I am a professional jewelry designer with 30,000 + images in a file tree on a PC based DiskStation. The file tree is complex but I still have a hard time finding specific images or groups of images. And I have one copy of each image in the tree. I am very reluctant to create multiple copies filed different places, even though that would make it easier to find a particular image.
It is time to move to a program that allows me to assign tags, keeps track of meta data etc. I have a copy of Photos Shop Express 3 and Lightroom 9. PSE3 has all the photo editing capability I need. I found Lightroom complex and never started using it.
My jewelry images are all taken with a digital SLR. My personal images are all taken with an iPhone (actually 2 iPhones)
Ultimately I would like to be able to use my iPad as a showroom tool to show customers well organized albums but also be able to search for a specific image from my entire collection.
My jewelry design is all done in CAD now and I am seriously overdosed in technology.
It is time for better management but it has to be as simple and dependable as possible.
Do I stay with a stand alone copy of the latest PSE and use the organization there?
Do I get the latest stand alone Lightroom?
Do I go with a Creative Cloud subscription to make the PC/iPad/iPhone integration simple...and is it simple?
Editing is definately my second priority. As I said PSE 3 has been sufficent. If I solve the editing part with one of the choices, what do I do for editing.
Cut to the chase and use Lr. I wouldn't bother with Elements. Lr is made for an organizational task such as yours. And Lr Mobile could work very well to showcase stuff on the iPad.
Basically, you'd use keywords instead of a folder structure to find photos. You'd keep the folders, but they become rather superfluous. Keywords, especially with hierarchies, eliminate the problem of deciding where to put stuff. An image can only be in one folder, so using a folder for say "diamonds" means you can't also put it in "emeralds." But you can have both "emeralds" and "diamonds" as keywords on the same image.