I think it might be best to create my own customized database
It's hard to answer from such a limited description. Be prepared to spend some time learning how to create a database.
A quick glance at the photo catalog suggests it may be readily adaptable to your needs--but there's much you don't say about what you need that could make that a bad suggestion.
Have you considered using already well developed tools, like smugmug.com. Then you could focus on the Art and organizing it rather than database development.