My teammate & fellow Photoshop veteran Aravind Krishnaswamy has shared a few notes on his setup:
Most of my photos are in Lightroom but I also take the occasional picture with a phone and I like having a unified view of everything. I also like stuff like search & explore and the creations made from both my LR photos as well as my mobile ones. I don’t really have an interest in doing major editing on a phone and having sync back to Lightroom or anything like that, I just really like the idea of having access to all my photos on my phone as long as I have an internet connection.
For this I use Jeffrey Friedl’s Folder Publisher to auto publish to a Drive folder which then syncs to Photos. The folder names get indexed in search and come up in auto complete. And if for some reason I want the folder structure they are still Drive (haven’t wanted it in the few months I’ve been doing this). The only downside is that it requires storage on Drive: my 100k photos take up about 460GB. But I shoot with high megapixel bodies (36, 80) and the plugin is configured to export full size, high quality JPG. If I resized them to something more sane, that number would be smaller.
Note that that amount of storage would cost you a princely ten bucks a month & still leave you with more than half your Drive space free.
Update: A couple of readers have asked why Aravind exports from LR instead of just uploading the raw originals. You can certainly do the latter (as I do), but only Lightroom & Camera Raw can interpret the edits that LR applies & stores as XMP metadata. (Google Photos & other raw rendering engines just ignore one another’s parameters.) If you want to see the results of those edits, you need to render out JPEGs.