After shooting digitally for many years, many photographers have amassed prodigious collections of digital photos, often surpassing 100,000 or 200,000 images. These photographers now find themselves struggling to organize, manage and backup this immense image library effectively.
Unless you’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in an enterprise-level asset management system and server system, you’re likely to find any database program slow, unwieldy and crash-prone. All-in-one applications like Adobe Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture begin to slow with large libraries above 40-50,000 images and even dedicated asset management systems like Extensis Porfolio or Canto Cumulus struggle with 100,000 images.
Rather than investing in more robust asset management applications, ask yourself “What photos do I really need access to?” Often, by saving older jobs and outtakes to external hard drives on a regular basis, you can slim your image library considerably. This saves you money on storage space, makes photos easier to find and your image database quicker to search.