12 Best Photo Management Software of 2021 (Ranked and Reviewed)

Image with a digital camera on a rock and a sunset

There are dozens of competing photo management software and platforms on the market. If you’re looking for one, it can be daunting to know where to start.

This was true for me when we considered using a photo management system last year.

But, after searching the web and testing a few we landed on a definitive few that stand out above the rest.

So, regardless of what you’re after, we’ve got a photo manager for you on this list.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. My reputation is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I only provide completely honest, unbiased recommendations.

What Are the Best Photo Management Software of 2021?

Here are our 12 favorite photo management software carefully ranked by feature set and cost.


1. Adobe Bridge

Most comprehensive photo management software

The number one spot goes to the first Adobe product on our list: Adobe Bridge. Most people are familiar with Adobe thanks to their PDF viewers and editors. But, they also come in at number one for photo management with the Adobe Bridge product.

The key takeaway is that we found Bridge to be better value than its counterpart (Adobe Lightroom – which also made our list). It offers a ton of versatility and ease-of-use features. For example, you can rename a bunch of photos at once, use labels and keywords to group and organize, and personal ratings to better find what you’re looking for.

It also utilizes your photos’ metadata to optimize organization and searches.

Adobe Bridge even comes bundled with Adobe’s Creative Cloud. This gives you more control to open directly from Bridge, edit, and resave back to your library!

At the end of the day, Adobe Bridge makes management easy, fun, and fast, which is why it takes our top spot.

Illustration of a woman with blue eyes and text
Adobe Bridge is the most comprehensive photo management software
Top Features
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Integration: Open, edit, and save photos straight from and back to your Bridge library using a ton of supplemental Adobe products.
  • Batch Photo Editing, Naming, and Organizing: No more renaming photos one at a time. Import all your pictures from the lake and rename them all with just a few keystrokes!
  • Metadata Organization: Add metadata to your photos to enhance organization, storage, and image search.
  • Bridge is professional level photo management software allowing easy portfolio builds and contact sheets for publishing and sharing your own personal marketing.
  • Adobe Camera Raw is fully supported, allowing you to import and improve raw images directly from your Bridge library.
  • Adobe Photo suite of tools gives you control over your file types, metadata, and organizational needs.
  • Massive feature list with both professional and ease of access tools to put both seasoned and novice photographers at ease. Adobe Bridge truly is great value for any digital photographer.
Pricing ($20.99 per month)

With a massive feature list, tools, and access to the Creative Cloud suite, Adobe Bridge meets the needs of professional and novice photographers.

The best part? It does it at the absurdly reasonable monthly price of $20.99. If you find yourself struggling to manage all the photos your take, we encourage you to give Adobe Bridge a shot.

Try Adobe Bridge


2. XnView Classic and XnView MP

Best free photo management software

The next software on our list goes to the entire XnView family. The XnView family of products is a free to use (for personal purposes) photo management software that packs a massive feature list of pre-set filters, image stabilization, and customization.

There are 2 versions of the XnView software.

XnView Classic is touted as their most efficient solution for photo management (and I tend to agree). XnView MP is the “supercharged” variant.

The professional version, XnView MP, comes in at an incredibly competitive price for quality-of-life improvements. But, XnView Classic is still a great choice.

The products are developed by XnSoft. XnSoft is a photo-focused company that offers image scaling, batch image conversion, and even an image-to-cartoon tool called XnSketch. They’re the real deal.

If you’re having trouble choosing between the 2 versions, try the Classic version first. It is free after all!

If you feel yourself wanting that extra customization, take the upgraded XnView MP for a ride at a super reasonable price.

