PPO Studio Podcast Episode #29: “Featured Guest – Curtis Bisel of Scan Your Entire Life”

PPO Studio Host Headshot with Logo - Episode 29

Well, I'm fairly certain I can no longer say I have never been a guest on a podcast anymore. I have now officially checked this item off my long list of accomplishments I want to experience in life.

My first ever audio interview has just come out and I would love to take this opportunity to share it with you! But first, a little backstory on how this came to be.

Rita Norton and her friend and business partner Sherra Humphreys, reached out to me a few months ago. They admitted they were long-time email subscribers and readers of Scan Your Entire Life, which of course was an easy and effective way to quickly win me over. Even without this revelation, the three of us still hit it off quite easily because of the deep interest in old photographs we share. And I think we sensed a collaboration was then practically inevitable.

I learned that not only are they both moms and live in different states, but they have also both been active professional photo organizers for some time now. Then 7 years ago, together they formed a company called PPO Studio that has already supported and trained 350+ women (and a few men) to have their own photo organizing businesses.

In September of 2017, they somehow also found enough time in their lives to start a podcast they host together called “Photos with Sherita.” With the tagline of “Photos + Stories = Love”, their lighthearted approach to podcasting helps everyone who loves their photo collections — not just those who would want to make a business out of it — but is feeling the overwhelm trying to keep up with organizing in this time of changing technology and all of the choices out there with photo storage.

By the way, if you've been wondering and still aren't exactly sure what podcasts are, I like to think of them as radio shows, but instead of airing live over their air, they're recorded and released as separate episodes that you can subscribe and listen to through the internet at any time that's most convenient for you.

Checking Out Their Podcast

Everything they told me sounded great. They certainly had my attention. But, now it was my turn to do a little bit of “research” of my own and find out if I would also want to be long-time subscribers and listeners of theirs too.

I started out by listening to one of their podcast episodes. I doubt I started with their first episode, which frankly seemed too logical. And who wants to be judged by their first of anything anyway? No, I picked one of their later episodes with a title that seemed the most intriguing to me that day while on one of my walks around our neighborhood — that's where I listen to most of my podcasts.

And I must say, I was completely impressed. Seriously. It can be really hard to make a visual medium like photographs an interesting topic to talk about in an audio-only show. But, I have to say, the more and more I listened, the more I knew Rita and Sherra were pulling it off.

They really have a wonderful style of talking about working with photographs in a fun and casual way that makes the listener feel right at home and like we've known them for years. And they have such a nice rapport together as co-hosts, each able to have their own unique voice yet still be unified on the same goals.

Now, I feel compelled to finally get this out of the way right now before this goes any further and admit I was probably several “random” podcast episodes in before the name of their podcast, “Photos with Sherita,” ever finally registered with me. I mean, what's a Sherita anyhow? Thankfully, knowing isn't a prerequisite to begin listening.

But, luckily for me, somewhere in the third episode I chose to listen to, one of them happened to drop a somewhat vague clue to what it might mean. If I were to try and recall exactly what she said, I would say it went something like this:

“Sherra + Rita = Sherita.”

Sherra (left) and Rita (right)

Aha! It's their names all smooshed together! With the assistance of this little nudge in the right direction, I was finally up to speed.

And it was at this exact moment I believe when I first became incredibly obsessed with the thought that every morning Sherra must feel extremely lucky as she puts on her slippers and makes her steel-cut bowl of oatmeal, that Rita hadn't become good friends first with a photo organizer named Marga.

Collaboration = Commitment

A short time later, Rita and I spoke again as we began to talk about the ways the three of us could begin to collaborate on something together.

I'm pretty that sure at this point, I hadn't said anything to make them aware I had already heard a few of their podcast episodes — let alone that I had already figured out their whole “Sherita” puzzle. Rita quickly jumped in and made her move by suggesting that maybe I might want to be on their podcast. She added, “It could be a fun way to introduce you to our audience and something fun to share with yours.”

In a hindsight view, I can see now their pre-planned trap had just been placed and all they needed to do was wait for me to open my mouth and step right into it. I really had no chance here. Before I could get out any words I wouldn't later regret, I realized I had somehow already agreed to record a full-on interview with them, and Rita had me penciled in on her actual calendar on the wall with a purple fine-tip Sharpie. 

From the way I saw it at the time, there was little way for me to wiggle my way out of this and still maintain any kind of professional integrity — I of course still wanted to keep them as life-long fans, right? My easiest way out, like many things in life, seemed to be to go right through the middle and just to commit to it wholeheartedly and do everything I could to make it the best interview it could it be — whether it actually turned out to be something worth listening to or not! 😉

This wasn't the first time I had been asked to be interviewed in the 10 years since I started my SYEL website. In fact, in 2015 I did my first phone interview with Kiplinger magazine to be a small part of an article about how to digitize photographs.

