Like most people with smartphones and digital devices, my wife and I take a ton of photos. And now, with an adorable baby, our photo library has absolutely exploded. Over 30,000 photos and growing every day.

Tens of Thousands of Digital Photos. What to Do?

photo library management backup lightroom

Flickr Creative Commons

As fun as it is to take photos, managing all those photos later can be a big task.

Nearly every technology company offers some kind of photo management tool with cloud storage you can purchase. However, as our personal and business photo libraries continue to grow, photo storage, backup and editing are more challenging—and potentially expensive and limiting.

Many online tools are doing away with the concept of giving the user control of their media, hiding and capturing your files in the cloud (Google, Apple, Dropbox, etc.) or inside a proprietary “package” like Apple Photos.

As I focus on retaining these precious moments and occasions, these files and keeping track of them becomes more and more important.

Mobile Editing, User Control

For many years, my wife has wanted to clean up and make minor edits to her photo library on her iPad. Now Apple has this functionality, but only if its iCloud service is purchased.

I enjoy most of what Apple puts out and appreciate their level of detail when it comes to the polish of certain apps and how seamlessly the software integrates with the hardware.

The Apple Photos app was something I was excited about originally. We were considering going this route, but the more I investigated our options, the more I wanted much of the control that Apple has removed from its redesigned Photos app.

When looking into photo storage alternatives, I found that Adobe Lightroom appears to take care of the control and backup issues I was having as well as providing SO much more…

Lightroom Pros:

  • Easy to locate files (tagging and flagging)
  • Cloud Syncing for browsing on iOS for iPad and iPhone
  • Enables merging of multiple Catalogs
  • Storage of photos can be offline and located essentially on any hard drive or server
  • Allows for controlling even the quality of the thumbnails
  • Incredible community and plugins to handle duplication, searching and manipulation

Lightroom Cons:

  • $10-50/mo. (we were already paying for Adobe Creative Suite), however Apple Photos and others cost too. Google’s free option degrades quality, and I’m not sure I want them to sell me and my captured moments anyway…
  • The desktop UI feels a bit 1990s, and a step backwords. However, competition is good, and I think in time this will only get better. With all this added control, comes many buttons that have to be positioned and arranged in the interface. This is OK by me…

Yet to explore:

  • The incredible community and plugins available
  • How best to handle duplication
  • Opens doors for smart collections (with advanced metadata usage to show all panorama, size specs, location specific, “edited within 7 days”, or combination of essentially anything)
  • Mobile Syncing with Adobe, multiple computers and iOS devices
  • Consider Lightroom Mobile, Dropbox or Photosync for iOS and auto uploading
  • Other tools to fill in the gap:

I’m glad to see Adobe is picking up the ball with Lightroom and making photo management better. Now if only they can get keyword tagging in the mobile app with additional meta data.

We almost have it all!

Brett Coleman enjoys saving companies money and increasing productivity with technology, online tools and the web. He is the founder of NeuConcept Productions and can be reached at

Copyright © 2016 by Brett Coleman All rights reserved.