Photographer reviewing a batch of photos

The Best Photo Organizing Software in 2022

Digital photo organizing today, unlike with printed film photo albums of the past, is a huge undertaking due to the sheer amount of digital photographs that any one person (thanks, smartphones!) or organization has stored at any given moment. Who has the time to manually organize that many photos? If you’re reading this post—we’re guessing not you. That’s where photo organizing software comes into play.

While it's possible to organize photos using desktop solutions, such as hard drives, servers and computer folders, the best way to organize photos is using a form of cloud-based photo organizing software, such as digital asset management. When researching the one that's right for you, you'll find photo organizing software solutions that offer different features, price points and specialties, but they all serve a similar purpose: to manage photos.

What is photo organizing software?

Photo organizing software is designed not only to safely store photos in a centralized location, but also to make them easier to find and share. Photo organizing software is widely available for a range of users, whether you’re a massive creative team, a small business looking to keep photos on file, a professional photographer storing client work, or an everyday smartphone user who regularly takes snaps of family and friends.

What are the benefits of photo organizing software?

The list of benefits of using photo organizing software is long, what makes photo organizing software a must-have for anyone is the central location and accessibility from all locations and devices. Some other important considerations for everyday users and business include:

  • Accessibility from all locations and devices,
  • Advanced search and tagging features,
  • Easy sharing capabilities, and
  • Enhanced backup and security.

What's the best photo organizing software?

There are a number of photo organizing software options on the market, ranging from basic storage to enteprise digital asset management solutions. Finding the software that's "best" for you primarily depends on how you'll use it and who needs access. To make things easier, we've hand-selected the best photo organizing software for:

  1. Content-focused teams,
  2. Document-focused teams,
  3. Professional photographers, and
  4. Personal use.

Below, we take a deeper look at the various options and recommend specific platforms.

1. Content-Focused Teams: MediaValet

Large teams who produce and distribute a high volume of content need a platform that’s immensely sophisticated and feature-rich. A cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) system, like MediaValet, allows users who are working with large volumes of photos from multiple events and projects to stay organized and on-task. MediaValet offers custom permission settings, advanced search capabilities, keyword tagging, and custom metadata. With sharing capabilities like branded online galleries, zipped files and custom renditions (i.e. turning a JPG into a PNG), With many integration options, MediaValet is a powerful, highly functional photo organizing solution for content-focused teams, especially those who have team members working remotely. On top of all that, the pricing structure includes unlimited users, user groups and training. Explore more MediaValet features.

MediaValet homepage

2. Document-Focused Teams: DropBox

For small, operational teams who need to store a limited number of core photos, such as employee headshots and a few event photos, but have a deeper need for document storage, an online file management solution, like DropBox, can be sufficient. As with other cloud-based photo organizing solutions, content is accessible from anywhere, with prominent syncing, storage and security features. DropBox is stronger with document management, so it’s often the preferred solution for those working primarily with documents, spreadsheets and presentations, with a secondary need to manage corporate photos. It also offers integrations with other business tools like Google, Slack, Zoom, Adobe, which gives the program more appeal to collaborative teams. The team-based pricing and features make it ideal for organizations with a wide variety of users, and the top-tier packages offer basic metadata tagging for those looking to track additional asset information. Compare MediaValet and Dropbox.

Dropbox homepage

3. Professional Photographers: Adobe Bridge

Companion software, like Adobe Bridge, is ideal for professional photographers who need photo organizing software that connects well with design tools and offers more sophisticated features. Adobe Bridge, in particular, actually integrates with the entire Adobe Creative Suite, which is incredibly convenient for creative professionals, like wedding and event photographers. As a photo organizing solution, Bridge offers multiple functionalities such as file browsing, image review, rating and labelling. Not only that, but you can also filter images and create custom collections, rename files in batches, and directly access Photoshop’s image editing plugin. Users can also send photos directly from their cameras into the program, making it ideal for professional photographers.

Adobe Bridge homepage

4. Personal Use: Google Photos

For an everyday user managing personal photo albums, an online photo library, like Google Photos, is the perfect platform. Google Photos is a free photo organizing software up to 15GB (followed by a small monthly fee) that’s accessible on your desktop or mobile devices (both Android and iOS) - even offline. With automatic sync and back-up, and tiered storage plans, Google Photos offers a photo organizing solution for pretty much everyone. Its artificial intelligence (AI) tagging and other search functions allow users to quickly find photos by location, date, and common terms like “beach”. Google Photos also makes it incredibly easy to share albums with quick links. It’s a great solution for individuals hoping to manage thousands of photos, without exhausting the storage on their phone.

Google photos homepage

What is the best way to organize photos?

While it may sound cliché, there truly is no single right or wrong way to organize your photos - it's all about organizing in a way that makes sense to you (or your users). With this in mind, create a category and keyword structure that mirrors the types of photos you're organizing and how you will search for them down the line. For example, if you're storing event photos, it likely makes sense to organize them into folders based on the year, followed by the event name. Providing additional metadata, like meaningful file names and keywords, can also provide additional context that you can search by down the line. Here are some best practices to follow when creating keywords.

How do you manage thousands of photos?

Even with a photo organizing solution in place, when you start managing thousands (or even hundreds) of photos it becomes critical to enrich those photos with supplementary metadata and provide advanced search filters, in addition to organizing them into folders. Being able to search for a photo in multiple different ways - such as photographer name, associated campaigns, star rating and more - significantly improves your ability to find those photos later, even as you grow to tens of thousands of photos. Most organizations will use a DAM to facilitate this, as it streamlines and operationalizes this enrichment process, and offers more advanced metadata and filtering options.

Get your photos organized today

Finding a photo organizing solution that's right for you doesn't need to be difficult. By taking the time to better understand your own needs, as well as the functionality of the various solutions on the market today, you can more easily pinpoint the solution that will help alleviate your photo management woes.

Does a digital asset management system sound like the right fit for you? Book your free demo of MediaValet to see the platform live!

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.