Photographer uploads images to the cloud - symbolic image - uploading and managing images with the cloud-based digital asset management solution from teamnext

Upload and manage photos in the cloud: 4 different application types

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Table of contents

Cloud storage services for digital photos are plentiful. Based on their functional orientation, they can be divided into four different categories. In this article, we will pick out an exemplary solution from each category and present it to you.

Type 1 – The universal cloud storage

Type 1 is a classic cloud storage service that provides storage not only for photos, but for files of all kinds. We will use Google Drive as an example here. Alternatives would be Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

Google Drive is good for storing, sharing and backing up images. However, the service is not suitable for editing image files. The app Google Photos, for example, is intended for this purpose, and we will go into more detail about it later.

When using Google Drive, you can be sure that image files are not compressed, but saved one-to-one as you upload them.

Like all cloud storage services, Google Drive has the usual sharing features. It is therefore possible to specify exactly who is allowed to access which files. Files can be synced across devices and uploaded and managed via mobile app, browser, or desktop app. Protocols like SFTP or WebDav are unfortunately not directly supported.


Google Drive is aimed at both home users and businesses. The service is free until the 15 gigabytes freely available in each Google account are used up. Of course, if you save images uncompressed and in their original resolution, this happens quickly.

Type 2 – The cloud service for storing photos

We have already mentioned a cloud service specifically designed for backing up and managing photos, Google Photos (formerly Picasa). Of course, there are also numerous alternatives, such as Amazon Photos, Apple Photos and, especially for professional users, Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Google Photos has the advantage over a universal cloud storage that images can be imported in two different quality levels:

    1. Original quality (no additional compression, no limitation of pixel dimensions.
    2. Save storage space (images with more than 16 megapixels are downsized (downscaled) to 16 MP, all images are compressed).

If you select option 2, the files are automatically reduced in size after uploading.* Lossless formats such as TIFF or BMP are converted to JPEG after a certain size, raw formats always.

The maximum allowed file size of an image is 200 MB (also under option 1). The following image formats are supported in addition to those already mentioned: GIF, HEIF / HEIC, PNG, WEBP. Video files can also be processed. That as side information.

* You can find a comprehensive article on reducing the size of images here.

Google Photos also lets you edit, optimize, and add metadata to your images, of course. In addition, the app comes up with intelligent sorting functions. The best known is probably the grouping of photos by faces.

Google Photos is available as a mobile app for Android and iOS, as a browser app, and as a Progressive Web App.


Google Photos scores high on editing and sharing space-saving photos, as well as mobile access. Google Photos, on the other hand, is only suitable as a backup solution for original files if you upgrade your Google account for a fee and expand the storage space beyond the free quota.

Type 3 – The platform for the presentation of photos

This category includes services that focus on the public presentation and commenting of photos in addition to storage. We will look at this type using Flickr as an example. Well-known alternatives to Flickr include 500px, Fotocommunity or Photobucket.

Flickr is used by ambitious amateur photographers and professionals to present their own portfolio and to get in touch with other photographers. In addition to photos, short videos can also be uploaded. We limit ourselves to the photo area here as well.

Technical facts: 1,000 images can be uploaded free of charge. That doesn’t sound like much at first, but since most users only want to show off their best pieces, many get by with that amount. The maximum size of an image file is 200 MB. Only JPEG, PNG and GIF (non-animated) formats are supported. All other formats are either converted to JPEG or rejected (such as RAW formats). Even the paid Pro version does not include RAW file storage. There have been repeated complaints about this. But Flickr does not see itself as a replacement for a classic cloud storage service. In this respect, this restriction is only consistent.


Flickr is a platform that thrives on exchange. It serves a creative community to admire and critically comment on newly created works. Of course, uploading to Flickr also creates a backup of your portfolio, but as we have seen, this is not a professional substitute, since lossless storage is not possible.

Type 4 – The cloud-based digital asset management solution

If you’re not yet familiar with the term Digital Asset Management (DAM for short), no problem: we’ve written a detailed article about it, which you can access here. For now, it’s enough to know that Digital Asset Management is about professional management of media files, especially photos and other images. That is why it is also called image management or an image management software.

We assume in this category that a DAM solution is cloud-based and can be used via a web browser. As special as this may sound, there are also various providers in this market segment. One of them is us. Accordingly, we also draw on our own solution for illustration here: the teamnext | Media Hub.

Upload photos to the cloud - screenshot of the shared workspaces in teamnext | Media Hub, the professional DAM platform.

Clear folder structures – screenshot teamnext | Media Hub

Our solution – the teamnext | Media Hub

The teamnext | Media Hub meets the requirements of a type 1 cloud storage, as all common file formats are supported (and even unknown formats can be uploaded). Primarily, however, it is designed for the management of images and videos. Compared to Google Photos and similar services, the range of functions is many times higher. For metadata optimization, for example, you can make use of batch processing tools such as bulk keywording and renaming, there can be a multidimensional keyword structure image files can be converted to other formats during export, release management is fast and secure, image licenses and consent forms can be managed as well as user rights, and with our in-house developed AI modules (AI stands for artificial intelligence) allows people and objects to be recognized automatically.

The Media Hub compared to other services

At teamnext | Media Hub, the upload specifications are not as restrictive as at Google Photos or Flickr: RAW formats are supported, a file can be up to 8 gigabytes in size, and an image can have up to 120 million megapixels to be processed. There are only a handful of camera models that even penetrate this dimension.

The Media Hub is available as a browser application and as a Progressive Web App. In addition, user-specific SFTP access can be set up, which can be especially helpful when uploading larger files. Unlimited storage space can be added. The fact that this has its price will not surprise you, but the costs (here the overview), which result from the number of user licenses, the period of use and the amount of storage space used, usually pay for themselves within a short time. Consider the benefits you gain from good digital asset management. You can:

    • Find files instantly and share them securely with just a few clicks
    • Create consistent brand experiences
    • Increase the efficiency of campaigns
    • track the use of media
    • Simplify collaborative work
    • Speed up workflows and increase productivity
    • Avoid legal uncertainties and ensure complete documentation

Our solution does not replace a platform for the presentation of photos (type 3), but with the integrated media portal for the provision of files, images can be delivered specifically to larger external target groups.

Another plus point arises in the area of data protection. Unlike US corporations such as Google, Amazon or Apple, we store your data exclusively on servers in European data centers: highly secured and GDPR-compliant.

The proof is in the pudding

If after reading this you just want to give teamnext | Media Hub a try, you can get started right away with a free 14-day trial.

teamnext’s Media Hub is appreciated by medium-sized companies in the GSA region as well as by large organizations within the EU. You can find more info about the product here:

You can also book an appointment for a free online product demo with one of our experts at any time. Simply use our contact form for this purpose.

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