With the popularity of smartphones, photos and photography have become more popular than ever.
But, how do you keep up with the dozens or hundreds of photos being snapped during these outings?
Photo management software, a tool once used almost exclusively by pro photographers, might have the answers you need to store and sort through all your photos.
- Best Photo Management Software (Overview)
- What Is Photo Management Software?
- What Are the Best Types of Photo Management Software?
- Things to Look for When Choosing a Photo Organizing Software
- What Are the Benefits of Using Software to Manage Photos?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Best Photo Management Software (Overview)
- Adobe Lightroom
- Magix Photo Manager
- Adobe Bridge
- Adobe Elements Organizer
- Google Photos
- Amazon Photos
- PaintShop Pro
What Is Photo Management Software?
Photo management software refers to software that helps someone organize and manage digital photos.
Rather than relying on folders and file titles inside your computer’s file explorer, this software offers other ways to organize photos for the user.
In general, these programs are best for photographers.
These folks have many digital photos and other media files across different projects.
The organizational tools offered by these programs give photographers a better way to sort, share, and otherwise interact with their photos.
Many photo management software also comes with photo editing options.
While the options may not be as expansive as a dedicated photo editing program, the ability to stay within one program to edit and store photos gives the user a more straightforward alternative when working on a project.
Finally, many of these software packages offer cloud storage.
Backing up photos on the cloud means that the photographer can save their projects without worrying that a loss of power or a program error will cause issues.
What Are the Best Types of Photo Management Software?
With how accessible photography has become, a wide range of photo management software suites has come out to appeal to all kinds of photographers.
The best software for a photographer will depend on their needs, though.
Instead, let’s take a look at some of the popular software suites and what they offer to photographers.
What Is Adobe Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom is a versatile photography program that can suit several different needs of photographers.
Adobe Lightroom is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs offered by Adobe.
While it focuses on photo editing tools, the program has several features that make it a reliable and useful image management software.
What Are the Key Features of Adobe Lightroom?
As a photo editor program first, Adobe Lightroom has a wide range of photo editing tools you can use to improve the look of your photos.
In addition, Adobe Lightroom lets you assign tags and change the metadata of your photos.
You can also edit and publish multiple photos from the software.
What Are the Pros of Adobe Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom pulls double duty by working as both a photo editor and a photo organization tool.
The program is snappy and has an intuitive UI, making it an excellent choice for professional and hobbyist photographers.
This software is also part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, so it can easily integrate with the other software solutions in that package.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Adobe Lightroom?
On its own, Adobe Lightroom has a subscription of $9.99 per month.
You also pay that price to add in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom Classic, plus some cloud storage.
Or, if you want access to a wide range of tools, Adobe Lightroom is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package for $54.99 per month, which gives you access to over 20 different creative applications.
Rather than sort through digital images manually, Magix Photo Manager has tools that automate a lot of the organization needed in digital asset management.
What Is Magix Photo Manager?
Magix Photo Manager is a photo editing and photo organizer software from Magix, who also make the Vegas and Photostory suite of programs.
The program offers features not seen in many other editing tools, making it an excellent software for specific types of photography projects.
What Are the Key Features of Magix Photo Manager?
Automation is the main draw of Magix Photo Manager.
The software package has several tools that automatically recognize patterns, such as faces or sections of scenery.
This capability makes it easy to organize photos based on groups or locations.
You can also use these tools to create panoramic shots using up to eight photos of the same area to capture a wide scene shot.
What Are the Pros of Magix Photo Manager?
Thanks to all of its automation tools, Magix Photo Manager is great for speeding up certain kinds of photography projects and tasks.
These automation tools come alongside the ability to archive photos based on location, date, photo subject, or project name from within the program, as well.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Magix Photo Manager?
For new purchases of Magix Photo Manager, you can expect to pay $49.99.
If you have an older version of the program, the company offers an upgrade download that costs $29.99 instead.
3. Adobe Bridge
Adobe Bridge is the best program if all you want is to organize your photos.
Its features make it easy to search and organize photos across multiple collections.
What Is Adobe Bridge?
Adobe Bridge is a digital asset manager meant to help creative folks move their projects from place to place.
The program offers a range of tools to help organize, edit, publish, and share digital projects, including photos and videos.
What Are the Key Features of Adobe Bridge?
While Adobe Bridge has features for just about any kind of creative project, the main benefits for photographers come from the sharing and productivity features available for collaborative efforts.
Users can create workflows and share projects between accounts via Adobe Stock, the stock digital asset program from Adobe.
What Are the Pros of Adobe Bridge?
Adobe Bridge offers plenty to organize photos.
Users can manually tag photos and organize them via name, date, or metadata.
