Photos Tell Stories

Cathi Nelson, APPO, photos

“For me the end goal is always to help people tell a story with their photos. I realized in the process of helping my clients do that, if they couldn’t find their photos and they didn’t know where they were, they couldn’t even get to that next step.”  Cathi Nelson founded The Association of Personal Photo Organizers which aims to help clients organize important family traditions and memories that are captured through pictures.


Cathi Nelson, Treasured Memories Through Photos

A picture paints a thousand words, but a group of pictures tells stories of memories and traditions that are treasured in our minds. In the fast paced development of technology the number of pictures taken has more than doubled and more memories are being captured every minute of every day through our handheld devices. The storage of digital memories has become more complicated, especially with the advent of the cloud. Many memories are wasted because of unorganized pictures.


photos, APPOCathi Nelson has formed a group of professionals who specialize in photo organizing called the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). Photo organizing, creates a story and helps relay the story with the digital or printed memories. Organizing pictures lets you see the life story behind the photos and help pass those memories and stories on to another person. According to Cathi, “We take photos chronologically, but we live thematically; in other words we live through our family stories and traditions a lot of times.”


One of Cathi’s favorite quotes is from Ursula Le Guin: “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel but there have been no societies that did not tell a story.” Says Cathi, “I believe the reasons we take photos is to tell the stories of our lives. Our photos connect us to the past, present and future. The problem is often folks are too overwhelmed with their photos, they don’t know where to begin and they feel overwhelmed by the organizational process. I created the ABC’S of photo organizing to help.” Cathi shares an easy way to sort through both electronic and physical pictures call the ABC method that anyone can do. She explains how to document your family stories: “It’s okay to create the story, to tell the story, to set it up; and then use photos as a prop to document your story.”


Take Home Message

  • There are different methods of organizing photos which can enrich the memories and stories of family and friends. Cathi’s ABC method is in her free download: Ultimate Guide to Photo Organizing
  • If you’re interested in a career helping people tell stories with photos, Cathi has a free e-book which is available at called “Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Photo Organizer.”



Free Download: Does Your Scrapbook Have a Story Arc?

Does Your Scrapbook Have a Story Arc?


About: Cathi Nelson

Cathi Nelson founded the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) as an answer to the growing challenge of our digital age – an easy solution for organizing printed photos, digital photos, videos and everything in between. Some five million photos are taken every day and in a world where technology and camera shutters move too quickly for people to catch up, families and organizations find it increasingly difficult to sort through, organize and preserve precious memories. APPO provides a solution by connecting trained small business owners with clients who require photo organizing services. Today, APPO serves hundreds of members throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. As a pioneer of the growing photo-life management industry, Cathi has spoken at various industry conferences and has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic Magazine, Success Magazine, Wall Street Journal and Better Homes and Garden.






Write of Your Life, Life Story, Memoir, photos

Facebook Page: The Photo Organizers

Twitter:  @cathinelson or @PhotoOrganizers

LinkedIn: Cathi Nelson 

Pinterest: PhotoOrganizers

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