Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Ultimate Photo Management Software

I like to take lots of digital photos. I photograph mostly historic houses, historic gravestones, my gardens, my kids and scans of old family photos.  What I'd really like is to be able to find my photos quickly when I need them.

I've been on a quest for a long time to find the perfect photo management software. Before my digital photo collection gets completely out of control I'd like to get some sort of system in place.

Over the years I've tried Extensis Portfolio, Picasa and using directories in Windows as a form of management. Nothing has worked quite the way I'd hoped.

Here's what I'd like to see in a photo management program:

  • The ability to attached meta-tags to an entire directory of photos in one step
  • The ability to easily add meta tags or add custom fields
  • Database functionality that will allow me to search for my photos quickly and easily by meta tags, date or custom fields.
  • A simple process for turning my search into an uploadable website. (I mean PAF can do this, Adobe Photoshop can do this. Why can't I find a photo program that can do this easily too?)
  • Does not force me to upload photos or a website to a proprietary site.  I want to be able to upload to my own url.
  • Does not have all sorts of fancy image editing funcationarilty - except for rotate photo.
  • When viewing photos, displays all the meta tags and allow me to click on a new meta tags as the mood strikes me.
  • Allows me to easily switch between thumbnail view and individual full view.
  • Does have drag and drop functionality.

That's all I can think of for now! If you know of a program that fits this description please tell me about.  As long as it doesn't cost a million bucks.  If I were independently wealthy I would just hire my own programers. Since I'm not, I really need your help finding something out of the box.

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!


  1. Has anyone ever used ADCSee Photo Manager?

  2. Yes, I own it. Are you on a Mac or a PC? You would not want the pro ACDSee, but rather Photo Manager 12. The Digital Scrapbookers have warmed to it, but there is still something I am liking even better.


  3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 (ver. 3.4.1 will be out May 27 to fix a bug). Great program. I have been using it since the beta of 1.0 in January 2007. It will make your life a lot easier. Extensible.... lots of plugins for blogs, Facebook, Smugmug and the like as well as slide shows etc.

  4. Marian,

    I used this blog entry as an example of what you might find in a Blog posting. That is, asking for information.

    As it turns out, I just ran across another similar question with a number of interesting Comments.

    By the way, This is a great question.

    Thank you,


  5. I know this is an old post, but I'm curious as to what you ended up using. I'm currenly using iPhoto, but always on the lookout for a better (Mac) solution.

  6. Tom, currently I am exploring Adobe Bridge (it comes with Adobe Photoshop) as an option. I've just gotten it so I haven't been able to put it through the paces yet. When I do I will certainly be blogging about the pluses and minuses of it! I'm not on a mac so I don't have any specific mac recommendations, except of course the Adobe products such as Bridge.

  7. GeoSetter for almost everything except uploading to a private URL. Not a million bucks. Free actually.

    For creating web galleries and the rest, I'd try XnView. Also free.

  8. As you are discovering, Adobe Lightroom will handle many of the tasks on your list. I used PS Elements and XnView (like JL, above) for many years before trying LR, but now I use LR almost exclusively.