Making photo albums available to anything

Nextcloud is working fine, but I would appreciate any ideas on how to accomplish the following.
I want to be able to administrate my family’s photos via a separate nextcloud user id and then make that users photos available to the other users without them being able to accidentally delete files. So far so good, this seems to work fine.
I also want to make the photo folders available to any other applications on my server. Specifically, I want a Plex server to be able to also access the photos. I found to my (positive) surprise that Nextcloud does not allow me to change the permissions of the Nextcloud data folder so that Plex could read the user folder with all the photos. When I made the main folder world readable, Nextcloud removed the permissions. Cool, and probably for the best although I now couldn’t enable access to the photos to other “things” on the server.
I’ve now created a folder for the photos outside of the Nextcloud data folder structure. As administrator I’ve set up “External Storages” access using the “Local” storage method and then made that available only to the “photo” user, and the photo user has then shared the external storage folder with those I want to share with.

Rather convoluted, but it seems to work. But does anyone have any suggestions for a better way of achieving what I’ve configured? Are there any drawbacks to what I’ve done that I haven’t considered? I’m open to suggestions…

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Looks like you found the right way via external storage. Only other supported way would be to connect other applications directly via webdav.
Only drawback I can think of is that the folder is writable by the plex server and you don’t want it to do this.