Allow me to introduce Chantal Imbach from Photos In Order, based in Eltham, a leafy green outer suburb of Melbourne. Chantal agreed to be interviewed and shares her wisdom and experience here.
Chantal, who do you work with?
I work mostly with women, who tend to be the families’ photo and memory keepers. They usually have children or grandchildren and the one thing they all have in common is the wish to create photo books. Be it year books or books for a loved one documenting their life and passing on stories.
What drew you to the organising industry and how long have you been in it?
I started out as a home organiser in 2012 because I was always naturally pretty good at organising and I couldn’t believe that there is such a thing as professional organisers, let alone a whole industry! I started training with wonderful Angela Esnouf and am so grateful for all the wisdom she shares to this day. [Aww thanks! – AE]
After a few years, I came across photo organising because I wanted to learn how to manage my own photos better. I totally fell in love with that special niche, and this is what I do full-time now. I love cleaning up digital photo messes for my clients but also love to teach DIYers how to do it themselves. It’s not only the digital messes though. I also like digitising printed photos that we all still have. Such wonderful memories are brought back to life and it’s beautiful to see how people enjoy remembering and sharing those memories.
[I can attest to the joy of having access to those memories after Chantal worked her magic on the slides from a 1984 holiday to Europe. She digitised those slides and now I have easy access to wonderful photos of my family and that trip, a really precious memory. – AE]
What’s your favourite thing about organising?
In my line of work, photo organising and management, I love it when at the end everything falls into place, and it becomes easy to find specific photos and to do all those fun projects. The most wonderful moment for me is always when I see the clients faces lighting up with joy when they see the end result. I feel very privileged to be trusted with those precious memories and stories.
What’s one habit that helps your life run smoothly?
Being organised … no, joking aside … I think time management plays a big part in my life. I like to plan ahead. Not down to the minute though, I always include some buffer time. It helps me to look at the calendar every night and prepare for the next day.
To what do you attribute your success as an organiser?
I work very diligently and I’m very honest. I’m not sure but I think people can see this and in return they trust me, which I value highly. Furthermore, I love to learn new things and I do regular professional development to stay on top of things so I can serve my clients better. I truly love what I do and I think – or hope – that it shows.
What would you say to someone just starting out as an organiser?
Be patient and don’t give up. It takes a while to build a business from scratch. Also stay true to yourself. If something like marketing strategies that are promoted far and wide don’t feel right for you, don’t do it.
What else do you think people should know?
I am originally from Switzerland and moved to Australia in 2007 with a husband and a 1- and 3-year-old in tow. I still have very strong connections to my ‘soul home’ and have recently launched my German website Fotos In Ordnung to serve the German-speaking photo managers.
Finally, what is one thing people may not know about you?
That I spent a gap year in France to learn the language, which has now unfortunately become a bit rusty. I also used to do ballroom dancing, which was so much fun and the best workout ever!
Thanks Chantal! The organising industry is lucky to have you.