Screen grab of the XnView home page
XvView is the best free photo management software
Top Features
  • Camera and Scanner Support: Easily import both your digital photos and those old black and whites you found in a shoebox in grandma’s attic.
  • Pre-Set Editing: Filters, saturation, cropping, rotating – XnView has a powerful editor built-in, and even offers pre-sets to save you time while making your photos look better than ever.
  • Easy Formatting and Organization: XnView goes beyond standard editing with lossless JPEG conversion, batch processing, and even a utility to track down duplicate files!
  • Mindlessly intuitive, XnView Classic is everything you need without having to look for it. The GUI is sleek and one of the easiest to navigate on our list.
  • A perfect combination of editing and the best photo organization software in a wonderfully easy to use package. You’ll never find yourself jumping from one program to another, important and exporting again. By the way, have we mentioned how easy it is to use?
  • Batch editing, auto capturing, and bulk renaming are only the starting point. XnView takes it to an entirely new level by offering slideshows, image strips, and contact sheets for over 500 file formats (including animated still formats!)
Pricing (Free to $38.00 for 1 license)

XnView Classic is free to download for personal use. But, you’ll need to upgrade for anything professional or commercial. XnView MP comes in at $38.00 for a single license with discounts for bulk licensing.

We recommend sticking with Classic until you feel you really need to get more from your software. We also don’t think you’ll ever feel like you need more.

Try XnView



Best photo management software for social media sharing

If you’ve looked into photo management reviews before it’s almost a certainty that you’ve come across Magix. It’s a solid entry-level option for people looking to get into a new photo management software, and comes in both free and premium versions (MAGIX Photo Manager Deluxe).

Magix boasts some excellent organizational features for your library and basic editing functionality for both photos and videos.

It also supports direct upload to social media like YouTube so you can manage, create, and share all in one place.

The software is fairly simplified, even among some of the other easy to use products on this list, but it’s by no means rudimentary. For the casual user, Magix is the straightforward, no frills solution.

Photos on a desk with a green buy button and a box
MAGIX Photo Manger Deluxe takes the cake for the best photo management software for social media sharing
Top Features
  • Social Media Sharing: This has to be one of the platforms biggest differentiators, and it’s something that nearly anyone can take advantage of. Whether you’re uploading to YouTube or burning to a CD, you can do it all right in Magix.
  • Simple Editing Features: Fix blurred images, clean up crisp edges, and control redeye with automated corrections.
  • Wireless and Cloud Importing: Import your photos from wherever they are. Whether they’re stuck on your phone or already auto uploaded to iCloud or Google Photos, both Wi-Fi and cloud import are seamless time savers.
  • This easy to use, no frills software is just what you need to get started in photo management. Don’t get overwhelmed, don’t spend hours and days trying to figure out what you’re doing or how to set up a library.
  • Magix lets you jump right in and start doing exactly what you came here for: To build a library you can share with your friends.
  • Since one of the big draws to Magix is the direct output to YouTube, you can overlay music, speech, or other sounds to your slideshows before uploading, saving you countless import/export steps to another video editing platform.
  • Automatic backups and password protected zip files are just some of the ways Magix enables you to share while also keeping you safe.
Pricing (Free to $49.99 one-time fee)

Magix offers both a free plan and a Deluxe (paid) plan to match your specific level of use and needs. Photo Manager Deluxe is priced at $49.99.

And, while it does offer a lot more editing capabilities to supplement basic redeye removal, it still seems a bit high unless you intend to use shaky-camera corrections and other videography tools.

We do love that it’s a one-time fee rather than a monthly billing plan, and you get a full year of free updates for any new versions or improvements.

Once your Update Service expires you can purchase a one-time upgrade to the latest version for $29.99.

Try Magix


4. PicaJet

Most powerful photo management software

PicaJet is one of the most powerful, all-inclusive tools on our list. And, it only comes in so lowly ranked (if the fourth slot can be considered low) because of its price tag.

Even so, depending on how involved you are in day-to-day photo management, the efficiency and features list may justify the cost.

One thing not often discussed in platforms like these is speed – it’s almost taken as a given. PicaJet flips the expectation on its head with its incredible indexing speed.

This is made possible by utilizing OpenGL GPU acceleration, essentially using your computer’s graphics card in tandem with the processor, to render your images and process metadata at increased speeds.

Speed and optimization are the name of the game for PicaJet, where multi-user collaboration on a professional scale is the expectation – and they absolutely deliver.

