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Lisa Winningkoff

Meet A Photo Organizer: Lisa Winningkoff of Photos | Stories | Legacies

I’m Lisa Winningkoff, a wife, mother of two young adults, CPA, and professional photo organizer based in New Orleans. After working in a corporate role for more than 25 years, my position was eliminated as the result of a merger. Rather than mourn that loss, I looked at the experience as a gift that allowed me to design the next chapter of my life.

I knew I wanted to do something fun and creative that will delight others while making the most of my skills and background. I have been organized since childhood, and I really enjoyed creating photo albums of family vacations. It didn’t take long for me to realize that helping others preserve, share, and enjoy their photos was a dream come true. My next chapter had arrived.

As a professional photo organizer, I create libraries of memories to share and enjoy by managing lifetime collections of photos and stories. Most clients I work with have two main goals: (1) to know that their photos and memories are safe; and (2) to be able to enjoy and share them in a variety of ways. That might mean beautiful photo albums, lovely framed prints, or a digital display of their favorite moments. It’s so rewarding to see a client’s anxiety transform into relief and joy when they get the chance to see and appreciate their photos. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Since photo organizing as a career and an industry is relatively new, I had a lot to learn. I turned to trusted advisors Sherra Humphreys and Rita Norton from PPO Studio to help me hit the ground running. In addition to being trainers and business coaches, they are active professional photo organizers with VIP clients, making them an excellent resource of information. Their training proved to be invaluable in enhancing my business and technical skills.

What’s your favorite holiday photo? Can you tell us the story behind it?

One of my favorite holiday photos is of my sister and me on Christmas Eve in 1972. Christmas is such a magical time of the year, especially when you’re a child. At the time, I was five and my sister was three. There we were, standing in front of the tree in matching dresses and jumpers (and matching shoes and socks!) that our mother made for us. New Orleans weather in December is famously unpredictable—some years it’s freezing, and other years you need air conditioning to survive. It must have been on the warm side in 1972, because we were wearing short sleeves, above-the-knee dresses, and no tights.

What I like most about this vintage photo is the innocence and anticipation on our faces. If you look closely, you can see that there are few gifts under the tree. This indicates our eagerness to get on with Christmas Eve and go to sleep so that Santa could visit our home in the middle of the night to deliver our gifts. As soon as we’d wake up the next day, we’d jump out of bed, wake up our parents far too early, and rush to the tree to see what was under it.

Much has changed since 1972, but seeing this photo makes me pause, reminisce, and appreciate how sweet it is to hold on to that magical feeling.

That’s such a lovely story! We hope you’ve been able to share it on your Nixplay Frames.

Yes, and I absolutely love my Nixplay frames! I have one on my office desk and another in our living room. Sometimes when I’m working, a fun photo of my children will pop up on the frame and catch my eye. I’ll stop what I’m doing and take a little break to smile and enjoy the memories. Sometimes, if it’s a particularly silly photo, I’ll even laugh out loud.

What I love about the Nixplay frames is how the transition from one photo to the next grabs your attention in a way that a static framed photo does not. If I see a favorite photo when I walk through the living room, five or ten minutes can easily pass while I stand there just watching the show.

As a pro photo organizer, I really appreciate that I can manage the Nixplay frames remotely for my clients. I would create customized playlists for different family gatherings and occasions, and they would always attract a small crowd. One client experienced a death in her family, and she was planning a gathering at her home following the funeral. She called me to gather some photos of her loved one, but she was clearly distraught with grief and overwhelmed with everything else going on. So I told her I would handle this for her.

She was concerned it would take too long or be too much trouble, but in less than 30 minutes I was able to search her organized photo collection, select the best photos of her loved one, create a playlist, and publish it to her frame. I texted her to check if the photos were displaying, and she cried tears of joy. She was so happy to have a loving display that the rest of her family could enjoy, and I was happy to have helped her at such a difficult time.

