Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, it is important that you streamline the photo process and maintain a productive workflow. One vital component in this process is organizing your photos. As a professional photographer, you might click over a hundred photos in a session. Imagine doing this for a month; you will have thousands of images. So, culling out the best few photos effectively from that list of thousand can be an arduous task. You need to choose and select a few striking shots that clearly represent your work and photography style in the best way to prospective clients.
A good photo organizing software will help you choose your best body of work, by displaying, selecting and organizing your photos based on their date, location, categories, etc. Not only do they allow you to tag, keyword and filter your images, but some of the software featured in this article, also allow you to share photos directly on social media.
What is Photo Organizing Software?
A Photo organizing software or image management application is used to manage a large number of images, thereby making improvements in a photographer's workflow. The basic feature of an image organizer is to edit tags of the photo. It is a good medium to upload files to hosting pages.
Some typical features of an image organizer app include the ability to view thumbnail previews. Albums can be created for images and then be organized into collections. You can add tags like keywords, labels, categories, or flags. These images can also be exported, resized, mailed, or printed.
Here are a few reasons why you should organize your photos:
Easy to find photos - If a client wants to purchase a particular image a year after you did the shoot, how will you find the images? Or, if you need to submit a few nature photos for a competition, you should have a proper system to locate them. Whether you are just organizing your photos by adding keywords, tags, stars, or color codes; you need to know what works best for you. And you should be familiar with the system to use it efficiently when a good opportunity knocks on your door.
Check your progress - When you spend some time organizing your photos, you get a good idea on how you have progressed this far. You will notice how good or bad the photo was earlier and how your interest has shifted over the years. You can divide your work based on the subject, project, or theme. This process will give a direction to your vision as a photographer and will make you understand what kind of subjects you love shooting. After years of working, a photographer starts to develop an ingenious style. An amateur photographer will also notice early patterns in the photography style by following the process of organizing.
Deep analysis - The process of selecting your best work, allows you to analyze your photos. Try to figure out the reason why you like certain images and dislike others. Think about what made you capture those good images and what happened in the bad ones. Doing this will improve your way of looking and help in creating better images.
Revisit ideas - When you revisit your old photos, you can revisit old concepts and ideas. You will realize what mistakes you made or things that you may have missed. You can now take a new approach to the same ideas and improvise them.
Best Ways to Organize Photos
To organize printed photos follow these steps:
- Buy a large set of similar-looking photo albums and photo boxes. Doing this will maintain consistency for an extended period of time.
- Write the date or the name of the person in the photo, or some identifying feature about the photo.
- Make sure you use an acid-free pen or pencil, which is safe for photos. You can get it from an art store near you.
- Discard all the bad photos, which are badly exposed, blurred, or which you wouldn't want to keep.
- Select the ones you like the most and put them in frames or albums. Select and keep the photos separately which you want to give to friends or relatives.
In addition to a photo organizer software, here's how you can manage your photos:
- Most camera these days has an option to add custom file names or folders in the camera itself. The best way to organize photos is to separate them based on each assignment. If this is too much for you, at least make sure that the date and time in the camera are correct.
- Create a folder structure and put your files on it. The folder name can be something like Date_Shoot-Type_Client Name. This can add a location or any other information you want. You can create subfolders based on the number of photographers or cameras. The idea is to avoid photos having the same file name in the folder.
- Use your preferred photo organizer software from the list below and add all the metadata to categorize them. The metadata includes location, techniques, month, client name, and type of shoot. A good photo organizer would have a way to mark your favorite photos. If your software has the option to add GPS data and facial recognition; you can use it too.
- If your organizing software doesn't store the editing catalog, you can create a subfolder inside the folder where you store your photos. This will keep the edit version closeby for easy reference.
Here is the list of 25 Photo Organizers to streamline your workflow.
ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2020
With ACDSee, you can organize your images by keyword, date, category, location, color labels, and ratings. With the ratings, you can easily find photos from a large collection. ACDSee is an easy to understand photo organizer which can even find and delete duplicate images. The software supports 86 different file formats like RAW, TIFF, JPG, and PSD.
