21 Best Photo Management Software Plus 7 Sites For Selling Your Images Online
There are some staggering statistics on the number of photos in circulation online and our ongoing obsession with social media means that these numbers are only set to grow.
Did you know that:
Smartphones don’t just have cameras in them, they have amazingly powerful cameras, with exceptional features and the ability to upload photos, edit and tag them, store them, add metadata and publish them.
Globally we are snapping trillions of images each year and every single one of those images needs to be securely stored, organised and saved.
So if you’re a blogger, influencer or professional photographer who needs to organise and manage your digital assets and you want to manage them in a more strategic way that makes your images more accessible and allows you to realise the full value and potential of your images than check out the photo management software below.
If images are a significant component in the way that you money online then you should invest in the right photo management software to organise your images and help your business grow.
What is Photo Management Software
If you’ve used any kind of image-based social media, such as Instagram or Snapchat, then you’ve used a basic, yet still powerful form of photo management software.
Photo management software is a platform or programme that helps you organise, file and archive your images. By using photo management software in the correct way you should be able to easily find the image files you’re looking for. In other words it’s like a large, well organised and curated photo album.
Photo-management software can overlap and include photo-editing software, such as Photoshop and increasingly that is proving to be the case.
At its core photo management software exists to help you:
Why Do You Need Photo Management Software?
Reason 1: Organise Your Photos
Your images should be easy to find because your time is precious and you don’t want to spend hours trawling through large databases looking for that image a client requested 12 months after the shoot.
Photo management software provides you with the availability to add keywords, tags, stars and even utilise artificial intelligence to group and organise images. Familiarise yourself with the software.
Reason 2: Analyse Your Work
One fantastic benefit of working with images is the ability to see how your skill and talent has progressed overtime and a good photo management software can provide you with the ability to review your progress.
INstantly comparing images side by side will really show how your style has evolved and this process of review will give you the vision you need to progress as a photographer as well as the direction you wish to go.
Reason 3: Create Projects
Once you start to build up a body of work, or even if you have an existing archive, utilising the right photo management software can help you capture thematic motifs that could result in new projects in the pipeline and creative projects in the future.
A powerful arresting image will always remain exactly. Make sure yours are accessible and easy to locate.
Reason 4: Sell Your Images
Monetising your photos is one of the best ways to prove their value.
And there are loads of ways that you can monetise your images including:
What’s the Best Photo Management Software?
Here’s your rundown of the most popular photo management software platforms available online starting with the 3 premium versions, working through to more cost effective versions and finally free versions of the best photo management software.
1. Adobe Bridge
▷ Best for: full digital asset management solution
▷ Price: Free, standalone | $49.99, Adobe Creative Cloud
▷ Get now: FREE trial available
Adobe Bridge is really the very definition of a photo management software because it allows you to manage your creative assets in a way that lets you preview, organise, edit and publish multiple creative assets quickly and easily.
Bridge provides a clean and useful interface:
You can edit metadata, add keywords, labels and ratings to images and organise them into collections using powerful filters and advanced search features.
Bear in mind that Adobe Bridge is purely a digital asset manager, its focus is on streamlining and managing the transfer of assets between programs, so if you want to edit photos in Bridge you’ll need to use Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom (below) or a seperate plugin called Adobe Camera Raw.
You can download Bridge for free but to take full advantage of its complete functionality its best to buy it as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud.
– BEST ALL ROUND PACKAGE –
2. Adobe Lightroom
▷ Best for: BEST ALL ROUND PACKAGE
▷ Price: $9.99 per month
▷ Get now: FREE 30 day trial available
Adobe Lightroom is the Granddaddy of photo management software having been around for more than a decade. And there’s a good reason for that; it comes with the power and computational clout of the Adobe brand.
Note: The main difference between Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Bridge is that Lightroom is a standalone product and can be purchased separately, which makes it more cost effective for enthusiast photographers and small businesses that don’t want the bigger investment of the Adobe Creative Suite of tools.
Lightroom also utilises a powerful database to serve up your images meaning it is more flexible when working with large numbers of images and can help to streamline workflow and database capabilities. It does, however, come with many of the functions that can be found in Bridge.
That includes the Adobe Camera Raw engine which is utilized in Lightroom and really helps the software stand out when it comes to radical colour enhancements that highlight, rather than overpower the subject matter.
With the added ability to apply set parameters and rules across large collections of photos you can essentially group-edit batches of photos to save time when across grouped images.