Inevitably, people are drawn to the frames to see photos that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to view. It really is such a fun and flexible way to enjoy your photos!

appo photo organizers conference

Wine, Friendship, and Photo Organizing: What You Can Expect at the 7th National Photo Organizing Conference

Nixplay is in New Mexico to join one of our long-term partners, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO), in celebrating their Seventh National Photo Organizing Conference. We talked to APPO founder Cathi Nelson to give us some insights on how this event can open up opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping people tell their stories through photos and videos.

Please tell us about APPO.

Cathi Nelson: APPO is a professional organization that provides community, education, access to quality products, and entrepreneurial business knowledge to support the growth and success of professional photo organizers.

What can people expect for this year’s annual conference?

Cathi Nelson: APPO’s National Conference is the only educational conference for photo organizers in the world. The conference features dozens of small group and interactive learning workshops, led by an impressive collection of passionate experts and certified photo organizers. We cover all aspects of the art and business of photo organizing, with topics focused on photo organizing techniques, skill development, client management, pricing and profitability, and marketing and sales.

We’re excited to offer an educational lineup that meets the needs of today’s astute photo organizer. We proudly partner with top-quality sponsors and vendors, eager to support the growing field of photo organizing with a marketplace designed to showcase leading-edge products and services.

What has happened over the course of 10 years?

Cathi Nelson: Ten years ago, being a photo organizer was not a profession. Today, we have over 700 members in eight countries. We have been featured in countless news articles, podcasts, and blogs, including The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, The Wall Street Journal, and Real Simple. Our members have helped thousands of clients preserve their memories, especially after fires and floods.

How has Nixplay helped you achieve your goals as an organization?

Cathi Nelson: Nixplay is an amazing partner to photo organizers. They provide quality products and support the work of independent business owners. Nixplay frames offer photo organizers the option to return a client’s digitized collection to them in a unique way, giving all family members the joy of seeing photos from the past and connecting them with memories happening at the moment. Part of our mission as an organization is to connect our members with quality products to help them in their work, and Nixplay has been the perfect partner.

What are your future plans for APPO?

Cathi Nelson: We envision APPO to grow to thousands of professional photo organizers as the need for our services increases. APPO is built around the values of mutual support, shared success, and giving back. Cooperation, not competition, will help us grow into the future.

What’s your advice for Nixplay Smart Frame owners who might still be struggling to digitize and organize their photos?

Cathi Nelson: We have two resources for those who want to Do It Themselves. The first is my book, Photo Organizing Made Easy, available on Amazon.

We also just launched two online courses with great reviews, Printed Photo Organizing Made Easy and Digital Photo Organizing Made Easy, which you can purchase separately or as a bundle. The courses take you through the step by step process, developed by professional photo organizers.

Interested in the business and art of photo organizing? You can learn more about APPO by visiting www.appo.org or their Online Academy.

Cathi Nelson, author of Photo Organizing Made Easy; Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, is the leader of a global photo organizing movement. A cutting-edge entrepreneur and speaker, in 2009 she founded The Photo Managers, the leading organization serving entrepreneurs through training, a professional certification program, best practices, and a code of ethics that sets high standards for the rapidly growing photo management industry. She’s built a worldwide community and organization around supporting people in creating thriving businesses doing work they love. She’s been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Real Simple Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal about how to organize and preserve the legacy of your family heritage through photos.

appo photo organization course

Looking For A Better Way To Organize Your Photos?

Are you overwhelmed with your growing photo collection? Are your digital images and videos scattered over various devices and in different locations? Google Photos, Amazon Photos, One Drive, Flickr, DropBox, Smug Mug, iCloud Photos, DVD’s, CD’s, old computers, memory cards, and flash drives; it’s no wonder people struggle with finding and viewing their favorite photos.

Technology has made the process of connecting with our family photos very difficult. Somedays it can feel like you need a master’s degree in technology.

But don’t worry—help has arrived! The Association of Personal Photo Organizers has spent months compiling years of knowledge into two easy-to-follow courses designed to take you step-by-step through the organizing process.

appo blog photo organization courses

Digital Photo Organizing Made Easy is an in-depth course with easy to follow video tutorials, handouts, resource guides, and a private Facebook group. You will learn how to find, organize and consolidate your images & videos into one manageable library so you can easily access, share and backup your most important memories.