The program also has a robust search function that makes it easy to find the photos you want.
Plus, thanks to its integrations with the rest of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, it’s easy to share and publish projects to other Adobe programs for polishing.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Adobe Bridge?
Adobe Bridge comes with the Creative Cloud suite but also has a standalone download.
It doesn’t cost anything to use Adobe Bridge on its own, making it a powerful and free tool to use for photo management.
Adobe Elements Organizer
As a management tool for the most popular photo editor program, Adobe Elements Organizer is a separate workspace meant to improve workflow while editing photos.
What Is Adobe Elements Organizer?
Adobe Elements Organizer is the digital file manager for Photoshop Elements.
It comes with Photoshop Elements 2022 and helps Photoshop users organize their digital files and photos for use in Photoshop or publishing.
Because of its integrations with Photoshop, it isn’t possible to download or buy this tool on its own.
What Are the Key Features of Adobe Elements Organizer?
In addition to providing a workspace for importing and organizing digital photos, Adobe Elements Organizer also allows users to mark faces, places, and other photo elements to sort those photos into groups automatically.
For exporting, the software supports photo image file types and video, PDF, and email formats to speed up the publishing process.
What Are the Pros of Adobe Elements Organizer?
Because of its integration with Photoshop, Adobe Elements Organizer is the clear choice for anyone using Photoshop.
The program runs alongside Photoshop as a separate workspace that allows user to organize their assets without losing their progress on active editing jobs in Photoshop.
Additionally, Photoshop is part of the Creative Cloud suite from Adobe, meaning Photoshop has integrations with other Adobe products.
Overall, Adobe Elements Organizer is just one part of a larger photo editing and management suite.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Adobe Elements Organizer?
You can’t buy Adobe Elements Organizer separate from Photoshop Elements.
So, to get this management software, you’ll have to buy Photoshop Elements, which runs for $99.99, to own the 2022 version outright.
The big tech giant Google offers Google Photos as a way for folks to organize and share their photos for everyday life.
What Is Google Photos?
Google Photos is a photo management tool from Google.
While it doesn’t have robust editing tools like other management tools on this list, it has organization functions that make storing and sorting through photos much easier.
What Are the Key Features of Google Photos?
The key features of Google Photos allow you to store your photos using Google’s cloud storage network and share those photos across multiple platforms.
Each photo can be shared individually, or you can set a collection and share the link to that collection with others.
The service also works with smart displays, allowing you to rotate through photos in a collection.
Google also does remote order prints and albums for photos stored in the cloud.
What Are the Pros of Google Photos?
The main draw of Google Photos is that it makes sorting photos efficient.
Between Google’s automatic sorting and the ability to create your own tags and collection, Google Photos gives everyday users a way to store their photos and easily share them.
Additionally, the photos you upload to Google Photos can be used in Google’s other services, meaning that you can bring those photos to other apps in the Google suite.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Google Photos?
Google Photos, much like the rest of the Google applications, is free.
If you need additional storage, there are subscription plans for Google One that let you increase the available storage for your account.
ACDSee has photo management and photo editor software that offers more organizational tools than other options for a fixed price, not a subscription.
What Is ACDSee?
ACDSee is a software company that creates software for digital asset management and video production and resource packs for creative projects.
ACDSee Photo Studio comes in a range of options, each of which has its own suite of editing tools and organizational features.
What Are the Key Features of ACDSee?
Much like other digital asset managers on this list, ACDSee Photo Studio comes with metadata and tagging options that let you assign tags to photos.
In addition, ACDSee Photo Studio includes geotagging, allowing users to assign photos to real-world locations using latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for sorting via location later.
You can also tag the faces in your photos, letting you organize by an individual for your collection.
What Are the Pros of ACDSee?
ACDSee offers a wide range of organizational tools alongside its photo editor.
These tools work together in the same environment, meaning you won’t have to open multiple programs to manage and edit photos.
What Are the Pricing Plans for ACDSee?
Different versions of ACDSee Photo Studio go for different prices.
While the Mac version always sells for $59.59, ACDSee Photo Studio Home is $44.95, ACDSee Photo Studio Professional is $64.95, and ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is $84.95.
FastStone is a no-frills, efficient photo management software with minor photo editing capabilities.
What Is FastStone?
FastStone is an old-school photo management suite of tools that require separate downloads, depending on what functions you want.
The Image Viewer, Capture. and Photo Resizer programs all offer different tools to manage, edit and browse photos saved locally on the device hosting FastStone tools.
What Are the Key Features of FastStone?
FastStone doesn’t have the same editing options as other software packages, but it uses many of the same management tools to tag and sort photos.
