In today’s blog post, we’re going to be looking at how to use a photo organizing service to help your business. We spoke with Rachel Arbuckle, owner of a photo organizing company called 2000 Paces, and overall enthusiastic memorabilia archivist:

Jennifer: Hi and welcome to the eJenn Solutions podcast. Today we have a very exciting guest: Rachel Arbuckle! She’s the founder of the website 2000 Paces and we’re going to talk about how we can preserve our photos, why organizing your photos is important, and how her website helps small business owners. So, thank you, Rachel! Can you tell us a little bit more about the business, 2000 Paces?

An Introduction: 2000 Paces – Photo Organizing and Archiving

Rachel: Thank you so much for having me! I started 2000 Paces after my own personal experience. Living in San Diego, fires are just a natural thing and you’re usually mentally prepared for it, but not physically prepared. In 2014, we experienced a series of large fires near our home and we had to evacuate. We grabbed our pets and made sure our family was safe, but we weren’t able to grab any of our photos, scrapbooks, or our computers. We just had to get out. Our neighbors and other people also lost a lot of their photo memories too and it was heartbreaking. I was working in corporate America at the time and I just thought, “I need to do something about this” because the guilt and anxiety I experienced that day were just overwhelming. I started to look into options or solutions to save these precious memories, but I couldn’t find anything, so I decided to start my own business. So out of the ashes of the fire, 2000 Paces was born. It’s been so exciting because not only did I get my photos organized and protected but we have helped so many other people protect their memories too.

Jennifer: How did you come up with the name 2000 Paces?

Rachel: I’ve always thought of our business as a way to help people preserve their journeys and in ancient times, 2000 paces represented a day’s journey. It just fell right into place.

Jennifer: I love that. When I was younger, my family experienced a house fire and since this was before the internet, insurance said they would pay for the reprinting of the photos, but they also recommended putting our negatives in a safe deposit box. I’m assuming that this is kind of what you’re doing?

What Does 2000 Paces Do?

Rachel: Yes. All the photos, videos, memory cards, CDs, that we’ve collected over time are irreplaceable. If they are damaged or destroyed, you can’t put a value on them because you can’t replace them. What 2000 Paces does is look at all the photo memorabilia and get them into one place. We might transfer files from their iPhone or an old Shutterfly account, Facebook, or even floppy disks. Some of these photos haven’t been seen in years and it’s such a joy to watch clients relive those memories.

When clients first drop off their photos, they’re always a little anxious since these are priceless memories and often the only thing left of a loved one. So the goal of 2000 Paces is multifaceted. We get all the photos in one place, delete the duplicates, clean things up, and get all the files onto one external hard drive. We rename everything and try to make it as organized as possible so people can enjoy them.

We all have thousands of photos now because of our phones and digital cameras, but we don’t take the time to enjoy them. At 2000 Paces, we want people to have the photos to enjoy, which is why we rename things, put them in chronological order, add keywords, and assign facial recognition. Then we digitize the print photos, slides, and negatives, and convert old videotapes so they’re all in one place. Lastly, we’ll create an online photo site that’s specific to each client.

How Does Photo Organizing Help Small Businesses?

Jennifer: I love what you do with the personal side of things, but I’m also curious how 2000 Paces helps small businesses. Can you give us some case studies or examples?

Rachel: Absolutely. When I was doing my own marketing and branding it was difficult for me to find photos for various projects. For example, a specific holiday or something for National Pet Day. There’s statistical data that shows that companies spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars looking for the right photo.

Jennifer: My business does that too. We’ll go to a photo subscription website and type in what we’re looking for, such as “woman smiling” or “happy family.” We still have to sift through a lot of generic photos though.

Rachel: Yes, so our goal is to save small business owners time by creating a system to allow them to find their marketing photos easier. If it’s a hassle, then you’re going to avoid it and you won’t market your business. At 2000 Paces, we’ll look at what a small business is providing and then provide keywords for their promotional images. For example, one business was selling reusable containers, so their keywords would be things like “stainless steel,” “dishwasher safe,” or “camping.” In this way, you’re looking through 25 potential photos instead of 5,000.