Need help with those boxes of printed photos and home movies? Then you’ll love our second course, Printed Photo Organizing Made Easy. This course also has a private Facebook group and over 2.5 hours of instruction that takes you step-by-step through the process of organizing (and digitizing) your printed photos, memorabilia, old media, and home movies.

If organizing your photos is on your to-do list, then now is the time to invest in learning and completing your photo organizing project!

Cathi Nelson, author of Photo Organizing Made Easy; Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, is the leader of a global photo organizing movement. A cutting-edge entrepreneur and speaker, in 2009 she founded The Photo Managers, the leading organization serving entrepreneurs through training, a professional certification program, best practices, and a code of ethics that sets high standards for the rapidly growing photo management industry. She’s built a worldwide community and organization around supporting people in creating thriving businesses doing work they love. She’s been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Real Simple Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal about how to organize and preserve the legacy of your family heritage through photos.


4 Ways To Relive Your Memories

This article was originally posted at thephotoorganizers.com.

What’s the best way to go back in time? 

The way we recall important events is dictated by our senses: What we saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted. These memories, more often than not, become less reliable with the passage of time.

As such, it’s vital that we find ways to preserve them. The year 2019 is just beginning but, surely, some of us would experience an important milestone sooner than later. We all have a sentimental side that tells us it would be great if we could revisit the memory of the birth of our first child, our daughter’s walk down the aisle, or even last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Since we don’t have time machines yet, what can we do to go back to our fondest memories?

Weave your story

For writers, the best way to immortalize memories is through the written word. No wonder memoirs are such a hit! However, the pitfall for some biographies is their inability to keep things consistent. We live in moments and, sometimes, it’s beguiling to leave them fleeting and unrecorded.

Services like StoryWorth could help you when you’re in a writing slump. They send weekly prompts for you to reflect on, similar to how a writing community operates. Each week, you get to share these with your family. You wouldn’t even notice how these granular snippets have turned into a beautifully bound keepsake book with a year’s worth of stories!

Print a photobook


This one is a no-brainer. One of the most common ways to experience memories is by sifting through printed photos of your younger days. Even better to pore over are photo albums published with a touch of creativity. Some go for the traditional design of scrapbooks. Others, in this digital age, prefer to use publishing software tools like Blurb’s Bookwright. Bookwright is free and easy to use for laying out and editing your first photobook project. And if you’re out of design ideas, the software also has templates for beginners to get those creative juices flowing.

Scan your old photos

What may be a reverse approach to the first two points is to digitize your memories. Remember those photos from the ‘80s inside your treasure box that you kept safe at the back of your cabinet? Those pictures deserve to see the light of day again. However, placing them in a photo album might mean eventually shelving them again.

By digitizing your photos, you have a way to easily access them on your phone, computer, or even your digital frame. Take advantage of apps like Photomyne, which allows you to quickly scan dozens of photos with just a tap on your phone. These photos will then be backed up on the app’s cloud base, granting you easy access to your most important memories wherever you are in the world.

Display your memories on a digital frame

digital frame

Remember the photos you scanned earlier? How about all those photos long buried in your social media feed? Digitizing your photos is one, but it’s another to share them with your families and friends. Fortunately, it’s now possible to display all these with a digital smart frame like the Nixplay Seed Wave.

Music has an uncanny ability to trigger specific memories. There are times when you’d hear a tune and remember a special moment you shared with your loved ones. With its 2×5 watt Bluetooth speakers, the Nixplay Seed Wave can now enhance your memories with playlists of the songs you love.

Overall, there are various ways by which you can relive your best moments. But perhaps the outcome isn’t really the point. Whether it’s a photo book, a memoir, or a slide display of your scanned photos on your digital frame, what should really matter is your renewed appreciation for the moments that defined you, kindled by the process of preserving the highlights of your life.

Bea is Nixplay’s Social Media Manager. She enjoys drinking coffee, reading about wars, and writing stories. Send her a message at beatrice.bisais@nixplay.com.