Blue car on a desktop software
View of the PicaJet software interface. Simple website for PicaJet? Yes. Incredibly powerful software? Also, yes.
Top Features
  • GPU Acceleration: Lighting quick indexing, metadata processing, and image rendering make this one of the fastest databases in the market. If you have a large library, PicaJet is for you.
  • Excellent Editing Tools: Corrections are a breeze with a suite of auto-leveling adjustments, sharpening, and various enhancements. Of course, these compliment your basic cropping, resizing, and red-eye reduction tools.
  • Social Media Exports: Flickr, Fotki, and direct-to-email exports, paired with fully capable slideshow and template tools, make sharing your photos, or entire libraries, a breeze.
  • XML exports for your metadata and auto-arrangements for space-saving printing add offline tools to an already powerful collaboration scheme. Online sharing through email, Flickr, and Fotki, built in CD/DVD burning and slideshow templates, and Adobe DNG support make PicaJet your one-stop-shop for working with others.
  • Customizable GUIs are still, for some reason, uncommon in photo management platforms, but don’t expect us to stop raving about it when it’s done right. And PicaJet absolutely does it right.
  • There’s no way to overstate what a one-of-a-kind UI layout does for your workflow, and with some small tweaks of your own you might even keep up with the crazy fast indexing speed.
  • With some of the best built-in slideshow software in the industry, your shared presentations will be top tier. Beautiful transitions and attractive effects supplement more than capable editing tools and auto-leveling, sharpening, and enhancing, so all that collaboration we’ve talked about comes with beautiful photos, too!
Pricing ($59.95 for 1 license to $99.95 for a 5 license package)

We mentioned earlier that PicaJet comes in at a bit of a higher price point than many of its competitors. Single-use licenses come in at $59.95 (which is more than we would like).

But, a five-license package is $99.95, which is a great value considering the amount of collaboration supported.

All things considered, if you’re planning to work with others and frequently share your library, PicaJet is a serious contender.

Try Picajet


5. Luminar

Simplest and easiest to use photo management software

Skylum’s Luminar is a relatively new entrant to the industry, and its claim to fame so far is the use of some high-quality shortcuts for navigation and management.

They’ve added a few first of a kind features to the market. The ability to connect to and control PC folders from within the program make it one of the best photo organizing software available.

Luminar does lack a few prized features. But, with its simplicity, online tutorials, and effective management techniques, it’s often considered easier to use than others.

For that reason, it’s is the best photo library software for the casual photo manager.

Luminar is one of the simplest softwares on the list for anyone who doesn’t quite “manage photos”, but has photos to manage.

Buy now button with white words and black background on a website. Moon in background.
Looking for an easy to use photo management software? Luminar is your best choice.
Top Features
  • Direct to PC Folder Management: Luminar connects to your PC’s folders for easy control, letting you navigate quickly and efficiently with what’s already there. It also makes it easier to navigate other programs and editors – no more learning two unique storage schemes!
  • Simple, Effective UI: With one of the easiest interfaces we’ve used to date, Luminar is truly setup to work for anyone. Shortcuts, favorites, and smooth indexing makes database management a breeze.
  • Tutorials and Dedicated Instructional Website: As far as we know, Skylum is the only company to build an entire instructional website for its photo management software.
  • If the program wasn’t easy enough already, you’ll be able to figure out all of Luminar’s mysteries – and unlock all of its potential – with existing training tools and features.
  • Edit smarter with Artificial Intelligence. Luminar lets you select a photo and an outcome, and self-improving algorithms take care of the rest.
  • Luminar is simple and satisfying, and is by far the most shallow learning curve on our list. If your goal is to dive in and start managing your library with minimal training, this is the solution for you.
  • Direct to hard drive management allows you to control your library from your PC directories, or control your directories from your Luminar library. Being able to manage bidirectionally is a massive time saver.
  • Add in unique albums, pulling from multiple folders, and you’ve got an intuitive and powerful cross-functional management platform.
Pricing ($67 for 1 license or $89 for 2 licenses)

Luminar is priced at a premium, but you’re paying for the simplicity and ease of access. $67 for one license, or $89 for a pair, makes it a bit steeper than most.

Try Luminar


6. FastStone

Most modular photo management software via a la carte pricing

Rather than being a standalone photo management platform, FastStone is more of a suite of integrated tools to solve all your image processing needs.

Full featured and powerful, you won’t need Microsoft’s built-in snipping or viewing tools ever again.