The latest version of Adobe Lightroom has integrated cloud storage, which comes with 1 terabyte included, which should be enough for most individuals and smaller businesses, however the option to purchase more storage is available if needed.
Lightroom is a great starter package that provides powerful functionality to produce professional quality pictures yet with an interface that is easy to get to grips with and provides a significant level of help and support should you get stuck.
At $9.99 per month it’s not going to break the bank, but bear in mind that that charge is an ongoing monthly subscription so you should buy this product if you are sure you will use it on a fairly frequent basis. That way you’ll be making sure you get good value for your money.
3. DxO Photolab 4 Elite
▷ Best for: a non-subscription based alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud
▷ Price: $179, lifetime access
▷ Get now: Buy from DXO
The flagship product from DxO, PhotoLab 4 Elite, provides an alternative to the subscription based model of the Adobe suite of products and those seeking lifetime, subscription-free, access to their photo management software.
Management of your images is a straightforward process inside Photolab, but it’s strength really comes into play when it comes to editing and image qaulity.
For those looking for a one-off purchase that includes the ability to manage images as well as editing them on the fly, this might be the option for you.
The DxO workspace is entirely customisable and will allow you to select the tools you most often use by modifying the settings to display, or hide, elements using the filters available. And if you need to temporarily access a tool you’ve chosen to hide, simply look it up and it’ll reappear on your workspace instantly.
4. Corel Aftershot Pro 3
▷ Best for: image library management
▷ Price: $79.99
▷ Get now: Buy now from Aftershot Pro
Corel Aftershot Pro 3 comes from the old-school of photo management software having evolved out of CorelDRAW, one of the oldest computer based art programs. We’re talking dated here – remember MS Paint?
And then out of the blue Aftershot Pro 3 was released in January 2018 as a serious competitor to Lightroom. So how does it stack up?
For start, it’s up to 4x faster than Adobe® Lightroom®* which means in terms of workflow and image management the speed is pretty good. It’s also possible to apply quick changes to batches of photos, optimising both your time and your work.
Whilst it has an excellent focus on it’s image library allowing you sort and filter through a huge range of criteria, it’s photo editing tools are somewhat clumsy in comparison to other programs.
5. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
▷ Price: $59.99
▷ Best for: Powerful RAW functionality and contrast controls
▷ Get now: Buy From ACDSee
If you need powerful photo management software that can easily handle large RAW image files then ACDSee might be the right program for you.
ACDSee’s software includes a comprehensive RAW Editor:
With RAW file capabilities that can handle more than 550 digital camera models and file types you’ll be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive profile which also includes RAW editing and GPU-enriched software to process images at a faster pace.
6. ON1 Photo Raw
▷ Best for: new photographers
▷ Price: $99, standalone | $129.99, annual subscription
▷ Get now: Buy From ON1.com
Compared to Corel Aftershot Pro, ON1 Photo Raw is a baby in the world of photo management software but that doesn’t mean it lacks in its capacity to manage or edit images.
With support for a huge 800+ RAW image files plus integration abilities that plug right into Photoshop ON1 Photo Raw works as a standalone product or with your existing photo editing software.
Access our images across all your devices:
▷ Price: $39.95
▷ Best for: PC users and amateur photographers
▷ Get now: FREE Trial Available From Lunarship.com
Phototheca is a PC based photo organising software that is a useful, easy-to-use clean interface that suits amateur photographers looking to more effectively manage their image libraries.
It comes with a series of features that can allow users to import photographers and images from almost anywhere including their drives, memory cards, networks, iOS devices in either JPEG or RAW formats.
It has a clean and straightforward photo library interface. In comparison to some of the other heavy-hitters in this list it might be more limited in terms of the editing and workflow functionality.
That’s reflected in the free trial and price, which is why this platform is probably suited to PC users who want a clean and simple interface.
8. Movavi Photo Manager
▷ Price: $39.95 to $199.95, various pricing options
▷ Best for: Influencers, travel bloggers, families
▷ Get now: Buy From Movavi
Movavi photo manager is designed to help you focus on the memories of your photos and seamlessly integrate it’s software into your image management so that you can save time and streamline your image archives more effectively.
Movavi’s simplified software can help those looking for a clean, simple interface to manage their photos and get on with the things that matter: making memories. With facial recognition to create albums based on individuals and the ability to tag and geo-locate photos Movavi can help you organise your images and albums more effectively.
