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 Micro.blog account, or on one of several Mastodon accounts. Images on FoodWiki are hotlinked to Micro.blog 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. 

  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. 

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