Each product can be purchased independently, but the full collection is obviously the most bang for your buck. The four independent modules are an image viewer, a better image viewer, a screen capture tool, and an editor.

Each independent module isn’t over the top impressive, but together, FastStone has a truly competitive collection with all the features you’ll need.

Various photos with text next to them
Many people love the a la carte pricing of the FastStone photo management software
Top Features
  • RAW and DNG RAW Support: FastStone is a market leader in RAW and DNG RAW file processing, making it a great choice for professional and hobbyist photographers.
  • Digital Camera Compatibility: Support for major camera brands such as Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic, making import and camera control easier than ever.
  • Screen Capture Recording: FastStone Photo Resizer enables full functionality screen capture with audio, microphone input, and mouse capture, meaning you can capture, edit, and manage all within one software suite.
  • Multithreading across the entire software suite gives you concurrent processing, giving you the freedom to work on one project while FastStone works on another. As much as we all love taking processing time to grab another coffee, this is a real time saver.
  • Have you ever wished you had more screen space for editing modules, a longer timeline for your video editor, or simply more pixels in your image?

This is one of the only programs on the market that lets you utilize multiple monitors for a single program, seamlessly granting you a larger workspace for higher efficiency and enhanced visibility.

  • Full fledged image viewer and editor, proving standard functions like red-eye removal, saturation, and auto-leveling, and automated slideshow creation.
Pricing (Free to $34.95 per month)

One of the best things about FastStone’s a la carte pricing is that you can pick and choose the modules you need – helping you pay for what you want and save money on what you don’t.

If you want to try before you buy, the base Image Viewer is free for personal use. From there, lifetime licenses breakdown as follows:

  • FastStone Capture: $19.95
  • FastStone MaxView: $19.95
  • FastStone Photo Resizer: $19.95 (free for personal use)
  • FastStone Image Viewer: $34.95 (free for personal use)

Try FastStone


7. Google Photos

Most mobile friendly photo management software

If you’re familiar with the internet, you must have heard of Google by now – the two are basically synonymous at this point. And Google Photos is the behemoth’s latest foray into photo management and image processing.

Some of Google Photos’ key features come from their close partnership with (ownership of) the Android operating system present on 1.6 billion phones worldwide.

Snap a photo on your phone, edit it right there, and it auto-uploads to your library the next time you’re on Wi-Fi.

Once it’s there you can do some more in depth editing on your PC or sit back and wait for the Google algorithms to create automated slideshows, highlights of your trip, and remind you of “what happened on this day three years ago!”

At the end of the day, Google Photos is your database for friends and social media, rather than a professional-level library and editor.

Photo manager home page google photo
Google Photo is a fan favorite for its mobile friendly and familiar user interface.
Top Features
  • Ai Processing: As a leader in artificial intelligence, Google has powerful algorithms to utilize metadata, create unique slide shows, albums, collages, and recommendations.
  • Social Media Sharing: Share your photos to popular social media sites, or straight to your friends and family within the Google Photos platform.
  • Physical Prints: Pick your photos, or take the AI’s selections, and let Google coordinate with your local CVS to pick-up your finished photobook within hours – all at incredibly low, pre-negotiated prices.
  • Google Photos is as hands-off as you want photo organizer software to be. If you have an Android phone, simply take pictures and let the algorithms handle the rest.
  • And if you don’t you can still upload yourself to utilize the rest of the AI features, metadata organization, and high-fidelity library search functions (it is Google, after all).
  • Unlimited storage space on Google’s cloud (depending on your plan and upload selections), and reasonably priced storage for full-resolution images.
  • Sorting is automated, even on their servers, and images are easy to search, find, and download – or share directly from your browser. Your photos are available anywhere.
  • Metadata, geolocation, and facial recognition (this works on different dogs too, trust me, I’ve tried) makes library management as easy as possible. If you do want to download and manage your library on your local machine, all your metadata comes with it.
Pricing ($1.99 for 100GB/month to $9.99 for 2TB/month)

Google tiers pricing depending on your specific needs and, in some cases, your phone hardware.