The program will even group similar images together so you can select the best one and delete the others as well as providing you with the ability to delete straight-up duplicates.
9. Zoner Photo Studio
▷ Price: $4.99 | monthly subscription
▷ Best for: low cost photo editing alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop
▷ Get now: FREE 30 Day Trial Available
Zoner photo studio claims that they are the most universal photo software available for RAW processing, layer support, presets, retouching tools, video editing and cataloguing.
And due to their offer being based on a subscription-based model they are able to make incremental improvements on an ongoing basis which will enhance your photo management experience with Zoner.
10. IMatch 5
▷ Price: $129.99 | one off purchase
▷ Best for: Cataloguers, Librarians, Archivists, Image Bank Managers
▷ Get now: FREE Trial Available
IMatch is the photo management software from photools.com a company which has been developing software for managing digital images and assets since 1998.
IMatch manages your existing files where they already are, meaning that you are not required to rearrange your databases and its core focus is on digital asset management, having been designed to catalogue files of any type with a particular focus on images.
If you’re looking specifically for a system designed around hierarchical categorisation then IMatch might be the choice for you. It supports keywords, geolocation and every standard type of metadata: IPTC, EXIF, GPS, XMP and more. IMatch is can also be used to organize files using a complete set of file-system features for copying, moving, deleting and intelligent batch renaming.
What Imatch lacks in image processing capability it more than makes up for with it’s cataloging features. This includes many features to organize files such as flexible Batch Renaming, Reverse Geocoding, Face-Detection, Image Rotation and much more.
11. CyberLink Photodirector
CyberLink Photodirector will help you get to the heart of creative photo editing, fast. With powerful AI tools, eye-catching visual effects, advanced color controls and intuitive layer editing, you can create breathtaking compositions and artistic masterpieces – it’s focus is on the artistic approach to images and videos, making it a great photo and video management software programme for video editors and YouTubers.
Whilst Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector initially started out life as a serious contender to Adobe’s Lightroom it has since added features that wouldn’t look out of place in Photoshops. It’s strengths lie in its ability to provide total image transformations layer by layer, which provides considerable power to video editors and YouTubers in the manipulation of their media.
Artificial intelligence is also used to seamlessly mask the outline of certain objects (so you can quickly select individuals within an image) or to integrate AI style effects, to transform images into artistic visuals.
Best Free Photo Management Software
12. Apowersoft Photo Viewer
▷ Price: FREE
▷ Best for: as a light touch Image Viewing
▷ Get now: Free Download Available
This photo management software is primarily a tool to view HEIC, JPG, PNG, BMP images perfectly.
As a powerful image viewer it’s very easy to use, but don’t expect advanced image editing capabilities with this photo management software. For that you’ll need one of the premium packages, such as Lightroom, further up the list.
It’s main strength lies in it’s abilities to handle HEIC files (these are basically a more advanced iOS version of the JPEG which offers better compression and various other features). This is useful because if you have an iPhone, and a PC it can be difficult to view images on your computer. Apoersoft Photo Viewer provides a useful solution, bridging that divide.
▷ Price: FREE
▷ Best for: professional photo management with the power of open source
▷ Get now: Free Download Available
Open source software is software made with source code that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance, as opposed to proprietary or ‘closed source’ software which is produced and sold by software companies.
digiKam is an advanced open-source digital photo management application that runs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS. The application provides a comprehensive set of tools for importing, managing, editing, and sharing photos and raw files.
And because it’s open source digiKam is continually going through a process of review and improvement.
14. Magix Photo Manager
▷ Price: FREE | $49.99, Photo Manager Deluxe | $69.99 Photostory Deluxe
▷ Best for: beginners to photo management software
▷ Get now: Free Download Available
Magix Photo Manager is available both as a free and premium, paid-for version and across it’s plans the software features a number of options that provide a pretty comprehensive, low-cost photo management tool.
15. Apple Photos
▷ Price: FREE
▷ Best for: iOS users
▷ Buy now: Integrated within macOS
Apple Photos comes preinstalled on Macs so you don’t need to worry about downloading it. If your looking for something that’s cross platform than Adobe Lightroom, which is number 1 on this list, is your best bet.
For anyone else wanting a simple interface that’s clear and easy to navigate Apple Photos is a great place to start plus if your devices all exist within the Apple ecosystem iCloud will integrate with Apple Photos to give you access to your entire Mac photo and video library from all your devices.