Meet A Photo Organizer: Marianne Behler of Lifetime Photo Solutions

We talked to Marianne Behler, the woman behind Michigan-based Lifetime Photo Solutions. Marianne’s in the business of helping people make sense of their photo collections, meticulously going through hundreds of images to determine which captured memories are worth keeping and preserving. In this exclusive interview, Marianne reveals how she became a photo organizer, shares some of her most notable projects, and gives some advice for folks who’d like to start organizing their own photos.

Marianne Behler

Marianne Behler

What made you decide to become a Photo Organizer?

I became a Photo Organizer and a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) after reading about and immediately contacting Cathi Nelson, who started APPO in 2010. Coincidently people were asking me to organize their photos, digitize their photos, organize their digital photos, and create photo books for them. People love their children and their families; they love taking photos and sharing their stories. But they have no idea how to do it, combined with little time and a sense of urgency.

I converse with people about their photos, their life, and what they might wish to do with their photo collection—their vision. The client I best serve has a lifetime of photos, possibly even of their parents, grandparents, and generations beyond. They are in shoeboxes and bins, in no particular order. Some are in albums of all types, [some are in] old scrapbooks or newer scrapbooks that they now want to reduce in number. They have digital photos on cameras, phones, and other devices. They want something created for their children and grandchildren that will highlight the best of the best of their photos and the stories that make them special—their legacy.


organized photo scrapbook

A sample of Marianne’s work

First, I complete a photo assessment of their photo collection, taking pictures and making notes. I prepare a report which includes my recommendation for phases to complete their work—organizing and scanning printed photos is typically the first phase. And that is where a Nixplay frame comes in! Because the sorting, organizing and digitizing of a photo collection takes time, the immediate “I love this” and “I love what you are doing” comes from getting their pictures back into their lives, when they see them again. Imagine seeing their parent’s photos, their own childhood photos, pictures of the home where they once lived, images of their travels, and school photos, all coming back into their lives after not seeing them for years. What a thrill!

Can you tell us about the most fulfilling project you’ve managed?

This is a hard story to tell. It is the story of John McAuliffe, a man who wanted to have his story told. Initially, we were going to tell his story and his wife’s separately, but his wife died. We then revisited the idea of John telling his own story. Unfortunately, John’s Parkinson’s disease had greatly diminished his ability to both remember and communicate. Each time I visited John, his story got bigger and longer. There were more and more pictures and memorabilia to sort through.

Finally, I enlisted the help of his family. And, his story became the story of John and his wife Annetta—both their families had immigrated to America and they had beautiful stories to tell. The long and short of it was that John lived “just” long enough to receive a copy of his book, with the pictures and stories of his life! He and his sons each received a copy of his book, and they also ordered 50 smaller copies for other family and friends. John died just three weeks after, and his life and story were proclaimed by the priest at his funeral because of his book. He truly left a legacy of their lives for his children, grandchildren, and the friends who knew him. Their family stories are being featured in Jackson, Michigan, in a gallery talk on immigration to America. They are using the book and pictures from the book for the gallery talk.


Marianne and her client, John McAuliffe

Marianne and her client, John McAuliffe

How has Nixplay helped your job as a legacy keeper?

Nixplay offers me a way to help get my clients’ photos back into their lives! Because a story of a lifetime takes time to curate and tell, Nixplay offers my clients a way to relive their lives immediately. The new stories being told can also be easily combined with my clients’ legacies because of the present-day technology offered by Nixplay. Our children, our grandchildren, and their daily lives and accomplishments can all meld into their Nixplay digital frame from anywhere and everywhere.


organized photo scrapbook

More of Marianne’s work

What advice can you give to our readers who’d like to start organizing their own photo collection?

Hire a photo organizer and purchase a Nixplay digital frame that your photo organizer can manage. Have your photo organizer import both your newly organized and digitized photos onto your Nixplay frame, and have your children and grandchildren add photos to your playlists so you can see and be part of their daily lives. This would be an awesome Christmas or holiday present for all the grandparents and parents on your list! The gifts that are so well appreciated are usually those that elicit memories, and a Nixplay frame can achieve just that.

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