The editing functions of the program include cropping, red-eye removal, resizing, and color correction. ACDSee does not deteriorate the quality of an image once the editing is done. The editing can be done to many images at once, which would help in increasing your productivity. You can also create an online gallery through the software, but you would have to pay separately for it. The downside of ACDSee is that it is not compatible with Mac.
Smart Pix Manager
Smart Pix manager provides differentiating features like slideshows and wide print templates. While it might take some time getting used to the program; it offers numerous features to organize the photos. And that too at a reasonable price! Apart from organizing photos, you can use the Smart Pix manager to sort videos and music files as well. You can import images from camera and flash drives in this program. There are, however, only 22 file format support. Smart Pix Manager can also edit photos in bulk, which can save your time. The editing features are limited to a few basic functionalities only. You cannot post your images directly to social media; emails are supported though.
CyberLink PhotoDirector 10 Ultra
CyberLink PhotoDirector has some advanced features like face-recognition and more advanced editing tools. It also has a decent video editor built-in. Unlike ACDSee and SmartPix Manager, this program work on Mac. You can organize images based on tags, color labels, star ratings, and categories. The PhotoDirector 10, however, does not allow you to sort your photos by calendar date. You can see the image metadata with this program, which is helpful to understand the camera settings used. Like advance editing tools, CyberLink software allows you to work in layers. While editing, you can apply any of the 42 filters as well. One of the disadvantages of this program is that it has limited file support and does not support formats like PDF, PSD, or GIF.
Corel PaintShop Pro
The outstanding feature of Corel PaintShop Pro is the editing features it offers. It does the organizing of the photos by using keywords, calendar dates, categories, and ratings. The program offers to set up a backup manager also. With PaintShop Pro, you can view the EXIF and IPTC data of the photo, but it doesn't allow you to search for duplicate files within. The program is easy to understand and is also useful for professionals due to its advanced features. The editing features of the organizing software has tools like paintbrushes, pencil, blemish remover, content-aware fill, etc.
Zoner Photo Studio
Zoner Photo Studio is a great organizing tool. It has four main sections in the program, namely: Manager, Develop, Editor, and Create. In the Manager section, you can organize your photos based on keywords, titles, calendar dates, and color labels. The organizing software also allows you to add GPS location to your photos. By doing this, you will be able to search your images based on locations and see it all on a map.
Photos can be imported from your phone and camera. In Zoner Photo Studio, you can find some basic editing tools like hue, brightness, and contrast adjustments. There are 35 filters in the program through which you can add effects to the images with a few clicks. The software can be purchased with a monthly or yearly subscription.
Adobe has a free tool for managing all your digital files, and this includes photos. You can use this product independent of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite. One of the best photo organizing software, Adobe Bridge, can add tags, ratings, and other metadata to your images. The program also allows you to sort multiple images at the same time. The asset management software gives you centralized access to your files, and you can add watermarks as well. If you wish to publish the images directly to the Adobe Portfolio, you can do so with this program.
Google Photos + Backup and Sync
Google's backup and sync app can also be used to organize photos. This cloud-based program can backup your photo directories automatically. You can select the folders that you want to be uploaded into the cloud. The folders will be backed up and sync automatically. When the files get uploaded, it will be displayed based on time. Google's AI assistant will be able to organize it further apart from recommending which photos can be archived.
StudioLine Photo Basic 4
StudioLine Photo Basic is a free program that provides basic editing features like cropping, resizing, and such. The program also is a good organizing tool for images that can be sorted based on tags. You can add a description to the pictures in the program itself. The organizing tool can be used to view the images in a slideshow and allows you to publish the images to various online gallery tools.
JetPhoto Studio 5
JetPhoto Studio 5 is a good image management tool that can organize photos based on tags and locations. The program can create albums and organize them as well. A strong feature of the program is its sharing ability. The photos can be shared directly with services like Flickr, Jet Photo server, and more. You can also create a google map galley, which can show all the geotagged photos. Galleries can be exported in the form of slideshow and flash, which can even be viewed on a browser or a media player.
