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Photo Archaeology

A comprehensive masterclass in creating a sustainable digital, physical and heritage photo organization system

Most of the photo organization resources available today (blogs, ecourses, books) only address one aspect of photography -- digital files. While the abundance and resulting paralysis from overwhelm of digital photos is a real issue (one that I do address in Photo Archaeology), there is another elephant in the room. Your physical and heritage prints.

Photo Archaeology is a complete photo management system that will provide you with the tools you need to gain control over the digital, physical and heritage photos that tell your story.

Your life is not all digital. Let me help you organize your entire photo library.



What You'll Get

  • Freedom from photo chaos
  • The ability to celebrate your life and tell your stories with ease
  • 12 weeks of instruction covering the entire life cycle of photo organization
  • PDF handouts recapping all weekly course concepts and assignments
  • Immediate access to the Welcome Lesson including a Welcome video & handout
  • A task list to keep track of what steps you've completed and what you should do next
  • Multiple printables to help you along your journey, including a Family Timeline Worksheet and a Photo Triage Checklist
  • Supply list with links to what I am using
  • Email access to me for questions and support
  • An invitation to join our Photo Archaeology Facebook community, where I will be hosting live chats weekly (12 total), and interacting with students on a daily basis (Monday through Friday)
  • A digital package of social media sharing goodies

What You'll Learn

  • A system for organizing your complete photo library - digital, physical and heritage
  • The Life Cycle of a Photo and how to manage new photos coming into the library, regardless of their origin

Class Dates:

Class will run in the Fall of 2017. Lessons will be added to the classroom each Friday at 11 a.m. EST. You will retain access to the classroom and all course materials.

A live course is a course that runs during a set time period. You do not need to be in a certain place at a given time. You will access the content on a weekly basis as you are able. There is a fixed registration period and once it closes, you will not be able to join the class in progress. I will be actively involved daily in answering your questions, as well as being involved in the closed Facebook group. Each Friday at 11 a.m. EST during the run of the course, there will be a new lesson posted with Action Steps for the week. After the close date, I will not be participating regularly in the course Facebook group, but will be available to answer your questions as needed. The Facebook group will move to "Alumni" status allowing students to continue interacting with each other.

Class Curriculum


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Your Instructor


Diane Downs
Diane Downs

Visit the website. Hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram


Hi! My name is Diane. I am a photographer and chronic organizer.

The Photo Archaeology System was born at the same time as my first son, 21 years ago. As most new parents do, we took a ton of photos of our adorable new baby. Because of course we did! He was the cutest baby in the whole world! Our childcare plans included my mom sitting for him on Wednesdays. As most new grandparents do, she took a ton of photos of her adorable new grandson. To the tune of 3 rolls of film a week, of which I got all the doubles. It quickly became apparent to me that I needed a system to maintain all of those photos.

Fast forward 8 years to the birth of my third baby, and the birth of the digital age. No longer constrained to 36 exposures - armed with a camera that conceivably had no limit, and a girl after two boys, I took thousands of photos. The amount of photos I took of Eric in 1996 paled in comparison to how many I took of Makenna in 2004. It became apparent to me that I needed a more comprehensive system. Building on my physical system, I created a complete photo library, that considers all photos, whether physical, digital or heritage.

18 years after my first son was born this system allowed me to celebrate his life in photos at his high school graduation. After 90 minutes of selecting, I had 200 of the best photos of him printed for table centerpieces at his graduation party. Without the Photo Archaeology System, I never would have found those photos spanning pre-digital and post-digital years, or it would have taken me weeks and the photos would have included a fair number of mediocre shots. This system has also allowed me to preserve family heritage photos when I inherited them from my grandmother on her passing. With the Photo Archaeology system in place, I can easily share those heritage photos with other family members and begin to piece together our extended family's story.

I'm glad you're here.


Frequently Asked Questions


How much does the course cost?
The total cost of the course is $279
Do you offer a payment plan?
Not at this time.
Do I have to be in class at certain times?
No, there are no set times when you have to be in class. My workshops are set up so that you can participate when its convenient for you. You'll have 24 hour access to the classroom. The time needed to complete the lessons is dependent on how many photos you have and the current state they are in.
How long do I have access to the course?
A personal copy of the workshop materials, including handouts and worksheets are yours to keep indefinitely. You will have access to the online classroom for as long as Photo Archaeology is alive (and I expect it to live a long, happy, healthy life).
Will you be teaching a specific photo organizing software?
The short answer is no. The principals you will be learning transcend the nuances of the software program of your choice. The Photo Archaeology system is the foundation on which the software runs. There are many photo organizing software products to choose from, ranging from free to a couple hundred dollars. Since programs come and go and are updated regularly, I am not well versed in the specific functioning of every program available. However, I am fluent in Lightroom, and am more than happy to provide in-depth assistance as requested for that particular program.
What is your refund policy?
I want you to be completely saitisfied with your purchase. If for any reason you are not, a full refund will be given within the first 30 days, no questions asked.
How do I contact you during class if I have questions?
Included with the course is access to a PRIVATE facebook group. Members of the group can be seen by anyone, but only those in the group can see what you post. I will be active in the group and answer all questions. Please tag me @dianedowns to ensure I am alerted to your question. I will also do one Facebook Live session per week where you can ask questions. If you prefer, you can always contact me via email at diane {at} dianedownsphotography {dot} com

How Do I Enroll?

The Photo Archaeology course is currently not open for enrollment. Enter your contact information below to join the waitlist for the next launch along with a coupon code good for 10% off.

Because I believe that everyone should have a solid backup system in place, when you pre-enroll by providing your name and email in the boxes above, you'll also receive a sample PDF from the course -- Digital Photos: Backup.