Photo management?
October 13, 2014 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I need a photo management system that allows me to tag and search photos, but I'd rather it NOT be web-based. I don't really know what to look for.

My company has thousands of photos, taken by various staff members at various times in various countries. It is my wish, my dream, my ultimate fantasy to have a system where I could take a photo and tag it with stuff like country, city, month/year, individuals in the photo, and then terms like 'prison' or 'serious' or 'conference' or 'interns.' Then I could somehow search all that data to pull photos when making brochures and stuff, as well as identifying gaps in our photos (ie, "hey, we only have two pictures of this one office").

The situation, as it is now: we have dozens upon dozens of nested folders in almost no order. My boss says "let's put a photo of Jane Doe working in the office in this brochure." I spend an hour looking at EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO, swear to come up with a better system, and then forget until the next time. (Guess what I've been doing for the past hour.)

Cheaper is better, we're a nonprofit, but any and all suggestions are very welcome. I am only a de facto graphics person, so I'm sure there's an incredibly obvious solution I'm missing.
posted by showbiz_liz to Work & Money (13 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can tag files (and then search by those tags) by default in both OSX and Windows. What operating system are you using? Are all the photos on one computer/drive?
posted by brainmouse at 12:59 PM on October 13, 2014


Picasa works pretty nicely, though I haven't used the most recent version.
posted by Hartster at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2014


Lightroom? (It's still available as a standalone app--and is an industry standard. I love it. iPhoto on the Mac?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:10 PM on October 13, 2014


I should add that Lightroom (and any comparable program) will be able to scan for photos in any nested folders and import them to its own managed file system--with or without moving/deleting the original photo, wherever it may be. The photos would be then in new folders by capture date.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:13 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I'm using Windows 7, and all the photos are stored on a shared drive.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:27 PM on October 13, 2014


Seconding Lightroom. You want the standalone version of Lightroom 5, not the Creative Cloud version ($150 direct from Adobe, slightly cheaper elsewhere). I've used Picasa and Lightroom (although only up through 4 -- haven't upgraded to 5 yet), and Lightroom scales better than Picasa for organizing and working with large sets of photos. The editing suite is also a very nice bonus, although you may not need that.
posted by cjelli at 1:31 PM on October 13, 2014


Picasa works fine in offline mode and seems to have everything that you have asked for. It even automatically recognizes faces etc and tags.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 1:44 PM on October 13, 2014


Picasa is a consumer-focused app, and as such probably contains stuff you don't want/need. Normally that's not a big deal (just ignore it), but I've gotten the sneaking suspicion that Google is moving in the direction of trying to tie Picasa more and more tightly in with their cloud photo features. I am currently using it for some stuff, without any of the cloud features, but I am a little uneasy about the cloud tie-in and would caution anyone who doesn't want that stuff to think carefully before adopting the Picasa desktop application today.
posted by primethyme at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2014


IMatch by photools is awesome for single user. Has hierical catagories. Also http://damvendors.com/daminion-software
posted by Sophont at 2:55 PM on October 13, 2014


Microsoft Photo Gallery is like Picassa, also free, and does some things picassa doesn't.
posted by Sophont at 3:18 PM on October 13, 2014


There's also DigiKam.
posted by Poldo at 6:11 PM on October 13, 2014


Picasa is definitely consumer focused. One of the positive thing is that the tagging and titling of images are stored in the metadata headers of the images themselves. So what that buys you is the ability to switch to a different program that understands JPEG metadata and you're work is mostly intact. I say mostly because things like the Picasa facial recognition and some of the edits to files aren't stored in standard metadata locations. Those things would be lost if you decided to switch to Lightroom or some other program.
posted by mmascolino at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2014


Many professional photographers and journalist use Photomechanic.

Try to find a solution to stores the information in the EXIF file and not in a proprietary database that refers to the image. This way the info stay's with the images..
posted by Mac-Expert at 11:01 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


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