The base platform is free with limitations. It allows for 16MP image resolution and 1080p video, up to 15GB. Upgraded plans for full resolution files are priced as follows:

  • 100GB: $1.99/month
  • 200GB: 2.99/month
  • 2TB: $9.99/month

Try Google Photos


8. digiKam 

Best Open-Source Photo Management Software

DigiKam is a bit unique in that it’s the only open-source / free photo management platform on our list.

It’s free to use and allows for massive photo quantities. This helps ensure your whole library can be easily managed in one place – no matter how large it is.

Being open source, digiKam has benefited from a massive community of photo enthusiasts steering the platform to their specific needs. It has a built-in editor, supports RAW files, and allows for quick and easy metadata manipulation.

You can also easily create folders and albums for your tagged images. Post-processing features include panoramas, print creations, presentations, and calendar creation.

Apple zoomed in with water drops
digiKam is the best open-source photo management software on the market
Top Features
  • Local or Remote Storage: Use your main PC and store all your photos locally, or setup FTP to a remote server to keep your working PC clean and quick.
  • Tags Manager: Don’t only tag photos for easy organization – manage your tags for even easier sorting and library control. digiKam is the photo tagging software for the tag-obsessed, and it won’t let you down.
  • Search with Anything: Search for your tags, file names, geolocations, or any number of metadata parameters.
  • Open-source platforms can be clunky, but with a good community and enthusiastic members they often become fully functioned solutions for their niche market.
  • The people building it aren’t engineers working at Adobe for a paycheck – they’re people like you that just want a good database to manage their photo libraries.
  • Lens corrections are great quality and incredibly easy to perform, because what’s a library if it’s full of distorted photos and colors?
  • If you’re a savvy programmer you can code your own plugins for features, imports and exports, editors, and whatever else your workflow demands.
  • At the end of the day, open-source software belongs to everyone in its usership, and you can truly make your program your own.
Pricing (Free)

The beauty of open-source solutions is that they’re free to use while also being constantly updated by a community driven toward non-monetary improvement.

Try digiKam


9. Movavi

Best Ai enhanced and automation enabling photo management software

Think of Movavi as Google Photos for business. It’s a fully capable photo manager software built for groups.

It comes it two variants with personal and commercial licenses. It’s always among the top ten on these lists, and for good reason.

Movavi has all the features you could want or need and supports all major image formats (including RAW). It also includes built in facial recognition Ai to assign individuals to images (sorry, we didn’t have a chance to test this one on dogs… yet).

Quality of life features include batch editing, automated backups, and automated albums.

Animated white cat in an orange suite with a helmet floating around purple and green balls and a black background
Movavi is the best Best Ai enhanced and automation enabling photo management software
Top Features
  • Automated Albums: Movavi boasts one of the best automated albums on the market, cataloging, tagging, and publishing curated collections – or sort by any number of criteria and create your own.
  • Space Saver: We all do it, and if you don’t, you’re lying. Duplicate files are everywhere, copy/pasted, slightly modified and re-saved elsewhere, or moved to the desktop for ease of access and then forgotten. Movavi finds your duplicates and alerts you to potential space savings on your PC – you might be surprised at what it finds.
  • Background Editing: Movavi’s built-in editor allows you to modify or entirely remove the background from a photo – a feature traditionally reserved for dedicated editors.
  • If you’re a casual user or hobbyist, you can essentially get $100 software for $40. And you really are getting three figures of value from Movavi, it’s sure not to disappoint.
  • I’m not sure there’s a file type out there that Movavi can’t handle. They boast it handles “many”, but that feels like an understatement. Non-animated GIFs, vector, and RAW are just the starting point.
  • Batch editing is easier on Movavi than nearly any other product on this list, even encompassing flipping, rotating, and metadata changes. The time savings here can’t be understated, and certainly contribute to this platform earning a place on our list.
Pricing ($39.99 one-time fee for personal to $199.95 one-time fee for businesses)

There are three tiers of software. Each has unique pricing for personal or business use.

  • Photo Manager: $39.95 ($99.95 for Business)
  • Photo Manager / Photo Editor: $59.95 ($149.95 for Business)
  • Photo Manager / Photo Editor / Slideshow Maker: $79.95 ($199.95 for Business)

Try Movavi


10. Phototheca

Best photo management import/export features

At first glance Phototheca may look a bit dated. But, it’s a great photo manager that enables some of the most powerful import/export features we’ve seen.

