The fine art photographer Angela Andrieux recently found this picture she’d taken with her dad at a motocross race when she was a kid. “I don’t remember this moment exactly, but many of my childhood weekends were spent at the track, cheering for my dad,” the artist says. She came across it unexpectedly while using Mylio Photos, an app and a service that helps you manage, curate, catalog, and share photos and videos.
Essentially, Mylio Photos acts as an epic photo library across all your devices—even if they run on different operating systems—eliminating clutter and keeping everything streamlined and consistent.
You can use it to organize your professional client work, family photos, and personal projects. Powerful search tools mean nothing gets lost in the cracks, and face tagging and calendar syncing make it easy to stay organized beyond what you’d expect from most asset management systems.
For too long, photographers have kept their photos buried away in folders within folders, where they can’t be easily found, seen, and enjoyed. The beauty of Mylio Photos solves that problem: you can always hover and scroll through to see what’s inside any folder—or use search tools and filters to locate specific images. If the photos are geotagged, Mylio Photos will show you exactly where they were made (on a map), bringing you back to that moment.
“One of the things I love most about Mylio Photos is discovering photos I forgot I had,” Andrieux admits. She’s not alone; photographers worldwide have used Mylio Photos to organize memories from backpacking trips in the 1990s, old color film from the 1940s, and more. Plus, their current projects, assignments, and archives.
Mylio Photos was created by the software architect David Vaskevitch, whose name you’ might recognize from his longtime tenure as Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft. In his free time, he could be found on photo expeditions and adventures around the globe. For more than a decade now, Mylio Photos has been his labor of love, born from a passion for digital photography and evolving in real-time to meet the needs of today’s photographers.
Just before the pandemic, Vaskevitch’s mother passed away, and he found himself looking back on pictures of her as a young child. He also found himself spending more time with photographs of his children, revisiting memories and envisioning the new ones they’d create. He plans on asking family members to send him more photos soon; chances are, he’ll discover pictures from his childhood he’s never seen.
These experiences further reinforced Vaskevitch’s dedication to safeguarding photographs for the future and helping others do the same. These days, he uses Mylio Photos to manage a Library of more than 500,000 photos, videos, documents, and more—and he can access all of them from his iPhone whenever he wants. Let’s dig into how the software works—and why pros and hobbyists should try it.
If you have thousands of photos scattered across many devices—disks, hard drives, phones, laptops, and so on—Mylio Photos is the solution. The software does two key things: first, it consolidates everything into a single place. You can easily add anything to your Mylio Photos Library, including photos on your devices, social media accounts, SD cards, and beyond.
The second thing Mylio Photos does is sync that Library across your devices, so you always have access to what you need. For example, the software can sync your Android phone with a MacBook laptop, a Windows tablet, and a Seagate external hard drive.
The photographer Daniel J. Cox, for instance, uses Mylio Photos to manage 1.4 million images across ten synced devices. Here’s an example to illustrate how powerful that can be: Cox uploaded thousands of photos to his Mylio Photos Library on a trip to Romania using his laptop (from his hotel). When he got home—to Montana—all his photos were waiting for him on his Drobo 8D.
Mylio Photos allows you to put your photos in the cloud. You’re storing your photos on your own devices, so everything is handled and synced privately. No major tech company controls your media; it’s all in your hands. You don’t have to pay for cloud storage.
Mylio Photos has also recently introduced a feature called SafeShare, which strips your photos of their metadata when you want to share them on social media (while keeping that data available for your own organizational needs). By turning SafeShare on, you automatically remove your info and protect your privacy (and the privacy of the people in your photos).
When I learned that the celebrity photographer Matthew Jordan Smith uses Mylio Photos to access over 2 million images on a smartphone, my first question was: How is this possible, given the limited storage capacity of smartphones? The answer lies in that Mylio Photos gives you options by offering three quality settings: thumbnails, smart previews, and originals.
Originals are your giant RAW files, and thumbnails are, well, thumbnails. “Smart previews” are basically mini-RAW files. At 5% the size of your original photos, you can store lots of smart previews and scroll through them very quickly. That means you can access the originals if you want, but in many cases, you won’t need to do so.
That’s because smart previews are fully editable, so you can edit anywhere—and on any device. Mylio Photos integrates with all editing software, so you can go in and follow your regular workflow in another application before sending the photos back into Mylio Photos. Smart previews are also sharable, so you can post them straight to your social media, website, blog, and so on, right from Mylio Photos.
