Photo albums and syncing - Help needed!

Heyo there,

After years of sorting my photo’s and video’s offline (instead of using cloud services like Google Photos/drive etc) I have ended up with a messy file structure.
Currently I have yearly folders with all ‘worth keeping’ pictures in those folders.
Recently I’ve found this quite messy since searching for specific pictures is almost impossible. Thus I want to look for another solution.

I’ve checked out, and I am not happy. The apps are inconsistent, exporting stuff only worked half of the time, and I feel like the company is too small for me to trust them with years of memories (personal opionion, please dont sue me)
And with that said, I am quite happy with how my current syncthing-setup works between my Android and Linux devices.

Okay enough background, now for my question. Has anyone of you found a way to easily sort photo’s in a regular file structure? Or has anyone found a way to easily search your photo’s offline (or even online if is it safe enough)

I know that I am not the only one facing this dilemma and hopefully we can share some thoughts! Thanks

My current set-up to manage photo’s and videos is similar enough to what you are using, only difference is, I don’t use years to separate them into folders. I also use cloud storage to keep a copy just in case.

Instead of years, I make folders with events, activity or person’s name etc. I do put the year at the end of the folder names as well if it’s once or twice a year kind of thing. This has worked well for me so far.

Setting this up was too many hours of work, but it has made finding things much easier as well.

For ente, it is recommened you just compress your folders in a .zip file and upload them as Google Takeout. I personnaly trust Ente, I have been using them for 4 months and the interface has really improved. Plus if you are messy, then the AI seach (locally run) could be useful.

If you do not trust Ente, you could decide to self-host it. See their github (GitHub - ente-io/ente: Fully open source, End to End Encrypted alternative to Google Photos and Apple Photos)

digiKam might be what you are looking for, it’s an open source photo management software.

It works completely offline and you can sort all your images into appropriate folder structures. I would recommend reading their documentation about it if you want to optimise your image organisation: Organize and Find — Digikam Manual 8.3.0 documentation

You can use all sorts of metadata to find images and since it’s run locally on your computer it’s very fast.

digikam also has deep-learning face detection and face recognition which identifies people and automatically tags them for you.

If you regularly import photos from other devices such as cameras and phones, digiKam can appropriately sort the new files into the correct folder structure.