If you’re an iPhone user or use a supplementary Google Photos account, there are features built in just for you.

Some of Phototheca’s main features include criteria-based album creation, robust sourcing tools, and massive student discounts (and 30-day trials).

Tagging, keyword searching, and hierarchies are as easy here as they are with any of the platforms we’ve reviewed. This software also as the added benefit of dual-pane keyword and search displays to help you drill down on your target images.

Standard editing tools like auto-leveling and chromatic aberration are built in.

Words in orange and red color with blue and green buttons
Phototheca offers a free trial, and paid versions
Top Features
  • Versatile Import: You’re likely only looking at this because you already have photos that need managing. Import your images from local drives, memory cards, remote servers, and even smartphones – and more. Whatever your source, Phototheca has you covered.
  • Direct Export: Take photos from your library and send them to your Flickr, Twitter, or Google Photos account for easy distribution. Or, if you’re an iPhone user, you can send them straight to your phone’s local storage.
  • Password-Protected Albums: Some images aren’t meant for everyone – password protection lets you share your albums with friends and family while having the peace of mind that nothing private will accidentally show on screen.
  • Phototheca is a top-flight solution that combines versatile image management software with excellent data import and export utilities.
  • If you’re in and out of your library often, or using multiple libraries, this is one to check out.
  • Great use of metadata and facial recognition makes it easy to batch identify trends and people in your library, speeding up your photo management workflow and getting you one step closer to editing.
  • Keeps your library – and your PC – clean with automated duplicate removal, once again contributing to the ease and speed that Phototheca strives toward.

This is one of the fastest solutions out there, and one that it’s hard to go wrong with.

Pricing (Free trial + $39.95 to $54.95)

Phototheca offers three price tiers based on the size of your library, and each one comes with a 50% discount for students and a 30-day money back guarantee.

  • Home (100,000 photos): $39.95
  • Pro (25,000 photos): $49.95
  • Premium (Unlimited): $54.95

Try Phototheca


11. ACDSee

Best RAW file photo management software

ACDSee is probably one of the more complex platforms on our list. It offers a wealth of support for RAW files and previously unheard-of levels of customization.

If you’re in need of true digital asset management, rather than a simple photo organizing software, ACDSee could be your software of choice.

They’ve done a lot of things right with this software.

But, overall they’ve made a complex photo management suite as user-friendly as possible.

With extensive training and tutorials, free updates for new versions, and customer workshops, you can begin editing quickly, and learn the ins and outs of RAW enhancement soon after.

To sweeten the deal, they even go as far as providing general photography tips and smartphone sync to get you started.

Man with a kid watching a sunset with products in the foreground
ACDSee has the best RAW file photo management software on the market
Top Features
  • Next Level Geotagging: ACDSee offers a built-in map display to demonstrate where images were taken based on their GPS metadata. Had your GPS off or couldn’t connect to the satellite during your photoshoot? No problem, drag and drop your images to geotag them in your editor.
  • GPU Accelerated RAW Editing: At the end of the day RAW files are so desirable because of how intricate they are. ACDSee’s GPU enhancements allow you to process them more quickly and with more control than many competitors.
  • Mobile Sync: Use your smartphone and share photos directly from your ACDSee library. No more emailing to yourself, connecting your phone to your PC, or adding to your imgur account. Access your photos directly from your library – from wherever you are.
  • Photoshop Plugins: Save yourself the money of doubling down on an Adobe Photoshop license, and instead use those very same plugins on this compatible tool. With direct to Lightroom import and export, what more is there to ask for?
  • The ACDSee team is all about facilitating your success, and their free upgrades, workshops and tutorials are only part of that. They have live customer service ready to help, a 30-day trial to give you a taste of what you’re missing, and a feature list to keep you engaged for a long time to come.
  • Smartphone sync is only the start. Picasa and Adobe Lightroom are also supported. Even if you have a library you’re happy with you can still check out ACDSee as a RAW editor.
  • Import directly from either platform, take control of your RAW files with everything the best-in-market platform has to offer, and export it back once you’ve got it perfect.
  • All that RAW editing we’ve been talking about? ACDSee offers noise reduction, light balancing, chromatic aberration corrections, exposure adjustments, and plenty more.
  • All through a supported list of over 500 cameras from all the major manufacturers.
Pricing ($59.99 one-time fee)

There’s no tiered pricing, personal-use discounts, or scaled-down free variant.