Editing features include the ability to resize, crop, create collages, zoom, warp and GIF your photos. You can transform photos with five different studio quality lighting effects and you can choose enhanced functionality to improve images at the click of a button.
Utilising Apple’s powerful Photos iPhone app also means that you can adjust photo levels and making editing changes on the fly.
16. Google Photos
▷ Price: FREE
▷ Best for: high volume image storage on the go
▷ Get now: Free Download Available
Google Photos is a free download that can operate on Android or iPhone Smartphones, and when integrated with it’s cloud features, it can offer nearly limitless photo storage and backup.
The app includes face detection as standard as well as photo editing features and improved search functionality. It’s a real contender to Apple Photos but probably doesn’t have the capacity or power of social media apps like Instagram for editing photos.
It’s main selling point is the potential for unlimited backup, which syncs across all your enabled devices, in the Google drive. Bear in mind if images are larger than 16 megapixels it won’t back those ones up but instead creates a near-identical compressed version.
This won’t affect iPhone users, but could come into play if shooting on a D-SLR that shoots higher than 16MP.
Whilst Google Photos is definitely on the more basic side of photo management its ability to backup an almost unlimited version of images mean that it can be useful for both beginners and professional photographers on location.
▷ Price: FREE | $9.99 per month for premium plan
▷ Best for: personal photo management
▷ Get now: Free Download Available
Mylio organizes all your photos in one library that is accessible on all your devices so you can conveniently manage, edit, and enjoy your photos anywhere. With privacy controls you can keep your photos private, protected, and with you all the time. Your photos are stored on your devices, so you’re in complete control.
Mylio lets you import your current pre-existing folder structure, saving time. Changes you make to Mylio from any device are synced across all your devices, so you always have the most current version of your library.
Embed Video: https://mylio.com/home-v4/
How To Sell Your Images Online
There is a huge industry of stock libraries buying and selling digital assets for use on websites, books, blogs, products and the advertising industry.
When a photographer sells via one of the platforms below they receive a cut of each sale.
Selling your images through stock sites is a great way to create a passive form of income because once your images are uploaded, approved and online they are available for sale into perpetuity with essentially no further work required by you.
You’ll need to take a fairly critical eye to your images, remember stock sites are looking for the photos that they can sell and they know what their customers will pay for.
You coil receive anything from 20-60% of the sale price of each image from the below websites and, to maximise your earning potential, it’s a good idea to sign up to as many stock image websites as you can.
These are the Contributor homepages of the Top Stock Photography Websites where you can sign up to start selling your images right away:
Need Stock Images for Your Blog Or Site?
Buying and selling stock images is big business but if you need the perfect image and don’t have it available in your current archive then using a paid-for stock site is your next best bet.
You can head over to one of the free stock image sites to get images without paying but the downside is that thousands of other blogs will be using the same images and your site won’t be distinctive when it comes to the visual look and feel of it.
We’ve reviewed all of the above stock photography sites and the best value site for stock images is Depositphotos. It’s subscription price provides you more images for less, with prices from as little as $0.22 per image. So if you need the perfect images for your blog or business than sign up to Despositphotos here:
Get the best value Royalty-free Stock Photos, Vector Images, Videos and Music to find exactly what you need for your projects.
Summing Up Best Photo Management Software
There is a wide range of programs to choose from when it comes to the best photo management software but if you’ve read through this list and you’re still not quite sure which one to go then my advice is to really think about your own personal or professional photo management needs and then select the software accordingly.
Is it for your own personal image library? In which case, any of the FREE OPTIONS, including Apple and Google Photos, Magix or digiKAM will probably work for you.
If you’re starting out as a photographer and want to keep costs low, then it’s probably a good idea to explore the cost effective options.
But if you want the best PREMIUM photo management software and you want to invest in the best, all round software package then our top pick for the best all-round package is Adobe Lightroom.
Adobe Lightroom is the most flexible, user friendly, all-round package that is easy enough to use for beginners and can help streamline, edit and manage your image collections:
Whichever you choose, remember that your images have value: they can be precious memories, or beautiful pieces of artwork. They can be monetised through stock sites, displayed and sold in galleries, online or off, or simply kept to refer to and remember in years to come.
The key to your photo management goals is to make use of one of these options to help you to realise your photographic potential.
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