Photo Management Software

Best Photo Management Software of 2021

The use of digital images is growing exponentially. With this demand for photo management software became increasingly important for storing, organizing, and managing digital assets in the cloud.

Moreover, this is a big priority for designers and businesses of all sizes to scale for future requirements. Plus, with higher image quality comes the need for more storage. Photo management software helps by providing easy retrieval and access to these image libraries.

To make your decision easier, I have ranked and reviewed the best photo management software based on support, pricing, integrations, organization and storage capabilities, ease of use, and more.

So let’s get started.

What is the Best Photo Management Software?

Here are the top choices for photo management software.

1. Adobe Lightroom

Best for cloud storage (Starts from $9.99 per month).

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a cloud-based photo management software that lets you share, store, organize, and edit your photos across any device. It comes with AI-technology to automatically save all the edits and manage multiple pictures on your smartphone.

Moreover, it provides a machine learning feature that recognizes themes and people and creates albums on its own. Plus, you are provided initially with 1 terabyte of cloud storage for free, which is enough for most mid-sized businesses and graphic designers. However, you can always buy more storage if required.

It utilizes a non-destructive edits policy to eliminate the requirement of keeping multiple copies of a photo. Therefore, saving your editing adjustments while preserving the changes and original images in the same picture.

Key Features of Adobe Lightroom

  • Adobe Sensei – Its machine learning automatically recognizes the colors, themes, objects, locations, and faces in your images. Plus, this feature allows you to find photos you are looking for, with or without relevant keywords.
  • Image Labels – Leverage organizational tools, including picture marks, flags, and ratings, and instantly create albums with a single click.
  • iPad integration of Photoshop – This allows you to directly send images from the Lightroom library to Adobe Photoshop on your iPad and vice-versa.

Pros of Adobe Lightroom

  • Organize images through albums, flags, and ratings.
  • It takes an automatic backup of your images.
  • Auto-tagging of images for easier searchability.
  • Lightroom also helps you manage the image library from any computer or mobile device.
  • Upload images from email attachments and messages directly
  • Provides access to all files you want to share from any device.
  • Offers step-by-step tutorials and how-to guides to help you get started.
  • Easily add photos from the web, mobile, and desktop.

Pricing Plans

Adobe Lightroom is part of Adobe Creative Cloud and costs $9.99 per month.

2. ACDSee

Best for extensive RAW support (One-time payment of $59.99).

ACDSee

ACDSee is a digital asset management tool that helps you manage photos using data location and facial recognition features. It also helps you share, sort, and search your media collection. Features like import-free access to your photos, customizable categories, and keywords help you facilitate your workflow.

Moreover, ACDSee also offers parametric photo editing and performance-based adjustment layers features. Leverages digital asset management and RAW editing toolsets to edit the image just the way you want. Finally, the GPU-enriched software also claims to processes your edited images at a faster pace.

Key Features of ACDSee

  • Extensive Support – Provides RAW support to more than 550 digital camera models.
  • Location Data – Its Map pane displays the geotags to mark the location where you took the images. Additionally, it isolates a group of images based on the region they were clicked through embedded latitudinal and longitudinal information. Moreover, it also allows you to drag and drop images for geotagging.
  • Facial Recognition – It identifies faces so that you can search for images and name individuals easily.

Pros of ACDSee

  • Drag and drop searching.
  • Process and save images in batch.
  • You get access to a 30-days free trial for the full product.
  • You can import images from Lightroom and Picasa
  • The customer support team is available Monday to Friday.
  • They offer workshops, photography tips,  tutorials, and free updates for beginners

Pricing Plans

ACDSee’s pricing starts at $59.99 as a one-time payment, per user. The software does not offer a free edition but you can try out the full version free for a month.

3. Adobe Bridge

Best overall photo management software (Starts from $20.99 per month).

Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is a digital asset management app that enables you to organize, edit, preview, and publish multiple photographs quickly. Plus, it also allows you to change ratings, add labels and edit metadata, or keywords to organize your images.

Metadata filter and search options also help you find and organize your assets in order. The photo management app also collaborates with multiple libraries to publish photos directly to the Adobe Stock.

Recently they have added features to export images in bulk to formats like PNG, TIFF, and DNG. Additionally, resize image-based on short edge. Finally, toggle thumbnail transparency on and off.

Key Features of Adobe Bridge

  • Adobe Camera Raw – You can open raw images directly from the Bridge for editing.
  • Adobe Portfolio – Build a professional portfolio of your illustrations, InDesign, or images through PDF contact sheets.
  • Photo Downloader – You can import all your digital images and convert them into DNG files during the import or rename them.

Pros of Adobe Bridge

  • On-demand thumbnail and metadata generation
  • Create an Adobe website directly from Bridge.
  • Quickly organize and stack HDR or panoramic images.
  • Import photos or videos from a mobile phone or a digital camera on the macOS.
  • Provides the capability of renaming or batch exporting your images with multiple sizes and scale options.
  • Offers PDF Contact sheet to create portfolios of your InDesign, photos, or illustrations files.

Pricing Plans

Adobe Bridge is not a standalone tool; it comes with the complete Creative Cloud package that costs $20.99 per month.

So now let’s cover the basics.

What is Photo Management Software?

Thanks to the digital revolution, digital photography has evolved a lot, and the management of digital images is constantly evolving.

Digital photo management comes under Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Media Asset Management (MAM). Moreover, there are numerous photo management software tools available right from free to premium. Essentially, a photo management software helps you create metadata, assign photo users, and manage photo assignment requests that you can link to DAM records.

On top of that, modern photo management tools also enable you to edit, backup, and share photographs through mobile apps. Additionally, some software utilizes artificial intelligence technology to manage images more efficiently.

Other vital benefits of photo management software include:
  • Seamless Operation – Streamlines the process of sharing, presenting, and importing images.
  • Efficient Tracking – Track finished assignments through a searchable database.
  • Automatic Updates – Send email reports related to the assignment
  • Metadata and Videos – This allows you to manage videos and supplement metadata directly to the DAM

What Should You Look For in Photo Management Software?

Here are a few common suggestions that you should consider before purchasing a photo management tool.
  • RAW Support – An ideal photo management platform should provide a mechanism to store RAW images directly from your digital camera to the software. Additionally, it should be capable to store large size photos without the need for transfer to your laptop or PC.
  • Mobile App – A mobile app comes in handy when it comes to edit, share, store, or capturing videos or images. Additionally, you can use it to share, export, or manage images and files.
  • Artificial Intelligence – It’s good to have features like object recognition and facial recognition equipped with the software. These AI-based functions can help you quickly search and sort images using factors like objects, names, events, and more. This saves you from remembering relevant keywords to find a picture.
  • Wireless Support – Should allow you to seamlessly transfer all your data through a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Search Capability – You can have a bank of files and images that exceed thousands if not millions. In these cases, it becomes crucial to search the pictures using a wide range of factors including labels, ratings, geotag, locations, tags, etc.
  • Photo Editing Features – Editing options like lens correction, contrast, brightness, and exposure correction can help you edit images at a quicker pace without relying on standalone photo editing software.

Photo Management Software – Final Summary

These were some of my top picks for the best photo management software. I will keep updating the list with other relevant software available in the market. Most of these tools provide photo editing features along with management services.

In the end, review all the tools and choose the one that aligns with your budget and photo management needs.

Which of these photo management tools are you planning to use, and why? Let me know in the comments below.

More from Smashitbuck: Do refer to my other articles on task management software, document management software, best OKR software.

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