ACDSee’s full fledged software comes in at a modest $59.99, and if you’re working with RAW files on a regular basis, you’ll know that’s a worthwhile investment.

Try ACDsee


12. Adobe Lightroom 

Most intelligent photo management software

Speaking of Lightroom, this list wouldn’t be complete without the leading cloud-based photo management solution.

Adobe offers massive remote storage, intelligent library management, and RAW export conversion. Accompanied with a laundry list of other awesome features, it’s easy to make a compelling argument for Lightroom.

Competing with Google Photos – but with more in-market integrations – Lightroom is one of the most intelligent photo management platforms in the industry.

It’s hard to compete with the machine learning, reversible edits, and the smart storage Adobe offers with this tool, and few even try.

Integrations with Photoshop and Apple products push efficiency to new heights. Lightroom allows you to not only manage your database but also have a professional-level editor in your back pocket.

With a packed feature list, intelligent AI, and all the automation you’d expect from a cloud-based photo manager, Lightroom makes a compelling argument for the top of the market.

Photo management software homepage in blue Adobe
Adobe Lightroom is the most intelligent photo management software. Not only is the software great, but so is the training. Check it out on the Adobe website.
Top Features
  • Machine Learning: Utilize one of the most powerful AIs in the industry with Adobe Sensei, which goes beyond facial recognition. Sensei can track, identify, and tag similarities in locations, colors, recurring objects, and any number of other commonalities in your photos. Not sure what you’re looking for? Adobe knows, and Sensei will help you find it.
  • Google Drive Import: Already have your library configured on Google Drive or your local machine? No problem. Lightroom can parse those settings and apply them as presets to your new library, saving you a good chunk of the hassle that naturally comes from switching services. Adobe has created a great product here, and now they’ve made it easier than ever to try it out.
  • Reversible Edits: Save the original. Make a small change, and save the copy. Make another small change, save that copy. Suddenly you’ve tripled your storage for a single image. Lightroom set out to change that – and they sure have succeeded. Non-destructive, or reversible edits, allow you to essentially save your change history along with the image, making it easy to reverse or undo them whenever you’d like. All with a single photo.
  • Sensei’s auto-tagging capabilities are best in class, and they’ll save you more time than you know what to do with (just kidding, you’ll just move on to editing more quickly).
  • With consideration for the image processing that goes into landmark and object recognition, you’ll start wondering if you’ll ever need to manually add a tag again.
  • Being a cloud solution, Lightroom makes your library available wherever you are. No more carrying a USB stick around, emailing photos to yourself to pull up on your phone later, or uploading albums to Flickr one at a time. If you have an internet connection, your full library is available.
  • Work with Photoshop on your Apple products, seamlessly sending photos to and from your Lightroom library while you view, edit, and publish your photos.
Pricing ($9.99 per month)

Lightroom is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, a full-service cloud suite starting at $9.99 per month. For that price you get one full terabyte of storage and your own portfolio website.

If you prefer to bundle with Photoshop for desktop and iPad, that same $9.99 per month gets you Lightroom, Photoshop, your personal website, and 20GB of storage.

Try Adobe Lightroom


Wrapping Up Our Top 12 Photo Managers of 2021

There you have it. The 12 best photo management software solutions of 2021, ranked and reviewed.

Have you tried any of these platforms?

We’d love to hear about your experience. If you have any strong feelings or if you’re a diehard loyalist for one of the photo software on this list, drop us a comment and let us know!

About Matt Collins

With a rapidly growing team of readers, my mission is to teach hungry professionals how to maximize their net worth with scalable side hustles and responsible financial management practices.

My reputation is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I only provide completely honest, 100% true, unbiased recommendations for systems and software I know and trust.


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