In a digital world, software is king. But what kind of software do you need? Let’s have a look at the simplified workflow that any photographer knows very well:
- Pre-processing the images after a photoshoot
- Processing the images
- Publishing, archiving, retrieving images
From that perspective, photo viewers and photo managers will be the software useful for the pre-processing.
Photo editing software will take care of the processing.
And storage/back-up services for the last step of this simplified workflow.
On a side note, storage and back-up can be provided by the same software vendor, or not. In theory it is decoupled. But some integration can also make sense. Again, it will depend on your actual needs.
When it comes to the question: what do I need? There is of course no simple answer. As usual, it will depend on your requirements, process, time available and budget. You really must take time to evaluate them (I mean both requirements and software!). Blog posts and analysts advice will help you to make a short-list, but you and how you are working are unique, so you must try them and define which one is a match.
Further more, more services will be very helpful: photo sharing of course, but also some specific tools more and more available as webtools.
Below, a great image provides the overview of all kind of photography software and hardware. It is, it can’t be exhaustive but it is an excellent summary of what exists (from Photolemur):
Original file available here.
Photography blog is also providing here a useful list of software reviews.