Lost Photos! No update - software conflict!


As with most things Mac - I've had the money issue where I am currently unable to update my Macbook Pro - but also don't have enough free space currently to update the OS. Because of this issue - I have had a conflict between DropBox - whom I use, and of course pay for, storage to mitigate aforementioned problem of MAC OS update.

Yesterday while busily working I had a notification pop up from DropBox to say 'update your drop box version....' which now I realise was a fatal mistake - causing sleeplessness and a good 5 hours over chat forums with Drop Box - because as soon as I updated - it followed immediately an agreement they had made with Mac because of the FILE PROVIDER API! The thing that had alerted to me to the problem was that I was in the middle of adding photos to a working document - and I went to my Photos App and the entire thing was completely empty!

After many hours over chat with a very helpful fellow called Wilson (in case anyone else has the same problem - ask for him), to ultimately be told - sorry try Apple!
Thing is - I can see the photos in a File/temp/something or other but am now terrified to import from there because of the FILE PROVIDER API thingy.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? I am constantly frustrated by the old way that Mac forces it's users, and clearly its 'partners' to keep on spending on their latest shiny products - which I don't deny are magnificent - it's just currently something I am unable to afford - and feel almost penalised for this! Is my 7 year old Macbook Pro something to just throw away?

Super frustrated at the time wasted! Really wanting my Photo App to have a full library again so I can work like I need to.....