I have experimented with various proprietary image galleries. Some are easier to set up than others. Generally all of the ones that come with my hosting package, 123-reg, are unsatisfactory in some form or another. You can read about the problems in News (History).
I have settled upon a proprietary Photo Gallery site called SmugMug. It took less than a weekend to setup, and that includes customization.
It does exactly what I was hoping for from the other products that I tried to make work, and more besides.
It has three discrete areas available to the site owner.
Internal, where only the site owner has access. I can store all my photos and videos here as a backup for instance. The amount of photos you can upload is unlimited according to SmugMug. However, there is a limit the the file size for each image. It is a bit more than the 1MB offered by one of the galleries. It is a respectable 50MB.
Protected, where I want to put photos with limited access, by invitation only. I could use it to place photos that I only wished to share with friends and family. A professional photographer could use it to hold photos for a particular client, such as proofs of wedding photos ready for selection, or an event such as a Ball / Awards ceremony where lots of photos are taken and the photographer wants to enable attendees to look at the photos after the event and hopefully buy some.
Public, as implied, anyone can see these photos.
The site also includes the ability to sell either the image as a download or as a print, with lots of options. All facilitated by the site operators, and the prints done by professional labs.
Early days at time of writing, but it seems SmugMug is an excellent Photo storage solution.
Jump directly to my Portfolio at SmugMug