Finding Photo Freedom Q+A

Hello. I’m here.

I’ve been MIA on my blog, as I have been super-focused on finishing up content for Finding Photo Freedom. I’m happy to report that ALL the handouts (and there are a LOT of them) for all 10 weeks of this course are finished! Please stand up where you are a do a little happy jig for me.

Kayce and I are in the midst of our annual business review and strategy meeting with our dear friend Kathy, who flew in from Utah yesterday morning. Needless to say I was pretty wiped out yesterday, but we still had a very productive meeting and it continues today and tomorrow. The good news is, Big Picture Classes is in a really good place and we are excited to revisit our goals, set new ones and talk about all the possibilities that lie ahead.

Since my class begins in just over a week, I’m anxious to answer a few questions I’ve received.

Question from Sue: I’m interested in taking your Finding Photo Freedom Course at BPS.  As I get further away from “chronological” scrapbooking, I am so much less stressed out about the whole-trying-to-keep-up thing!  I’m interested in your course but wondering if you can give some advice on timing/what I’d need. After 3 years of looking, we finally found a new house, which means we need to sell our old house, which means until about the beginning of August, almost all of my photos and paper scrapping things will be going in to storage in order to get this house ready to sell, I have most of the photos electronically anyway and will be keeping my laptop close by and mostly digi-scrapping until my new studio is set up in the new house …

I am wondering if this is compatible with the class or will I not really be able to get as much out of the course as I would if I were all settled!
Any additional info you could provide would be great!

Answer: I have been spending time with responses to my pre-class survey and you might be interested to know that for the first time in six years of teaching this course there are (as of yesterday) ZERO students signed up that have a film camera. 70% of survey respondents have more than 5 years of digital images on their computer(s). One of the primary foundations of a healthy Library of Memories system is an effective digital workflow. I do absolutely talk about and teach the organization of physical prints too, but I think you will have plenty to do with your digital images and will find that you can adapt all of the principles I teach to the pictures on your computer. We do some scrapbooking in class, but that is not the emphasis until about lesson eight. The other thing to keep in mind is that once you are registered, the Finding Photo Freedom classroom will remain in your account forever. This means you can work at your own pace and always refer back to my content (handouts, worksheets, audio + video and blog posts), the conversations that will develop on the forums and thousands of images that will be posted to the galleries. Keep in mind too, that I am not teaching this course again until 2013.

I absolutely think you’ll be able to participate fully–especially since you scrapbooking digitally.
I hope to “see” you in class!

Question from Maria: I am registered in FPF as an alumni from 2009, but I never got through the class. Not even close!  I just found out there will be no Stacy or even coaches in the alumni classroom, so I am a little concerned that I will be wasting my time in there.  Even though I am technically alumni, I feel like I am just starting so am really more of a newbie. Do you think I will be ok in the alumni classroom?  Will there be feedback on the digital portion for alumni since that is all new class content we haven’t seen before?  I bought PSE 8 for this class but have no idea how to use it so I was hoping there would be tips included in the digital portion of class.

Answer: Actually, I will be visiting the alumni classroom and there will be several coaches there as well. My first priority will be teaching the new (paying) students–true–but I will absolutely be interacting with alumni as well. The most amazing thing about LOM alumni is how they share, help and guide each other. I absolutely believe you’ll find the attention you need as you revisit the content and move forward with your personal system and goals. I would recommend spending some time familiarizing yourself with PSE 8 before class begins, because this class does not teach the specific features of any photo-organization software. You will be a much happier and productive student if you understand the basics of your chosen program. Having said that, there are hundreds of LOMers that use PSE and I’m certain they will be eager to assist you in questions you might have.

Question: I am considering signing up for your class,  I am a part time Creative Memories Consultant and a new user to their product called Memory Manager.  It is a software program for organizing photos.  Is that acceptable for me to use?

Answer: Absolutely. You will need to be familiar enough with this software that you can rate and tag your photos and create folders where your BEST images can live. I recommend a 3-star rating approach to prioritizing digital images, but even if your program only allows 1 star (like Picasa) you’ll be able to easily adapt what I teach to your images and  your program. I’d LOVE to have you in class.

If you have questions about Finding Photo Freedom that you’d like me to answer, you can email them to

I thought I’d leave you with an image that illustrates the comfort the next generation has with digital tools. I feel very strongly that *they* need us to develop and nurture a digital workflow that will enable them to access family photos. I’m deciding (for me) that I create layouts for my own creative expression and well being, but I maintain a digital workflow for them.