With XnViewMP, you can add tags to a large number of photos at once. The organizing program supports more than 500 image formats. The program, however, does not have automatic sorting options like some other software.
This photo organizer software can organize, edit, and share your photos. The files can be imported from various sources like cameras, scanner, or other removable devices. The photos can be organized by keyword, date, categories, or ratings. When you open a photo in this software, you can view the metadata of the photo immediately. ThumbsPlus 10 provides basic editing tools and 23 creative filters to enhance the photos.
PicaJet is a budget program that lets you categorize your photos in different ways. Through this program, you can import your files from various sources like cameras, scanners, and other media. PicaJet can also do bulk edits on your photos, edit the metadata of the images, and do an advanced search. The program, however, gives the photo editing tools and other advanced features in the pro version.
Lightroom is another software from the Adobe family, which can be used for photo organizing as well. Lightroom is beneficial from the point of price as you can get a photo organizing software as well as editing one at the same price. The organizing starts with the importing of files, which can be easily done in Lightroom. These imported files can then be put in folders and subfolders, catalogs, and virtual folders.
The software provides the ability to add keywords, metadata like captions, and titles to the photos. The images can also be organized based on color codes, flags, and star ratings, in this photo management software. The batch renaming of photos can be done with the program and can be exported easily. With Lightroom, you can share your images directly on social media sites. There is no need to make multiple copies as the edits are not applied to the original images. Due to Lightroom's cloud storage feature, you don't need to worry about file loss; and these files on the cloud can be accessed with all devices.
The Adobe Sensei technology uses machine learning to recognize people from the photos; it can even identify some elements in the photos. The keywords are then added in the photos based on the data from Sensei automatically. From the auto-tagging, you can create albums for each individual or any theme you want.
With the Imatch 5, you can add color labels, tags, and ratings which can be used to manage a large number of photos. The software does not provide the option to import the files directly from the camera or scanner; you can do so using your hard drive. An advantage of using this application is that it supports more than 120 file-formats including many RAW formats; and the ability to add the formats which are missing. With IMatch you don't need to create a separate database; the files can be managed from the place where they are. Files can be organized based on titles, subjects, tags, ratings. You can add comments also in the images with the help of this photo organizer. The program does not include an image editor, but you can add special effects to your photos provided in the program. With IMatch, you cannot share your images directly on social media. However, you can create a slideshow and share your images via email.
PixFiler was previously known as PhotoArchiver. It is a user-friendly photo organizing software that allows you to organize and search the photos by keywords, categories, dates, or ratings. The software can work with RAW files and can upload photos from your hard drive, camera, or scanner. PixFiler lets you know about duplicate photos so that you can save space in your drive. The editing features in this organizing program are quite limited to rotating and resizing the image only. PixFiler does not allow you to export the photos directly to social media sites; the files can be shared by email, and slideshow though.
Magix Photo Manager
Magix Photo Manager comes in both a free and paid version. Its facial recognition feature is definitely an attention grabber. Other organizing features are star ratings, theme categorization, cloud importing, and more. Magix Photo Manager can find and delete duplicate images like other software. The program uses AI technology to find duplicates. It provides some basic editing tools like cropping, light correction, and other image optimization features. With the virtual album feature of the software, you can put the same image in multiple collections without using extra space in your hard drive. You can sort and search the images based on names, events, locations, and more. Magix Photo Manager supports most of the photo and video formats.
DigiKam Photo Manager
DigiKam Photo Manager is a free and open-source photo organizing software that can handle more than 100,000 images. The program has all the basic photo organizing functionality you will need like upload, delete and sort images. The program offers a folder system with main folders and subfolders. Commenting on photos is another feature provided by this professional photo organizing program. The photos can also be sorted based on date, title, file size, and more. This photo management program can process RAW and JPEG images and publish them on social media. The metadata of the images can also be edited with DigiKam. An attractive feature of the software is called Light Table, which can edit particular parts of an image separately. Apart from basic editing, the program can also do advanced editing like color management, noise reduction, and add special effects.
FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer can be used as an editing program as well as an organizing tool. The software has enough tools to get the basic editing done. For organizing the photos, you can make use of the tags among other sorting options. This free photo organizer is fast, making you view images without any delay. The images can also be converted into PDF, JPEG, GIF, and PNG using this program. The tags can be added easily using this program, which can be used to search the images. You can resize your images quickly with this app as there are preset for various sizes available. If you are not willing to spend on a photo organizer, this free software might be for you.
On1 Photo RAW
A fully-featured editing program, the On1 Photo RAW also provides the best way to organize photos. The well-developed program has solid cataloging tools that can be used to organize your photos efficiently like batch renaming, tags, ratings, and such. The keywords and metadata like author information can also be added in the images directly. This professional photo organizer is a good choice for professionals who have to deal with tons of images. A user can use the dual-mode of the program, which can be used for browsing or editing features. The images can be viewed based on their editing history, where each image can be set back based on the adjustments that have been done. These adjustments can be compared with the previous versions. The main keywords in the program can have sub-keywords as well, which can also be downloaded from Adobe lightroom.
Apowersoft Photo Viewer
Apowersoft Photo viewer is one of the fastest photo organizing applications on the market. This program can also perform some photo editing functions and can make changes to the metadata of the images in batch. There is also a screenshot tool built-in the program. RAW images can be converted into common formats like JPG, PNG, or TIFF; PDF files can also be viewed in the photo organizer. The files from the program can be shared into social media platforms.
Nomacs is a lightweight, free, and open-source program that has its focus on displaying the images properly through the application. A unique feature of Nomacs is that it can display images from a zip file or from a Microsoft Office document. Photos can be searched within the program by adding filters; it can also be organized based on various categories. Like many other programs, Nomacs also provides you with basic editing tools like adjusting the hue, contrast, and color tones. Nomacs application can be used in Windows, Linux, and Mac.
The Phototheca program is built to sort, edit, and view thousands of images. The images can be imported from various sources like memory cards, hard drives, cameras, etc. The easy to use organizing tool can create events, albums, and smart albums. The photos can be sorted by using keywords, people, and location. The metadata of the photo can be edited using this program. You can build their own photo library in the way you like. Phototheca also provides password protection for the files. The program has a pro version that gives you unlimited photo library, commercial use, and more features.
If you are a Mac user, then you must be familiar with Apple Photos. It is a free and simple tool that can be used to organize photos. The software can be used to create slideshows on the basis of time or date. Apple Photos has the ability to recognize objects and scenes, through which it can categorize photographs. Apple Photos can process RAW files and videos, which can be turned into loops, reverse, or long exposure.
MacPaw Gemini 2
MacPaw Gemini is a software that can only be used to find and manage duplicate and similar looking files on your Mac. As a photographer, you take multiple photos of the same scene. These photos, however, will be of very little use later. The photo organizing program will list all these photos, from there you can select which ones to keep. You can also choose the program's Smart Select, which will automatically find and delete all the files you don't need. The program can be set in such a way that it does not delete the original files while deleting the rest. The program learns from the actions you do to sort the photos, and it will apply the learnings from it.
Mylio is a free app that can be used to organize photos, videos, and other files. This program can be used on any Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android. Mylio doesn't necessarily need the internet to work; it can work automatically to organize the files based on the calendar app. The images will be categorized based on the event and synced with the calendar. Mylio has face recognition technology which can tag and organize photos quickly. Mylio also provides basic editing features, including batch editing.
From basic to advanced photo organizing tools, we have covered it all. Many of them have photo editing features too. If you are not willing to spend on a photo organizing app then, you can opt for free software as well. Having a good tool to organize photos will give you clarity about your work and help you grow. Once you have organized your photos and sorted the best ones based on ratings or flags, you can create a portfolio website on Pixpa.
Displaying your best images in a portfolio is also important if you want to be a professional photographer. You should be able to put together a consistent collection of images with a clear style so that potential customers will know what to expect from your work. Make sure that the photography website builder you choose offers the flexibility, features, and ease-of-use you need to put together professional photography portfolio websites without requiring any coding knowledge. That's where a bit of inspiration comes in handy.
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