Managing travel photos – is this possible?

A common problem we have at Travelfish is managing photos. Managing author submissions is no major issue – we use Dropbox for that – they share a folder on their laptop/desktop with us via Dropbox and we see the pics, then we pull them off and into local folders so we can use as needed.

We struggle more though with our home setup. Basically there are two Macbooks – Sam and mine – they’re not networked. Each has their own distinct photo library local to that laptop. These two libraries are organised differently — mine by location, Sam’s by a different method. This is ok when we are in range of each other’s laptops, but when one of is is away and needs a pic from the other’s machine, it is a hassle.

An ideal solution would be to mirror the image organisation system onto the two machines, and introduce a third machine, which would automatically sync with my and Sam’s machines, making a central copy of everything, plus copying images from Sam’s to mines and mine to Sam’s to fill any blanks, update with new images and so on. Essentially they’d then be three collections of the same image library, so if one of us were away, they’d still have a copy of everything the other had — at least up to the moment we went away.

We don’t want to use Dropbox or some other Cloud solution as we’re often where internet is poor and the combined gallery is about 50,000 pics.

Is the ideal situation I describe above possible? Or is there a better way?

Any suggestions much appreciated!

2 thoughts on “Managing travel photos – is this possible?

  1. I’d introduce an external shared hard drive with all photos. Or if possible a shared local server.

    I would then use third party photo management software. ACDSEE is an example though I’m sure light room et al can do the same. That way you and Sam can use whatever individual method on your local machines to sort the images and it won’t effect the other local machine.

    The only crux in all this is that you guys would need to settle on a directory structure. After that the photo management software takes over. The external can then be backed up locally or to the cloud and naturally Dropbox can be shared too.

    Syncing is great at the start. But I’ve been in photo sync situations whereby you are Syncing only to discover there is one batch that never synced or a mistake happens and it gets lost. Hence a local server is really great at synching, backups etc while dedicated photo management software is a really great thing. I never thought it was, until I started using it in my work flow. So easy, simple and it saves time.

  2. What about using smugmug/zenfolio, or the like. That way you could then make galleries, and you can hide galleries if you only want to use it as a place to store photos. It would also give you the benefit of more pages on your site for little effort, eg photos.travelfish.org/thailand/bangkok

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