More on this in class!


  1. Can’t wait for class to start! I’m working on my EQ this week and cleaning up some digital photos tagging. Cute photo of the little ones!

  2. Hi Stacy – I am going to comment on the Memory Manager question. She will absolutely love this class and using Memory Manager from CM. I use this progam and Memory Manager has many great freatures, like using the 3 star rating system (which it does have 5); place to write metadata, everything. I tried switching to PSE8 a year ago when I took your class and went back to MM. My pics are so organized and easy to find. Looking forward to the class – Thanks Stacy ~~ Ann

  3. Cute photo! I have a 7yo and can’t wait until he can takeover all my computer issues!

  4. Just wanted to let you know that I did a “little jig” for you! Hooray for finishing the handouts!

    Love your answers to these questions. If I wasn’t giving birth in nine weeks, I’d probably take the class. I do have the book, and I did implement your system (which I LOVE), but I’d still love to take the class some day! :-D Maybe it will work out for me next year… ;-)

    Good luck with the class, and have fun! :-D

  5. Janette says:

    YEAH for you for finishing all those handouts. That’s not a very fun job but a necessary evil. {grin}
    I’m looking forward for class to start. I’m signed up as Alumni..for 2008 I think. I can’t remember now it’s been a while.
    I have to say that I have a lot of people ask me about my system and have linked them to your class and book. I love the ‘freedom’ it gives me for completing layouts out of order. It’s funny, the number of strange looks I get when I tell people I don’t scrapbook in order. Like that is so foreign to them when it’s so natural to me.
    I’m looking forward to cleaning up my storage binders and working on organizing my digital photos this time around.
    I’m starting to see the benefits of leaving those photos in the drawers and behind the tabs to ‘age’. Enough time has passed since I first set them up that I can start making those connection pages that I just love!!
    Can’t wait to see you in class.

  6. KatieK. says:

    Got up to take a break from fixing a page with wrong journaling(totally wrong dates and ages) and did my happy dance for both of us! Wow, that’s a lot to get accomplished.

    Second the reply re: using Memory Manager. I set up folders ages ago that amazingly reflect the LoM concept even before I knew about it and yet I was still stuck in the chronological mindset. It is easy to tag photos into folders and rate them with 1->5 stars.
    If she has questions, there is plenty of help available online or from others of us who use it.

  7. I am waiting for this class with bated breath (not baited breath as in a mouth full of worms – I’m very literal). I was too late to take it last time so I feel like I have waited forever! I tried to get my sister and friend to take it with me but they don’t yet see the benefit. They will after I get my system set up. I’ve been working on my photos but have get to declare my EQ. I’m having a hard time with that. I probably just need to relax and quit stressing about it. Thanks, Stacy, for all you do for us!

  8. carol in seattle :) says:

    I’m so glad to see you address Maria’s question! It sounds like she and I are starting in the same place…I haven’t really done the LOM class either. I’m nervous about class, but also really excited. I took a 2-3 year break from scrapbooking (mostly) and since I signed up to do LOAD with Lain Ehmann this month I’ve got 24 brand new layouts and I’m remembering why I fell in love with scrapping in the first place. Thanks for all you do Stacy!

  9. Rebecca B says:

    Thank you for this post and answers. I am an alumni and got signed up today! yay! Just watched your EQ video. Loved it. Hopefully it will sink in this year that I need to be more realistic with my expectations, and do it NOW, not waiting for some magically perfect time of life with more time. I think I’ve finally realized that is never, ever, ever going to happen. :)

    Hey, and your last “Right Now” blog post was on April 25th. You asked us to keep you in line, right? Looking forward to another one soon! :):):)

    Lastly, I have been using Picasa because it’s free, but I think I’m going to upgrade. I’ll do some research in the LOM message boards. My time is valuable, and if there’s another program that will work better for me, be easier and less time-consuming to tag & star my THOUSANDS of photos, then it’s worth it. I like how you said, digital workflow is for your kids. I need to establish a better digital photo workflow and habits to stay more on top of this, for their sake!

