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The Best Photo Management Software

Written by: Nicole Colwell  | August 3, 2021

Experts believe that the market size of the photography industry is going to hit $10.9 billion in 2021. 

And that’s just professional photographers. 

People like us also pride ourselves on a well-taken photo, but if we don’t have a way of keeping them all organized, it can be frustrating, to say the least. 

Maybe you’ve seen our article on the best FREE photo management software. If not, that’s something you might want to check out. 

But if you’re looking for the best picture organizing software and you don’t mind paying for it, this is the place for you. 

Without further ado, let’s get right into it. 

The Best Photo Management Software

500px

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Cost: Ranges from $41.92 a year ($3.49 per month) to $83.92 a year ($6.99 per month)

Key Features: One of the best things about 500px is that it allows you to upload as many photos as you want. This image management software provides you with data insights, so you can learn things like where people are finding your photos. It has portfolio capabilities and even priority listing for those who are looking to get hired as photographers. 

Pros:

  • Allows you to see others’ work. 
  • Set up licensing quickly through their system and even sell your photos. 
  • Allows you to upload high-quality images and showcase them to others. 
  • It has an “inspiration” tab, which is great for photographers who are feeling a little uninspired. 

Cons

  • It can be hard to earn money using 500px. 
  • The platform isn’t as user-friendly as it could be. 
  • Search categories can be inaccurate at times. 
  • It does not offer a connection to Facebook or Instagram.

ACDSee

Cost: Ranges from $59.99 to $149.99, depending on the product you choose. 

Key Features: ACDSee offers several photo management software programs for its customers to choose from. They include products like Photo Studio Ultimate 2021 for professionals and Photo Studio Home 2021 for the average person. ACDSee created the first digital asset manager and RAW editor with layers. They offer image editing, plug-ins, online functionality and so much more. 

Pros:

  • It has a simple, but powerful interface. 
  • No technical expertise is necessary in order to master their photo editing software. 
  • It has improved workflow enhancements to help photographers work more quickly. 
  • You can use shortcuts to get through thousands of photos quickly. 

Cons

  • It isn’t quite as useful as photo tagging software. 
  • It doesn’t work as well for editing videos and can use some serious updates in that area. 
  • In order to see updates, customers have to purchase the latest upgraded version. 
  • It’s lacking some editing features, such as the ability to draw. 

Adobe Bridge

Cost: $33.99 per month, but you can bundle with other Adobe apps to save money. 

Key Features: Adobe Bridge isn’t just another photo manager app. It is actually a creative asset manager that allows you to preview, organize, edit and publish your photos. This software lets you add labels, ratings and keywords to all of your pictures. Their search feature is among the best in the industry, and you can also utilize filters and collections to streamline your photos. 

Pros:

  • Even if you aren’t familiar with any other Adobe products, learning Bridge should be a breeze. 
  • You can get all the information you need about a file in one convenient location. 
  • Their batching feature is great for people who struggle with staying organized. 
  • Bridge offers easy integration with PhotoShop. 

Cons

  • Importing files can take some time; especially high-resolution TIFF files. 
  • It doesn’t integrate with non-Adobe apps, so in that way, its functionality is somewhat limited. 
  • Their tagging feature could use some work, and you won’t be able to set up your own system. 
  • It is very limited as far as photo sorting software goes.

Adobe Lightroom

Cost: $33.99 per month, but you can bundle with other Adobe apps to save money. 

Key Features: Adobe Lightroom is a cloud-based photo management software and service. You can use it to create, organize, edit, store and share your photos using multiple devices. This software has tools that are easy to use, even when editing photos on the go. Cloud storage is available at 20GB, 1TB and more. Adobe Sensei machine learning makes finding a photo or creating an album a breeze. 

Pros:

  • Adobe Lightroom allows you to create your own presets, and there are also presets available from other photographers. 
  • Uploading and exporting are fast and easy. 
  • They offer batch editing, which makes it easy to edit a large number of photos at once. 
  • All changes are made in real-time and are accessible from any device. 

Cons

  • It costs more than other, similar applications. 
  • It does not have all of the editing tools that are available in Adobe Photoshop. 
  • In order to access your tools and see what is available, you have to open a photo to start working on it. 
  • Its user interface could use some updating. 

Arqspin

Cost: Ranges from $19.95 per month (basic) to $199.95 per month (enterprise). 

Key Features: Arqspin is unique in that it offers the ability to create stunning 360-degree product photographs. You can use a camera or a smartphone with this photo editing software and get beautiful results. This software is geared more toward professionals rather than amateurs. Many businesses use it as a way to showcases their best products. 

Pros:

  • Arqspin is easy to access on the go because of its ability to use smartphones. 
  • Its 360 feature view enhances the look and feel of the products being photographed. 
  • Its simple plug-and-play feature makes projects available for reuse forever in your profile. 
  • Their customer service is among the best in the industry. 

Cons

  • Some users complain that Arqspin lags and doesn’t work as quickly as other photo management software programs. 
  • Due to bugs in the system, it is not always possible to access the dashboard. 
  • It can be very expensive for people just getting started in photography. 
  • Multitasking can make the app run slower. 

