Socially Savvy: 5 Tips from Photo Organizer Isabelle Dervaux On How To Improve Your Social Presence Through A Better Media Library

by Shana Clarke

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Dervaux

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Dervaux

Isabelle Dervaux was a successful illustrator for 30 years, contributing to places such as The New York Times, Fit Pregnancy, and Vogue. In 2008, she faced a career setback when bad economic times forced multiple publications to fold. With many of her clients closing up shop, Isabelle used the downtime to organize the boxes upon boxes of photos she carted around for years. Seeing her life captured in small moments renewed her self-confidence in all she accomplished; she whittled down the collection to the essential images and created a slideshow featuring highlights.  Soon after, Isabelle began organizing photos for others and helping them identify images worthy of albums and prints; eventually, a business was born.

In addition to print photos, Isabelle works with clients on organizing the endless scroll of digital photos they carry on their phones. It’s through these pixels that her artistic instincts kicked in.  She now offers photography training so clients learn how to take better pictures and edit accordingly.

My background is visual so I know how to pick out the right photo; for most people, they know they have to take 10 photos to get one good one.
— Isabelle

Recently, she started working with entrepreneurs on curating photos for their social media and organizing their media library so they can post more efficiently. Here, Isabelle shares her top tips for organizing your content and enhancing your business’ image on social media.

Keep Up To Date With Technology

App updates bring new features that can assist you in your quest for better photos. Don’t expect that the update will operate the same as the old version; take the time to learn the new functionality so you can optimize the app’s performance.

Separate Your Personal and Work Images

Isabelle recommends tagging all your photos so work and personal images go into their respective folders and don’t commingle. At the very least, use the “heart” icon to tag work photos so they are easy to pull up in the standardized “favorites” album.

Use the Images You Have

With photos, more isn’t always better.

People always want more pictures, but I think it’s best to look at the pictures you have and make a selection.
— Isabelle

“For some reason, people find it difficult to work with their existing library and keep taking more, which just adds confusion.” Often, it’s a matter of being dissatisfied with the quality of photos, in which case…

Follow and Study Instagram Accounts You Like

Why are you personally attracted to these photos? What makes their images stand out? What makes them especially engaging? How does the text relate to the pictures? Ask yourself how the image was created and what it took to get there.
— Isabelle

Once you figure out the elements that make a picture stand out, learn how to tweak the image so you consistently take great photos.

Select, Then Delete, Delete, Delete

Why is a single tap so hard to do? Photos are highly emotional; even the famed Marie Kondo, a simplicity guru, says to save photos for the end of the decluttering process. Isabelle finds the sentimental mindset makes deleting a true challenge for most people. But, as she wisely points out,

When people get to 100,000 photos, I say, do you really need this? Are you going to give this to your kids?
— Isabelle

She notes that statistically, 10% of your photos comprise your best shots. Want to reduce the digital overload?  Ideally, delete the other photos in a session once you’ve determined the winning shot, but if that doesn’t work for you, look for little nuggets of time in the day - commuting on the subway, watching commercials - when you can go through your phone.

“What I found is, you don’t want to organize clutter,” says Isabelle. By teaching clients how to see their images and how to look and observe the world, they will take better pictures and ultimately, create an organized, functional, and beautiful social media library.


Isabelle is a member of the Park Slope chapter of the Soloist Collective.  Learn more about her work at