Photo sharing

I recently shared that Ente is open sourcing their back end and lots of people are asking about what the options for (open) photo sharing. Ente is a hosted service, but their client software and now their backend software is open source, but it's not really designed for Self-hosting.

I'm calling this photo sharing, but a lot of this ends up looking like sync or backup or related use cases.

For sharing, I'll define that as:

  • subsets of photos that are publicly accessible and browseable on the web
  • some sort of album / gallery grouping
  • permissioned access to groupings
  • being able to embed a photo directly on any web page1

I don't personally have a big need for privately accessible photos. At a small scale, I have this solved in a number of ways, including sending 6 photos over (insert messaging platform of choice). I haven't done a deep dive into what the programs below offer, e.g. shared private albums.

I do think that "many people contributing to a web-accessible, group photo album" is a very interesting use case. Anyone have pointers to options for that?

Here's a list of some of the photo sharing software I'm aware of, and/or use myself2. I'm not directly recommending any of them, but am interested in those where it is possible to self host / the code is open source / I'm not trapped in a platform.

  • Ente - paid, hosted cloud service and e2ee. Clients and server are all open source.
  • Photo Prism - very full featured self-hosted solution, and also very resource intensive. Has face detection and map geolocation. Open source, but some advanced features require monthly subscription.
  • Amazon Photos - after I exported all of my photos from Flickr, I uploaded them all to Amazon Photos. Free with your Prime membership, but supports only 5GB of videos. You can choose to not sync videos in your camera roll.
  • Immich - labeled as photo backup, this is a self-hosted solution that is installable on Cloudron
  • iCloud Photos - I currently have a family plan and don't really think about photo storage / sync any more. They are all available on all my devices.

I share most of my every day photos on my account, or on one of several Mastodon accounts. Images on FoodWiki are hotlinked to uploads. There are tons of photos that I just don't share, even though I would be fine to have them in public.

My photos are all taken on my iPhone, and through iCloud, are synched everywhere. My long term archive before I switched to a paid iCloud, is on Amazon Photos.

Personally, I'd like to get to Forever Photos with Content Addressing.

  1. I'm saying embed rather than e.g. a bare image link, because often those links will generate a lot of bandwidth if direct linked somewhere on the web. Embeds of some kind serve as a glue between wherever the photos are stored and just being able to view them on a web page.ย โ†ฉ

  2. I'm not listing Google Photos. I experimented with it, but I don't trust anything like this to Google. And, I could never figure out how to link to ANYTHING in Google Photos in a way that I could actually USE the photos.ย โ†ฉ

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