Corel Aftershot Pro 

Cost: $63.99, but you may have to pay up to $50 each time you upgrade. 

Key Features: Corel Aftershot Pro is a workflow application for digital photos. It includes RAW formats, TIFF and JPEG. It can help you organize, optimize and export your photos very quickly. You can work with just one photo at a time, or multiple photos because of their multi-image processing. Your original files are always protected, and you can easily create more than one version of each photo. 

Pros:

  • Corel Aftershot Pro is compatible with Linux, which many users appreciate. 
  • It is easy to figure out this image management software, even without watching any tutorials. 
  • Your photos’ quality will remain intact regardless of any adjustments you make. 
  • It offers flexible options for managing and storing files. 

Cons

  • In order to share photos, you have to create a slide show or a web gallery. 
  • Working with high-quality delay may result in a delay in the software. 
  • Because of its simplicity, it may be lacking some of the features that are available in other programs. 
  • It lacks a toolbar, and the user interface is rather limited. 

CyberLink PhotoDirector

Cost: There are several versions of this photo editing software and prices range from $37.99 ($3.17 a month) to $169.99. 

Key Features: CyberLink PhotoDirector offers a large range of fully guided editing tools. It has many AI tools that can help you streamline editing your photos. It also has some cool features that aren’t available elsewhere, such as Sky Replacement, which allows you to change the way the sky looks in your pictures. Other fun effects include the Glitch Art and Dispersion Effect. This software turns regular photos into works of art. 

Pros:

  • It has a very intuitive interface that allows photo tagging and easy editing. 
  • Its layering feature allows you to stack functionality. 
  • All of your photos are right at your fingertips and available on the main dashboard. 
  • They offer facial recognition technology and a calendar view as well. 

Cons

DataNumen PSD Repair

Cost: It costs $149.95 for one user license. The price goes up depending on how many licenses you need. 

Key Features: DataNumen PSD Repair is a little different than other photo manager apps on our list. This software is used to repair Photoshop files (PSD and PDD) that have been corrupted or damaged. You can use this program to recover as much of your data as possible. You can do a batch repair, and it works well with Windows computers. 

Pros:

  • DataNumen PSD Repair is easy to use, even without the included manual. 
  • It is mostly automatic and can save you hours of work in photo restoration. 
  • You can restore more than one photo at a time, which makes it very efficient. 
  • You can easily resize your images and even choose the colors for your final file. 

Cons

  • Many users complain that the interface is somewhat outdated. 
  • The recovery process can be slow, especially when batching. 
  • It is expensive for its limited capabilities. 
  • It may not work for more severely corrupted photos and files. 

FastStone Capture

Cost: $19.95 for a lifetime license. 

Key Features: FastStone Capture is a screen capture tool and video recorder. With this, you can easily capture and annotate anything that appears on your computer screen. You can send your captures to multiple platforms. The program’s editing tools include resizing, cropping, sharpening and watermarking. It can also save videos in WMV format. 

Pros:

  • The size of the software is small and it has multiple packages that come with it. 
  • Editing “captures” is easy with the built-in editing tools. 
  • You can easily add notes or highlight anything you wish. 
  • It has multiple options for exporting, including to websites, the clipboard or saving “captures” locally. 

Cons

  • It does not have video editing features yet. 
  • It does not have support for all languages. 
  • Capture creates tabs for each screenshot instead of allowing the user to determine how they are handled. 
  • A lot of users don’t like the fact that their cursor is highlighted in all their screenshots. 

jAlbum

Cost: jAlbum offers two prices - the standard license at $59 and the pro license at $129. Both are valid forever. 

Key Features: jAlbum picture management software can help you create professional photo albums online for any website. There are hundreds of album skins to choose from to give it your own personal touch. You can sort, edit or add captions. If you don’t have a website, they offer a community site that allows you to share and store your albums. 

Pros:

  • The user interface is very easy to use - even a child can learn it quickly. 
  • Its drag/drop feature makes working with photos simple and efficient. 
  • They offer excellent customer service. 
  • Its functions are very customizable to fit individual needs. 

Cons

  • It has a shopping cart that works well for single images, but not for advanced packages with multiple images. 
  • It doesn’t have many of the same photo editing tools that are available in other software programs. 
  • It is open-source software, which can be challenging for people who like to write their own code. 

Luminar

Cost: Luminar offers different levels of licenses for one or two computers. The price for one ranges from $79 to $178. The price for 2 ranges from $99 to $198. 

Key Features: Luminar is available through Skylum. It is an application and plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Photos. It is the first AI photo editing software of its kind and it is very intuitive. It’s easy for people who are new to editing images, and it produces professional quality for those who have been at it for years. 

Pros:

  • Its user interface is easy to use and customizable too. 
  • You can choose your favorite tools and make them easy to access. 
  • It supports a wide variety of formats for high-quality and RAW photos. 
  • Its AI features are among the best in the industry. 