Also, because each function is downloaded separately, FastStone isn’t bogged down with extra features that a hobbyist user might not ever use.
What Are the Pros of FastStone?
The main draw of FastStone is its speed.
The tools from FastStone don’t have a modern user interface but run incredibly fast and are stripped down to the bare essentials in the name of speed.
Edits and tags placed on photos happen fast, and search queries for photos come back in a second or two on most devices.
What Are the Pricing Plans for FastStone?
If you use it for home use, the Image Viewer and Photo Resizer options are free.
However, to use FastStone commercially, you’ll have to spend between $19.95 and $49.95 for the various functions.
Phototheca offers a broad range of organizational tools to allow users of all kinds a higher degree of sorting than other photo management tools.
What Is Phototheca?
Phototheca is another photo organization software with minor photo editing tools.
While you can edit some aspects of a digital image inside Phototheca, the software shines brighter as a photo management tool.
What Are the Key Features of Phototheca?
Phototheca uses AI capabilities to sort photos via geographical location, facial recognition, and other user-set tags.
By automating these tags and automatically removing duplicate and blurry photos, users can spend more time sorting photos in more detail.
Additionally, Phototheca allows users to migrate from the shutdown service Picasa to itself with just a few clicks.
What Are the Pros of Phototheca?
The main draw of Phototheca is the sheer number of ways you can sort photos.
In addition to standard tags, you can also set tags based on the camera used to take the photo, manually set keywords, and even photo details like aspect ratio and lighting conditions.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Phototheca?
Phototheca has both one-time purchase and subscription options, depending on how many photos you want to organize.
The Pro and Premium versions cost $49.95 and $64.95, respectively, but only work on up to 500,000 photos.
Beyond that, you’ll need Phototheca X or Business, which cost $55 per year or $399 per year each.
Amazon Photos is a convenient way to store photos via Amazon Prime and use those photos with printers and similar vendors on Amazon.
What Is Amazon Photos?
Amazon Photos is the photo management tool from the online shopping giant Amazon.
Available as an option for their Prime subscribers, Amazon Photos offers photo and video storage options.
What Are the Key Features of Amazon Photos?
Amazon Photos works as a convenience option for folks already signed up for Amazon Prime.
In addition to providing cloud backups and easy access for photos, Amazon Photos also allows users to easily order prints and other photo decor using photos from their account within the Amazon app.
What Are the Pros of Amazon Photos?
Because of the lack of photo editing within Amazon Photos, the service is best for Prime subscribers that don’t need any editing or extra options for their photo storage.
This includes any photo tagging and other management options, making it truly a no-frill option for users.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Amazon Photos?
Amazon Photos comes free with an Amazon subscription, which provides unlimited photo storage and up to 5 GB of video storage.
If you want to store more videos, you can buy storage packages that offer 100 GB of extra storage for $1.99 per month.
SmugMug takes photo management and orients it towards creating a photography business.
All of its features are geared to help photographers earn money off of their photos.
What Is SmugMug?
SmugMug is a photo management website that looks to make setting up an online photography business easier.
When you upload photos into SmugMug, you gain the ability to share those photos via a personalized website or business page much easier than creating a page yourself on something like WordPress.
What Are the Key Features of SmugMug?
The biggest feature of SmugMug is the personalized webpage for your photos.
Photographers can use these web pages to create portfolios or business landing pages for potential photography clients.
Additionally, there is unlimited photo storage and features around using that storage to share photos with clients, such as password-protected galleries and raw file storage.
What Are the Pros of SmugMug?
SmugMug makes it much easier to manage a photography business online.
Instead of setting up your own infrastructure, SmugMug lets you create webpages and client-specific collections via a drag-and-drop user interface.
Additionally, all paying subscribers to SmugMug have a 24/7 support line they can call for things like tech support and website navigation.
What Are the Pricing Plans for SmugMug?
SmugMug has four different options for its hosting and management tools: Basic, Power, Portfolio, and Pro.
These plans range in price from $9 to $42 per month, with more expensive plans offering more tools and a wider range of options for managing client interactions on SmugMug.
PaintShop Pro is a photo editing suite that provides powerful editing tools and capabilities to users of all experience levels.
What Is PaintShop Pro?
PaintShop Pro is a photo editing software that offers editing tools not seen in most other photo editors.
These editing options are easy to use and more intuitive than if you tried to recreate them in other editors, such as animations and particle effects.
What Are the Key Features of PaintShop Pro?
The big draws to PaintShop Pro are their PhotoMirage and ParticleShop effect suites.
These editing suites allow users to create animations using photos or add stunning aftereffects to photos for creative projects.
