Migrating from Google Photos to PhotoShelter

Google’s Recent Announcement

When I first really immersed myself in photography in 2005, I used the free software Picasa as my DAM (digital asset management) system. Google eventually built the feature for Picasa Web Albums. I loved them for their fine-grained control over privacy + ease of sharing. Eventually that system became Google Photos (back when Google Plus was ramping up to compete with Facebook).

Last week, Google announced their plan to start charging for their high quality photo storage. It makes a lot of sense and the product isn’t still built on the hope of Google Plus. It’s also still a cheap price for a consumer to have that infrastructure available.

My Needs Changed

Sometime over the last few years, my needs changed and I started shooting at even higher resolution. I wanted to store / share / archive in a platform that gave me isolated control with user accounts + passwords + expiration of share links as I delivered images to clients.

I eventually settled on PhotoShelter, but it does not feel like settling. Its gallery management is flexible. Its organization of public/private is simple. It also was very easy to roll out their templates and have a configurable website. I have no relationship with PhotoShelter other than being an appreciative customer.


It was a non-starter to attempt to move over 430 albums from Google Photos over to PhotoShelter. I did end up manually downloading each album as a zip file, mostly because I was too lazy to dig into the Google Photos API. Once I had all albums backed up to my local drive, I wrote an R project that uploaded them all to PhotoShelter.

That code is open source and available in a GitHub Repository: https://github.com/AdamFrieberg/R_MigrateGalleriesToPhotoShelter

I hope anyone looking for a great photo sharing platform will give PhotoShelter a try!