Cons

  • It may lag a bit on Windows computers compared to its performance on Macs. 
  • It requires a lot of storage space, so it needs a computer with a lot of RAM. 
  • There is currently no mobile version available. 
  • It can be tricky to connect the plugin. 

Oloneo Photoengine

Cost: $149

Key Features: Oloneo Photoengine offers photographers full control over their lighting and exposure in real-time. Their color model has a range of colors and suppression, which guarantees against any loss of image data during the HDR process. RAW imaging processing is available and it comes with a Lightroom plugin. 

Pros:

  • Its user interface is very easy to learn and quite responsive. 
  • Its image controls work in real-time at a rate of 1/20 of a second or less. 
  • You can directly export your images to other applications such as Photoshop for a more professional workflow. 
  • HDR images come out more vibrant and realistic. 

Cons

  • Their customer service is spotty, and they may take a while to return emails. 
  • Oloneo Photoengine is only available for Windows computers. 
  • Certain tools have been known to oversaturate images. 

Photo Mechanic Plus

Cost: $229 for a new license. There may be a charge to upgrade with later versions of this photo editing and sharing software. 

Key Features: Photo Mechanic is a little different from the other programs we have listed here. It is a fast media browser that can help you organize, manage and export your digital photos. You can do a lot with it, including adding dynamic captions, copyrighting or adding keywords. If you have photos on memory cards, this may be just what you’re looking for. 

Pros:

  • Photo Mechanic makes it easy to keep the photos you want and delete the ones you don’t. 
  • Previews are available instantly, and work can begin right away, even before the photos are finished uploading. 
  • Storage is available for as long as you need your files. 
  • You can easily add captions and metadata to RAW images. 

Cons

  • Some users complain that the latest versions of the software are buggy. 
  • The interface is somewhat outdated and could use some updating. 
  • Users cannot import multiple file folders at one time. 

Shutter Stream

Cost: $499

Key Features: Shutter Stream by Iconasys integrates every part of the photography workflow into one application. Live View allows users to see what the camera sees in real-time before even taking a picture. There, you can pre-crop your subject, create an image overlay and even rotate your perspective up to 270 degrees. They even have an automated background removal feature. 

Pros:

  • Shutter Stream makes editing photos fast and easy. 
  • They offer a lot of helpful tutorial videos to teach you how to get the most out of your photo management software. 
  • Their customer service department is among the best in the industry. 
  • It can be used by people with very little or even no experience in photography. 

Cons

  • Its purchase price is higher than many other photo editing software programs. 
  • Some users have had issues with the background removal tool and getting it to work correctly. 
  • Animations cannot be sent by email; users must have a link to send them. 

SmugMug

Cost: SmugMug offers four different plans - Basic ($7 per month), Power ($11 per month), Portfolio ($27 per month) and Pro ($42 per month). 

Key Features: One of the things we like best about SmugMug is the fact that you only pay for the features you want/need. They offer unlimited, full resolution storage for your photos, RAW photo management, a completely customizable portfolio and website building experience and an advanced search feature that makes it easy to find just what you’re looking for. 

Pros:

  • It’s easy to store photos in one location for teams who all need to access them. 
  • You can create password-protected galleries for people outside of SmugMug to see. 
  • They offer personalization, which is important for photographers who are building their brand. 
  • Quickly manage gallery settings for each client for professionals. 

Cons

  • Setting up SmugMug can be challenging. 
  • Some users report a drop in photo quality after editing. 
  • Uploading a large number of photos at one time can slow the system down. 

Your Photo Organizing Software Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know more about your options, let’s talk about what you should be looking for when you’re shopping for the best photo management software. 

Most people are looking for the following: 

The Ability to Keep Everything Organized

The organization is critical, and you want to be able to add tags and sort your photos based on their time, location, and date. 

Enough Space to Hold All Your Photos

If you’re a pro - or even if you’re not - you want to know that your photo management software can hold all of your photos. 

The Ability to Search and Find What you Need Quickly

Look for software with lots of search options. 

You should be able to search for photos based on things like name, date, tag, color other qualities. 

The Ability to Delete What You Don’t Like or No Longer Need

You don’t need a bunch of photos hanging around that you hate. Make sure you can delete unwanted photos. 

It’s even better when they have a bulk delete option. 

The Ability to Edit and Store Videos

If you work with videos too, you want to be able to edit and store them with your photo management software. 

The software you choose should make it just as easy for you to store and find your videos as it does your photos. 

A Mobile App

If convenience is important to you, having a mobile app that goes along with your software is vital. 

A mobile app will allow you to edit, sort, and organize your files no matter where you are. 

Sharing and Exporting Capabilities

There are lots of ways to sort and export photos. 

You may want to send them to a printer, social media account, or website. You should also be able to email them easily. 

Photo Editing

The best picture management software programs offer photo editing as well as storage and organization. 

Try to streamline your work as best you can so you don’t end up having to use additional programs. 

Which Photo Management Software is Right for You? 

That’s a question only you can answer. But we’d love to hear about the one you choose and why. 

Let us know! 

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