I have been looking for a photo management software for a long time, that allows me to manage our pictures, host and share them, provides a sleek UI, and has some cool features that make my life easier.
For quite some time (and still), I am using Nextcloud to do this, but I always disliked its inferior performance due to PHP. Recently, they also completely replaced their pictures app by a new one, which, apart from the fact that the app seems far from feature-complete and polished to me, made me realize (again) that photos are not a first class citizen in the Nextcloud universe. It's just one of many aspects, that Nextcloud wishes to provide.
I have been trying alternatives in the past as well, but Piwigo's development is too slow for my taste and they do make the impression on me that they feel rather cozy in the place they are in now and don't seem to be looking for cool ways to expand upon Piwigo's feature-set. The main thing that annoyed me with Piwigo was its lack of a proper Android mobile app, and its UI.
Up to recently, I exclusively looked for open-source solutions that could fill my photo org void. During the last days I played around with the Moments app of my Synology NAS, and was actually quite fixed by some of its features. It provides AI-supported auto-tagging and classification of pictures. It can detect faces. It provides a sleek timeline of pictures, which is nice to browse through. Generally, I felt its feature-set came pretty close to what I was looking for. Unfortunately, I very much dislike the fact that it is closed-source and that I am not entirely convinced of the quality of Synology's support. Also, performance on my NAS (which is intentionally chosen power-consumption friendly) is subpar.
Then, some days ago I stumbled over #photoprism, which is a relatively new project but it already now seems like a really promising candidate. It has AI-driven classification/tagging of pictures, has facial recognition as well as web-sharing on its roadmap. Most importantly, the project's main developer (lastzero) seems extremely motivated and has a clear perspective for the project that aligns very well with how I wish my picture org software to be. This is awesome and clearly something that the other projects I tried so far were lacking. The fact that then completely won me over as a fan was that he created a ticket to add ActivityPub support to the project. So obviously, this is a really cool project that I would love to continue evolving and succeeding in finishing its roadmaps.
I have it installed locally now, but it's not yet feature-complete enough to replace Nextcloud for us. Nevertheless, I want to give photoprism's development a boost and hope I can do so by sponsoring lastzero on GitHub sponsors.