We’ll also create a system so you can categorize photos, making it even more organized and easier to search.

Jennifer: That takes a lot of time to organize so I can see why outsourcing to you is an advantage.

Rachel: Yes! If you don’t have the time, but you want to focus on growing your business, it makes sense to delegate certain projects and find people that are really good at doing what you need.

Jennifer: And that can make your team so much more efficient! Are there any other things that 2000 Paces works on?

What Other Services Does 2000 Paces Offer?

Rachel: We also create photo books because these can be very time-consuming. We save you time by taking care of that overwhelming task for you, so you can spend more time making memories and selecting the photos you want for your photo book.

Jennifer: That’s great! I also just love your site! It’s great that people can schedule a complimentary session just to get an idea of how you can work that with them. The last time I checked, it looked like you had some online classes?

Rachel: Yeah. We actually had to pause the classes, but we’re planning to start some virtual classes. We’re telling people to sign up on our site to get on our mailing list and learn more about it. (Check out the site here).

Jennifer: How many boxes do you get? I’m imagining people throwing things in laundry baskets and then just bringing them to you. Is that how it happens?

Rachel: We actually have a before and after section on our website, which is actually really great because it shows people what the reality is. Every client’s journey is unique so we want the organization to be unique as well. We love to chat with people because then we get a better sense of how we can help you.

Jennifer: I noticed before you had mentioned memorabilia. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Rachel: Sure. Memorabilia includes things like birth certificates, particularly those older ones, old photos of ancestors, children’s artwork, report cards. We even had a telegram from World War II! So what we do is put everything in a document box, label it, scan them, and put them in a photo book. That way future generations can easily see it.

Jennifer: There are two other things I noticed while looking at some of the projects you’ve worked on: first, you are able to remove thousands of duplicates and the second is adding facial recognition. Facial recognition is especially important since you might want photos of the company CEO and now you can pull up all the photos of them easily.

Rachel: I’m glad you brought those up! It’s amazing how many duplicates people have and it’s a very common thing. It can be hard to determine what the difference is between one photo and another, but we have the time to do that.

You also make a great point about facial recognition. The idea is that you just type in their name and get photos of them by themselves or with other people. It’s so much easier than combing through thousands of photos.

Jennifer: This is fabulous! Thank you so much! If someone wants to get in touch, they can go to your website, 2000 Paces. Is there anything else you want to leave with our audience today before we go?

Rachel: First of all, thank you so much for having me. I’m proud of my company and it’s so important to us that we continue to help people. I would say that whether you call us or not, I encourage people to get started on documenting information, whether it’s memorabilia, conversations, or whatnot.

Jennifer: Yes! Just talking amongst your family and agreeing to put memories all in one place is great. Thank you so much, Rachel!

Watch the interview with Rachel below:

About Rachel Arbuckle

In 2014, a series of fierce fires roared through San Diego County, the largest of which started on the mountain just behind Rachel’s home. She had only minutes to grab a few items. Her instinct was to gather all of her photos but she panicked when she realized her precious memories were all over the house in boxes, picture frames, and albums. She grabbed what she could and the family headed to safety.  After many days of worry, they were able to return home to the memories they had to leave behind. Thankfully, their home was spared, but others in the community were not as fortunate.  This experience not only solidified Rachel’s commitment to protecting her family’s collection of photos but prompted her to found 2000 Paces Photo Organizing, encouraging people to organize and protect their important memories.

About 2000 Paces

Rachel Arbuckle and her team of photo organizers work with clients to preserve photo and video memories. They do this by providing extensive services to organize, digitize, and backup the boxes of photos, hard drives, videotapes, slides, albums, and more that are often scattered in various places around our homes. When fire season hits, 2000 Paces Photo Organizing clients feel relieved knowing their irreplaceable memories are organized and easily accessed in one place and safely backed up online. It may be a fire, a life milestone, a loss, or a move that triggers it, but organizing your photos into one location that is readily available to view and share is the key to feeling comfortable and confident that your memories are safe. Learn more about 2000 Paces here.