Forum Question: iPhone Photo Albums and iPhoto

My apologies if this has been asked and answered, but I’m new here…

I’m trying to get a grip on how the iPhone handles image files I take with my iPhone.

I have begun transferring (but not deleting) my pictures from my iPhone to iPhoto so that they can be backed up, tagged (keyword), etc. But I would very much like to create and use additional photo albums to categorize my images.

It is my understanding I cannot actually create photo albums on the iPhone, but that I can create them within iPhoto. However, those created albums are “smart” albums; they merely point to a given image within the iPhoto library and do not actually place the given photo(s) within only that specialized category.

Is this correct?

If so, does this mean that the only way I can really create photo albums on my iPhone is to transfer my images from the iPhone to iPhoto. Delete the images from the Camera Roll on my iPhone, then sync back the images from iPhoto to my iPhone and the syncing process will bring over those specialized categories?

Thus, on my iPhone I would end up with the albums Camera Roll (for any new images snapped), a album with all my images from iPhoto and the specialized albums that merely point to the images in the all encompassing library.

Am I getting any of this correct?


— forkboy1965

Comments: 15 Responses to “iPhone Photo Albums and iPhoto”

    12/6/09 @ 7:49 pm

    There are two types of Albums in iPhoto. Regular albums are ones you create and name and manually add photos to. The photos are all just part of your Library as a whole, and they are really just linked from the album. Deleting a photo from your album just unlinks it from the album, it is still in your library. A “smart” album is one you create but you don’t add photos to it — you specify a search for something and the smart album is created from that search, and automatically updated.
    On your iPhone you have two types of photos: 1) the camera roll of photos taken on your iPhone, and 2) the photos synced from your Mac to your iPhone. One feature of group 2 is that you can choose to sync specific albums and view them as albums on your iPhone.
    So, yes, you should sync your iPhone photos to iPhoto, arrange them into albums, and then sync again. Think of the camera roll as your “new photos” that you haven’t organized yet.
    For a lot of people, though, the big deal is that albums synced from iPhoto back to the iPhone contain pictures taken from their digital camera, not necessarily just the iPhone.

    12/8/09 @ 1:38 pm

    I just tried creating a Smart Album using my iPhone as the criteria. It did not select all the images in my iPhoto library that were taken with my phone.

    Can you imagine why this might be the case. It appears that older pictures are not included.

    I don’t know if this helps, but I was originally pulling pictures onto my Mac using the Image Capture app, but I don’t think I pulled those older images from the folder I had set up for such. Besides, why would that matter if the criteria was my iPhone? Unless, of course, the Capture app didn’t bring that information.

    Is there a way I can fix this without having to re-import them from the camera? I’ve already added keywords and descriptions.

      12/8/09 @ 2:03 pm

      Select one of the misbehaving photos in iPhoto and choose Photo, Show Extended Photo Info. What does it say under “camera?” How about one of the photos that does work? There’s no easy way to change this info. but perhaps you can add a second criteria to the Smart Album, like a keyword. Then tag those photos with “oldiphone” or something of the sort.

    1/30/10 @ 12:32 am

    can keywords be added to photos on the iphone that will sync back to iphoto. i want to be able to have a small device like the iphone or ipad that i can use to assign keywords to the thousands of photos i have without having to lug a laptop around.

      1/30/10 @ 12:44 am

      No, there is no way to tag photos on the iPhone and have those tags get back into iPhoto — at least not that I know of.

    Michelle Kim
    5/11/11 @ 4:47 pm

    i dont have iphoto on my computer. how do i download it?

      5/11/11 @ 6:11 pm

      iPhoto is part of iLife which comes with every new Mac. So you should have it. You can always buy the latest version in the iLife suite at the Apple Store (or online). You can also get iPhoto by itself in the Mac App Store (Requires OS X 10.6.7)

    4/17/12 @ 9:35 am

    recently I have not been able to sync/transfer photos from my iPhone to my mac book, is there something that changed that I am missing. my mac book as Lion OS
    10.7.3, my iPhone is a 3g OS 5.1
    also when I take videos on iPhone and transferred to mac (when I could do that) they won’t play with QuickTime

    8/13/12 @ 12:30 pm

    Recently I have noticed that after I take photos with my iphone and then sync my phone to my computer, I can no longer see the photos on my iphone anymore. I am supposing this is because I have set it up to download the photos somewhere and then delete them from the phone.

    1. I can’t find the photos anywhere in my iphoto folder – does anyone know how to look up where these photos are getting sent?
    2. I can’t figure out how to reconfigure it so that the photos are not automatically deleted from the iphone after I sync it (as I would prefer to leave them on the iphone; I do not have icloud or another service where all my computers/devices are linked).

      8/13/12 @ 3:09 pm

      How are you syncing the photos? Using iPhoto? Something else? When you select to download the photos you have a checkbox in iPhoto, and you are prompted too, I believe. Test it. Take a photo right now. Sync. Walk through the process slowly and check every screen .You’ll see.

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