I tend to find most photo management systems overwhelming, intimidating, and time-consuming—but Mylio Photos is intuitive, accessible, and fast. The service lets you view your photos in several ways: as a grid, on a calendar (grouped by day, month, year), on a map (they’ll pinpoint exactly where the photo was made based on geotags), by person, and by folder or album. Albums and folders are similar, but folders correspond to what’s on your computer or hard drive, while albums are only for organizing your photos within Mylio Photos.
You can further assign keywords, captions, and metadata, so your photos are easier to locate in the future. Later, you can use the search function to find images based on keywords or filter by the camera, lens, or file type.
Beyond metadata, Mylio Photos’ organizational tools include AI face tagging—perfect for portrait, family, and wedding photographers. It’ll also come in handy for commercial photographers, who might need to sort images by the model when organizing model releases. With time, Mylio Photos will learn to “recognize” specific people you photograph regularly. What’s more, it’ll do this in less than a second. Matthew Jordan Smith used this tool when working on his book on Aretha Franklin.
Mylio Photos’ LifeCalendar feature offers another benefit, automatically grouping photos taken at scheduled events into unique Events. So it’s easy to review all your photos from a single event or shoot, even if they were made on different devices. All you need to activate this auto-organization is to link one of your online calendars.
This functionality is convenient for milestone events such as weddings or graduations, where you might want to see pictures made by different friends and family members all in one place (to do this, they’d just need to send you their photos to add to your Library). I can also see it working well for pro wedding/event photographers, who can also use it to sort photos made by assistants and second shooters.
One worry that comes with pulling in photos from so many different sources—e.g., your memory cards, your social media accounts, your scanned archives, and so on—is that you might end up with duplicate images. Mylio Photos solves this problem wholly and automatically by recognizing and removing duplicate photos as soon as you add them to your Library.
Mylio Photos has some helpful options for further culling and curation. You can use a star-rating system or choose a simple accept/reject option. While some of these features will be familiar to anyone already using a good digital asset management system, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to use.
Mylio Photos’ Quick Review tool, for example, is excellent for going through large batches of images in almost no time. This tool is handy for photographers shooting many pictures at once; for instance, sports or wildlife photographers capturing every second of the action.
Aaron Predmore, a passionate bird photographer, might take hundreds of photos while birding. Still, he only keeps the best of the bunch (or the ones featuring species he hasn’t yet photographed) in his Mylio Photos Library.
Hands down, Mylio Photos’ superpower, to my mind, is bringing all your devices together and empowering you to work on your photos anywhere, anytime. Imagine you get a request from a client for a specific image, but it’s stuck on a device in your studio, and you’re out working on location. No problem: just connect to WiFi to download the original file onto your phone and send it where it needs to go.
Using Mylio Photos, you can even get work done without an internet connection. Everything will synchronize when it’s turned on. Richard Harrington, a product and timelapse photographer who is also the Chief Product Evangelist and VP of Product for Mylio Photos, recently spent an airplane flight face-tagging a bunch of photos on his mobile device. When he got home, everything was organized and sorted across all his devices.
Photography has been part of our daily lives since family portraits were first popularized during the Victorian era. The difference now is that cameras are far more accessible; according to estimates, we take 1.4 trillion or more photographs annually. As we continue to capture more moments than those who came before us, from the milestones to every day, the question of how we organize them becomes all the more important.
Traditionally, printed albums are kept on shelves, while today’s family photos are left to sit on our phones (until we run out of storage or upgrade to a new device). But with Mylio Photos, your grandmother’s wedding photos and your kid’s senior photos can all live in the same place, and you can access them whenever you want.
If you’re working with print, slide, and negative scans, you can use Mylio Photos to categorize those scans as you would digital photos, adding tags and entering the missing capture dates (or an estimated date or date range) for easy sorting. You can even drag and drop pictures without location data onto the location in the map to apply that info.
Mylio Photos offers essential editing tools, including exposure, white balance, and color correction—and some of these features are explicitly geared toward photographers working with scans. Negatives can be inverted and color-corrected in seconds.
And Mylio Photos users have already created some great projects with scanned images. Angela Andrieux, for example, has organized many of her family photos based on notes and research—with images dating back to the 1930s. She’s been able to tag people, locations, and date ranges. She even found photographs from her grandmother’s childhood—and in the process, she’s created a living archive of the past and present for future generations to cherish.
You can try Mylio Photos for free for 30 days. After that, a subscription costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 annually. This time of year poses the perfect opportunity to invest in your memories. Through January, Mylio Photos is also offering a free photo book to yearly subscribers at sign-up.