Hi, I'm Steve! This site is an always-in-progress repository for my thoughts and ideas. You'll generally find me writing about sustainability 🍃, urbanism 🏙️, programming 💾, vegan cooking 🍛, and whatever else pops into my mind ✨.

Wiki » Tech Stack » Photo Storage and Sync

Replacing iCloud and Google Photos with a self-hosted equivalent.

Why does this matter?

Storing and Viewing Photos

Given the above risks, I decided self-hosting my photo library was the best way to keep my data safe. My research into the various photo library software available lead me to PhotoPrism. It's an open source, web-based photo manager that had some nifty features I couldn't find in other open source applications:

Installation is also relatively simple and can be done using a docker-compose file.1

If you decide to go down the path of self-hosting your photo library keep in mind that it is enormously important to maintain an off-site backup of your library. The permanence of your data is decided entirely by you. You should anticipate your PhotoPrism server dying at some point and have a backup/recovery plan in place, otherwise you may find yourself without a photo library!2

Syncing Photos

With PhotoPrism up and running, the next question was how to conveniently get photos synced from my phone. PhotoSync was the best solution I found, as it has explicit support for syncing to PhotoPrism via WebDAV. You can set it up to automatically sync each night, uploading the photos and videos you took over the previous day and optionally deleting them off of your phone to save disk space.

  1. At some point in the future I'll write up documentation for how I handle the nitty gritty of getting a docker-based self-hosted server up and running.
  2. My advice for this will come shortly in the form of a page on my strategy for file syncing and backup. All of my self-hosted services rely on this strategy to ensure data is safe.