s emotional development. And, as a former teacher, I believe there’s an academic benefit as well.

I no longer teach, and there are no grandchildren on the immediate horizon. Although I miss having young ones in my life, now I love teaching other family photo keepers how to organize and preserve their family memories because even though we may not all have the same values, we all value our families, our family photos, and the stories they tell.

My big goal is to help everyone I can with outdated photo media – whether you want Do-It-Yourself training or Done-For-You Services – so you can celebrate their memories now as well as leave a meaningful collection for future generations.

What This Means for You

So now you know my story, I’m sure you can see why I’m so passionate about what I do. I want to change the world for the better, one family at a time. These days, I offer so many photo solutions because everyone’s collection is different and everyone has different needs and goals. I want to be able to help as many people as possible celebrate their memories in their own way.

If you found my story interesting, why not stick around and read some of my other articles.

I’d also love to chat about how I might be able to help you, too.

Click this button to book a free call at a time that suits you. No hard sell. Just a chance to talk about your collection and your goals.

 

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