Photo Organizing Tools

We're often asked about what photo organizing tools we use in our own businesses. We encourage you to build your business one client at a time. Invest in tools, products and services as needed for each project.

Many of the links below are affiliate links which means we may earn a commission if you choose to buy. None of the fees are increased to compensate us. Some of the companies have even given us special discounts that we can extend to our PPO Insiders!

Tools for Phase One

These are the tools we recommend as you dive into organizing your own photos!
We hope you discover that you love organizing your own photos. And, would like to help others do the same.
This could be your new side hustle or full-time profession!

Backup Blaze Photo Organizing Tools
Computer Backup


Is your computer backed up? Backblaze is easy to install, runs in the background and is affordable. You can also back up external hard drives as long as you plug them at least every 30 days. We use it on our own computers and set it up for each client we work with if they don't already have a backup system in place.

Backup Guide for your photos
Backup Tutorial

Backup or Die

Learn how to create a backup system, step by step, and keep your precious photos safe! Professional photographers Lauren & Rob Lim share a great system to create a fail-proof backup plan even if you are a tech novice. This will help you set up your own system and you'll gain confidence when talking with your clients about the importance of backing up their priceless photos.

2 TB EHD Photo Organizing Tools - PPO Studio
Photo Hub for Mac

2 TB External Hard Drive for Mac

Buy an external hard drive (or two). There are plenty to choose from and it's good to rotate brands and purchase from different places - just in case there is a faulty batch. We like these and a 1 TB or 2 TB is a good size to start with. It's nice to have two and rotate them as you work.

Photo Organizing Tools - PPO Studio
Photo Hub for Windows

2 TB External Hard Drive for Windows

Do you have Windows computer? Start with an external hard drive that matches your computer operating system to use as your own Photo Hub. Later you can learn how to format to match your client's OS.

Photo Organizing Tools - PPO Studio
Card Reader

Portable card reader

This is such a handy little thing to have in case you have different size camera cards or cards from old phones you have saved that have photos on them. You'll use it for your own collection and clients will be impressed when you have this in your toolbox!

Jastek USB multi use cable
Cables for Devices

Must have - Multi use USB cable

Another great tool to have if you have old phones, computers, tablets or any other devices with digital images on them but you've lost the cables. You can get your whole digital collection gathered and put on your photo hub much easier when you have the right tools and don't have to spend precious time searching for the "one" cable you can't find!

De-duplication software

PhotoSweeper for Mac

Fast and powerful duplicate photo cleaner built to help you get rid of duplicate or similar photos on your Mac,

Duplicate Cleaner Pro
De-duplication software

Duplicate Cleaner Pro for Windows

An invaluable software tool to find and remove duplicate photos on your Windows computer.

archival methods photo storage
Photo safe and archival storage

Archival Methods

These products meet or exceed all current applicable standards for archival storage. They are also suitable for photographs, artwork, and documents. Several options for storing and preserving family snapshots are available.

Tools for Phase Two

"I want to hire you" is equal parts exciting and scary. Are you ready? Do you know enough? YES and YES! You practiced with your own collection (or your mom's or your best friend's) and you are officially opened for business.

These are the Phase Two tools we can't live without in our own photo organizing businesses!

Epson Perfection V600 scanner
Flatbed Scanner

Epson Perfection V600 Scanner

This is the scanner that we both started with and we still use! It is a high quality scanner that has stood the test of time. Super easy to set up and works with Mac or Windows. Scan photos, documents and slides up to 8.5 x 11.7 to preserve print photos so you'll have digital images that can be easily shared.

Cloud File Sharing & Storage


An excellent way to transfer documents and photos back and forth with a client. You can also sync smart phones and tablets to automatically backup photos and then move to your Photo Hub external hard drive.

Photo Mechanic
Photo Browser Software

Photo Mechanic 6

View, organize, manage, rename and export photos with Photo Mechanic. It is a browser and workflow accelerator which means we can look at thousands of images and save time! Pro photographers have been using it for years. We introduced it to at a national conference for photo organizers and use it with all our client work. Cull, rate, keyword and add metadata directly to your photos on your hard drive. Mac or Windows compatible and they offer a full 30 day trial!

Photo editor & organizer


Lightroom gives you everything you need to edit, organize, store, and share your photos across desktop, mobile, and web.

Cloud Photo Storage


SmugMug is a safe, beautiful home for your photos & videos —your journey and your stories. Protect your photos and memories with a SmugMug site and give them a place to shine.

Paragon software
File System Driver

Read/Write File Software

Are you worried that a client will have the opposite computer you have?
Eliminate the frustration of having a Windows formatted external hard drive that you can't read and write on a Mac. Or vice versa.
Read/write privileges really just means you want to be able to open files and be able to copy, move, edit and save them.

If your external drive is formatted for the opposite platform you are using, Paragon is the software you want to install on your computer so you can access the files.

Tools for Phase Three

Now it's time to develop your systems and continue to build your toolbox. You want to develop systems that will pay for themselves over and over again. Streamline your workflow and invest in continuing education. Focus on tools that save you time.
You can create a business with VIP clients who want to work with you to manage their lifetime of photos!

In Phase Three you are the expert in high demand and you likely have a wait list!

Epson FastFoto FF-640 photo scanner
High speed scanner

Epson FastFoto FF-680 High-Speed Photo Scanning System

This scanner is the newest in Epson's scanner lineup and works right out of the box with a Mac or Windows computer.
Quickly scan your photo collection in a whole new way with the innovative FastFoto FF-680 — the World’s Fastest Photo Scanner

Album Design Tutorial

Awesome Album Design Skills

Our favorite album design resource! Learn the art of fast, beautiful album design & the business of selling albums at a great profit! Rob and Lauren Lim are pro photographers and great at teaching Adobe® InDesign which is software built for book and album design.

Smart Albums
Album Design made simple

The ultimate album builder

SmartAlbums was built for speed and ease of use. Making an album with SmartAlbums is so simple you’ll actually enjoy it. SmartAlbums allows you to add text to the pages, just not in a very sophisticated way so after the design is complete import into Adobe® InDesign (see Awesome Album Design Skills 👆)

Slideshow Software
Fast + Easy Slideshow Software

Create amazing video slideshows

Making a slideshow for a special occasion or looking to do something new with all those photos and videos? ProShow Gold makes it easy.

Make a video slideshow with just a few clicks using the automatic slideshow wizard, or build it from scratch. Choose from 950+ built-in effects and filters, and 330+ royalty-free music tracks.

When you're ready to share your masterpiece, publish to any of 50+ popular formats like 4K, DVD, Blu-ray, YouTube, Facebook and more.

Website hosting


It's time to have a real website. It's your digital business card. You need to have a host who keeps all your website files and images stored for you in their hosting cloud. Bluehost is what we started with on our first websites and annual hosting fees are very affordable.

WordPress Themes


StudioPress themes are designed with SEO, security and are mobile ready using WordPress.

We're Here to Help You!

Technology changes fast and we know it can feel overwhelming to keep up. Follow this list so you can pace yourself and build your business toolbox in phases. You will learn and decide what you want to specialize in within the photo organizing niche. Sign up below 👇 to get our Photo Organizing Essentials for Beginners.

It's time to make a difference and make money!

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