But, this felt much different. This was going to be my first interview where I was the main focus — the “featured” guest if you will. People were going to be listening to this seeking an entertaining distraction while on their Pelotons or walking their Yorkshire Terriers down the sidewalk.

It's not that I don't think I have a few valuable “nuggets of information” I've learned over the years that can help people. For me, the reason I've shied away a few times from being interviewed for a podcast has always been the issue of control.

You see, here with Scan Your Entire Life, I am the editor of all words and videos, and I am able to think things through for as long as I'd like before publishing them. And even after, I still have the ability to go back in at any time and edit them, when for example, I realize I could have said something in a better way.

However, when you do a podcast interview for someone else, recorded live, they technically have all the control — not you. So, for an introvert with an unhealthy attention to detail like myself, you can likely see how jumping into the world of podcasts wasn't near the top of my “Let's Achieve This Next” list.

My First Podcast Interview Actually Happened

When the day arrived, with a little preparation and a few notes in an outline form written down in front of me, I recorded my first podcast interview with Sherra and Rita. We actually did the entire recording all in one take. Which just means we didn't end up needing to go back and re-say any parts in a different way that would then need to be edited back into the show.

Our recording that morning will now be forever eternalized in “Photos With Sherita Podcast Episode #29: Featured Guest — Curtis Bisel, Owner of Scan Your Entire Life.

I don't want to say what I thought of the interview. Actually, I would much prefer to hear this from you and how it affected you after listening to it. But what I will say is that Sherra and Rita were extremely wonderful hosts and did an incredible job of steering the interview always in the right direction and adding in their own life's experiences to make the interview as a whole even better.

I'd also like to add this very important point. Their podcast episodes aren't “too techie.” If you're not a gadget person and you weren't born on a computer, listening to their podcasts isn't going to hurt your brain. In fact, Sherra and Rita practically discourage it and even called me out on it when I tried to use a big $5 fancy tech word — you'll hear. 😉

They just want people to relax and listen to a fun, casual conversation about photographs and the importance of the stories behind each of them that mean so much to us all.

Alright, I now invite you to listen to my first ever podcast interview, on the “Photos With Sherita Podcast.” Click the button below where you will be able to listen to it on the PPO Studio website.

And when you're done listening, I would love if you did the three of us a favor by doing one of the things I've listed at the bottom of this article. Sherra, Rita and I thank you so much if you do!

Please, enjoy! 🙂

Some of what you'll learn from the podcast episode:

  • What was so important that it caused my life's path to pull me away from a southern upbringing all the way across the country 2,500 miles to a massive metropolis!
  • How this “Scan Your Entire Life” website came to be when I never thought I would ever some day be a teacher.
  • Tips on how anyone — even you, yes YOU! — can get past procrastination when it comes to scanning your own photo collection. I explain exactly what ended up working best for me to overcome my own procrastination.
  • The fastest way you can learn what you need to know, so you can finally get started working on your photo scanning and organizing project you've been putting off for years and years!
Roman Meal packaged bread loaf

BONUS: You'll find out the really fun reason… why in the world we would bring up sliced bread bags… right in the middle of an interview about scanning and organizing photographs!

What You Should Do After Listening

Connect with Sherra & Rita

Don't even pretend you're going to remember some “far out” made up anagram like “Sherita” to help you remember their names later — you may not even make it until tomorrow! (Did you remember your pills this morning??) Instead, do yourself a favor and sign up to their email list right this second so they can stay in contact with you.

Additionally, subscribe to their podcast in iTunes so you'll never miss hearing a new episode!

Hey look, they're on that Facebook thing too.

Leave Sherra and Rita Some

As easy as Sherra and Rita made it look, putting together a podcast and keeping it going is a tremendous amount of work. Nothing can show your support for their podcast more than going to iTunes and leaving a review to help others discover “Photos With Sherita.” Podcasts often “live or die” from reviews because Apple only suggests and promotes “up” what they know people are listening to and loves!

Tell Us What You Thought!

If you're already a SYEL Member, I would just love for you to personally welcome Sherra and Rita inside of our Community forum. I recently invited them both to have a look around the Membership area and Rita just left her very first post introducing herself. Tell her what you thought of this episode and be sure to thank her for going easy on me for my first podcast interview!

And if you're not a Member (You can learn how to join here), I would love for you to tell us what you thought of the podcast down in the comments below this article. Not only will I read each and everyone, I just might be able to convince the one and only “Sherita” to come reply to some as well! 🙂

If you've made it this far and still haven't heard the podcast episode…. what are you waiting for? Listen to it now!


After you click and arrive on Sherra and Rita's website, at the very top of the article there is an audio player built right into the page. Click the play button to begin listening to the episode.

Optionally, click on any of the subscription links right below the audio player if you would like to listen outside of your web browser in one of the podcast player applications listed.

To directly load the podcast in your Apple Podcast player, click this link.


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