This is a process that has recently (finally) started to work for me. Perhaps there are many other ways of doing this, but I'll share the flow. A large part of it is thanks to Giles for his amazing script.
My main aim was to:
- Combine assets from all my devices (cameras, mobiles, gopro) into a single library locally
- Create cloud backups
- See my library of media on both desktop and laptop
- Have the ability to share albums that included media from all my devices
I was able to achieve most with Google Photos, but I didn't want to upload into my main account, media from my cameras and gopro. This is because I wanted a local copy of my google photos - which came from my mobiles - and backing up Google Photos locally, meant anything that I upload, would be re-downloaded. I also didn't want to rely on Adobe and Lightroom and cloud services and subscriptions that maybe tied me too much to a certain company - but I was also cheap.
So my solution? In a simple diagram it's:
Devices > Combine locally > Sort and create albums > Upload to share > Backup
Visually, it looks like this:
And how does it work?
1 - Any photos that I take with our mobile phones are uploaded automatically to Google Photos. Some of these are sorted into albums for myself and to share, but they include only mobile photos.
2 - I run my favourite gphotos script, which downloads all Google Photos to my desktop drive automatically. I suppose I could schedule this, but it's really just double clicking a simple shell script and it's all done in a few minutes, quite impressive.
3 - Any other device media (cameras, gopro) are copied to my desktop drive, this is still a manual process but I don't mind. It also allows me to cull any media at that point.
4 - All my media is dumped into their own folders. So gopro has it's own (largely due to the way the app downloads into all these folders, not a huge fan, but doesn't really matter), my fuji is downloaded into years/months (only big events are put into separate folders with a date in the months folder), mobiles are in their own folder created by the script. On my desktop, I'm able to browse all media through just a month meta asset. I don't have to dive into the folder structure, which is great. I think just create albums or collections and tag what I really care, but I'm not rigorous about it, I just want to see all my photos in one place, chronologically.
5 - I use resilio sync to sync just the library and previews to my laptop (one way from desktop > laptop) so that I can just view all my media together from there. I don't do any edits on the laptop, so the sync is one way only.
6 - Then using resilio sync, I backup to a Synology drive and from there, it automatically uploads to idrive (the link is an affiliate link), where I have my assets as a remote backup. I like idrive because they have a synology package (though I hate the interface) - it does the job and is inexpensive.
7 - I create share albums with Lychee, another open source platform, which I run on my own domain. I share out private links with passwords so all that lives with me, without relying on another subscription or Google.
8 - There are some other local and remote backups, but those aren't as important to me as the main bulk of the workflow.
I hope that makes sense, it took me a while to get here, but it seems to work for now. Let me know what you think!