    Thanks again for all your brilliant and motivating ideas. You have a gift. Thanks for sharing it with all of us! :)

  10. I’m signed up for Finding Photo Freedom as well. I got all set up in PSE 9, which I’m finally learning. But I have come across a very silly problem. My photos are all on an external drive that’s wirelessly connected to our network at home. I’m having a difficult time rating my photos, simply because my PC is slow in talking to the drive. My husband and I both knew the connection was slow…it’s caused by our older router. A new router was on the agenda to be purchased before I was laid off in January. Blah. Fingers crossed I get one of the jobs I’ve interviewed for this week. If I do…NEW ROUTER! In the meantime, I just spend an hour instead of 15min with my photos nightly, as I slowly wait for the software to accept my scrolling and ratings. So silly.

    • Is there a way for you to plug in? Either to the network, or to the drive? Things would go faster that way…and I agree, the inconvience of modern conviences is very silly! =)

  11. Just an FYI on Memory Manager — I am a Memory Manger user and got it shortly after reading the book Photo Freedom. My “sort boxes” and “file folers” are set up like your file drawer system. It really helped me organize so I can find things quickly. Also, there is a star rating system — it is 5 stars.

  12. Oh my, I feel like I am famous! :) Thank you for answering my question! I feel much better knowing there will be some interaction with coaches and you in the alumni classroom. I think I will be just fine now! Thank you again!!

  13. Jill S. says:

    I’m signed up as an alumna. Glad to know that you and the coaches will be visiting the alumni classroom! Last year was my first year in LOM and I didn’t get as far as I had hoped. With it taking place in the summer this year, I’ll have more time, since I’m an elementary school teacher. I love the bright, happy colors in the quilt behind your kiddos in that photo:)

  14. Christine H says:

    I love the pic! I was recently required to upgrade my phone to a Blackberry for work purposes. Prior to that it was the “whatever is free” flip phone for me. Wow! I have been back to the store a couple of times and my 15 year old is having to show me how this thing works. His question…”why does the oldest person in the house get to have the newest technology?”

  15. Happy dance, happy dance! I am so glad you finished the handouts so I can get them in my hot little hands soon. I have been busily preparing for class this week since I will be on a trip over the holiday weekend. Can’t wait to start! :) XOXO

  16. I was on the fence about taking this class. I have the book, and have gotten a good start on my library, and didn’t really think that I needed more, but this has convinced me. I get stuck organizing my photos and getting the darn things off the computer and into real life! And I totally agree that you can’t scrap photos if you have no photos! I think I’ll get this class as a birthday present to me! Excited to see what’s in store!

  17. Krunberry says:

    Oooh, I need to get back to spending time with my photos. I got a little off track with the end of the year craziness. Two more days of school then the kiddos are home. But I’m sure I’ll be able to take time to do this class, even with them home. See you in class soon!!

  18. I was a part time CM-er as well when I took this class last year and also use MM. It is so user friendly and works beautifully with this class. Can’t wait to get back into my photos withe you Stacy!

  19. Nancy L says:

    I can’t wait for the class to start. I have signed up as an alum and have loved this system from the beginning, from the storage binders to the category drawers to all the colored albums on my shelves. My only disappointment is that I will be out of the country on the first day and won’t be able to join until the next week. There is always so much excitement on day 1. I will be thinking of you from Machu Picchu.

  20. I have been waiting for LOM or Photo Freedom for over a year. I am too happy it’s almost here. After reading your book “Big Picture Scrapbooking” and in anticipation of this class, I started sorting my printed photos into categories rather than chronologically -but now in the handout (which I don’t have in front of me) I seem to remember it saying to sort our printed photos in chronological order. YIKES! do I need to go put them back in chronological order?

  21. I did a little jig for you, petrified that one of the painters would see me, they are painting my kitchen Stacy Julian green :D

    I love that quilt behind your cutie kiddos :D

    See you in the alumni classroom!

  22. sharolyn says:

    HAPPY DANCE~~~~ HAPPY DANCE!!! Yay for having all the handouts done!!!!!

    Stacy, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! And I realized it after listening to you talk about Photo Freedom on the Roundtable… I NEED THIS CLASS! And I quickly signed up and committed to learning your system. I’m so excited for class to begin! I’ve been going through my digital pictures, getting my supplies gathered, and today, I’m going downstairs to clean and get my craft room in order! I LOVE to be in my craft room, but don’t spend near enough time there and I think you hit another nail on the head, I don’t do it because I get frustrated by your inability to find what I need to complete the pages and projects…. But that’s about to change! I can’t wait! “See” you in class~

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