I have 28,000 photos in my personal photo archive. I need to be able to quickly find photos I’m thinking about as well as photos I’ve completely forgotten.
Adobe Lightroom can do that. My photos sit in folders according to the date I took them, but I find my photos with their keywords.
You can see here just a few of my animal keywords. I have polar bears lying down, polar bears misc., polar bears sitting, polar bears standing, polar bears swimming, polar bears walking and polar bears in art. That’s just polar bears.
When I click to bring up, say, Elephant Tricks, all 60 of my photos of elephants doing tricks come up instantly. How cool is that! (It’s very cool because I first began by using Adobe Bridge to sort my photos. It took a long time to search by keyword. The searches often made Bridge crash. Many times the search would be incomplete. Maybe Bridge is better now, but I moved on.)
When I import photos from my camera card into Lightroom it only takes a split second to assign them keywords.
I have hundreds of keywords. When I’m stuck for ideas, I hunker down in Lightroom and split general keywords into several that are more specific. I browse through photos by keywords. It gets my ideas flowing and puts forgotten photos at the front of my mind for works that I might begin in a month or two.
Lightroom gives you great ways to adjust photos. To make a photo look good I almost never use Photoshop. Only for head swaps and to remove, say, the occasional unwanted fire hydrant. (Though, of course, Photoshop is what I use all day long for my composite art work.)
You don’t need to subscribe to Creative Cloud to get Lightroom.