However, PaintShop Pro doesn’t offer much in photo management unless it’s a photo being worked on in a project.
So, this software works best for photo editing rather than as an organizational tool.
What Are the Pros of PaintShop Pro?
PaintShop Pro is one of the most powerful and versatile photo editors on the market.
The software uses AI capabilities to improve photo editing effects and teach users how to get the most out of the nearly one dozen different packages included with the Pro version of the software.
What Are the Pricing Plans for PaintShop Pro?
PaintShop comes in two versions: Pro and Ultimate.
The Pro version of the software costs $79.99 for the package, while the Ultimate version costs $99.99.
Movavi is a software suite that offers a wide range of photo editing power with a moderate dose of photo management.
The packages provided by this company focus more on creating stunning photos than sorting them, though.
What Is Movavi?
Their photo software suite comes with a desktop and mobile photo editor, a photo management suite, a slideshow creator, and stock photo and effects options to create photography masterpieces.
What Are the Key Features of Movavi?
The key features of Movavi are the three main software suites included with the Unlimited version of Movavi: the Picverse Photo Editor, Perverse Mobile, and the Slideshow Maker.
Both versions of Picverse allow users to edit photos from almost any device, while the Slideshow Maker uses stored photos to make stunning slideshows quickly.
What Are the Pros of Movavi?
Movavi uses AI software to power over 100 different effects and editing tools, including automatic background removal, color enhancements, and photo restoration.
The program also organizes photos based on subject, place, and date and allows users to find photos using these parameters easily.
What Are the Pricing Plans for Movavi?
You can download both versions of the Piceverse suites for free to their respective devices.
The Unlimited version of Movavi, which also comes with video and screen recording packages, costs $149.95.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Photo Organizing Software
Before you decide on one of the above software, you should figure out what features you need first.
Not all image management software has the same tools and options, meaning you might have to experiment first to find the right one.
For example, a hobbyist photographer might not need image editing tools.
For these users, they might just be looking for a way to store an image file for later.
In that case, something like photo editing software options won’t matter as much as cloud storage and image file organization.
However, professional photographers will need more than just storage for their projects.
Integrations with photo editing software might be the number one feature on their priority list since they need to optimize the time spent on a project to meet deadlines.
Think about how you want your photo management software to interact with your digital images.
Once you know what you want from the software, you’ll have a better idea of what features will be important to you.
What Are the Benefits of Using Software to Manage Photos?
The benefits of using this software to manage photos also depend on you use it.
For hobbyist photographers, the ability to organize photos can make going back to old photos easier.
Many of the software suites we listed earlier let you sort photos into projects, tag photos for searches later, or find files by name and date.
As long as you have one of these pieces of info, you can find the photo you want from image management software.
For professionals, the ability to look up photos matters for another reason entirely: efficiency with clients.
As photographers build up a client list, they might find themselves working for the same person or organization for multiple projects.
Having access to old photos to use for new projects can help save time and energy down the road.
Finally, everyone can use photo management software to track their progress as a photographer.
As you use the software for months or years, you create an archive of your work.
If the software comes with cloud storage, then you can never lose this archive.
This feature means that a photographer can go back and review old work and look for ways to improve their shots.
Also, it means that the photographer has an easier time creating a portfolio of work by picking their best photos over their years of experience within the software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the common questions out there about photo management:
Does Windows 10 have a photo organizer?
Windows 10 doesn’t come with a photo organizer.
Instead, the user will have to create a folder to store their digital images inside.
If the photographer wants to get more detailed, they can create folders inside that folder to sort by project or event.
However, doing this means the user won’t have access to certain features dedicated software has, such as tagging photos and fast search queries.
How do I organize printed photos?
Most folks store their printed photos in albums or binders for viewing later.
These methods are helpful if you have a handful of family photos, but professional photographers will have difficulty sorting through all the photos they take.
Printed photos can be turned into digital ones with a scanner, though.
Scanning photos to a computer and organizing the scanned photos with software can speed up your efforts and make it easier to find photos later.
Pro Tip: Don’t spend time inefficiently scanning photos in manually.
Instead, use efficient photo scanning software to make the job even easier.
How do I organize digital photos?
Excluding storing digital photos in a folder on your computer, photo management software offers the best tools for organizing image files.
Many of these software suites give users a way to search, organize and store photos faster and more reliably than a physical album.
Photo management software has come a long way from just gathering photos together for later.
Nowadays, these tools offer ways to apply highly-specific tags to photos, allowing users to search their collections based on specific criteria.
Even simple photo management software could go a long way in helping everyday folks organize their photos for later.
Check out some of the options we’ve laid out here and see if any can help you sort your photos and make finding the perfect photograph for the moment easier.