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For the photos issue.
Here are a couple things to try:
- Close all other apps, then try photos again.
- Turn the iPhone completely off, then on again and try photos.
You also asked, "Would deleting all photos from my iPhone solve the problem?". I would caution that doing this, of course, means you no longer have access to those photos - but if you've saved them to your Mac, or backed them up to iCloud (or any other backup process), then it is certainly a good troubleshooting step.
Please let me know if any of these ideas to help, or if I could help further.