MacMost Now 841: Managing Photos On Your iPhone

For most users the best way to manage photos on an iPhone is to download your Camera Roll photos on to your Mac in iPhoto, treating your Camera Roll like a normal digital camera. Then create albums in iPhoto and sync those back to your iPhone to have a selection of photos to carry with you.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's talk about managing the photos on your iPhone.

I get a lot of questions from people about photos on their iPhone. They want to get some photos onto their iPhone or they want to get photos off of their iPhone or they don't understand why they have too many or too few photos. It is important to understand the difference between the Camera Roll which is photos that you have taken on your iPhone and the Photo Library which are photos that you have synced from your Mac or PC to your iPhone. There are many different ways to manage these two areas where photos are kept. But here is a method that I think will work for most people to get them what they want.

Now here is what you might find on a typical iPhone. If you go into the Photos app you can see there is Camera Roll. And that's it. Go into the Camera Roll and you can find photos that you took using this iPhone, which also includes screen shots. Here is a bunch of photos that were taken on this iPhone. And that's it.

The first thing you want to do is to get these photos from your iPhone to your Mac or PC. It is important to treat your iPhone just like you would your digital camera. You have photos on it and you want to get those photos into your Photo Library, which typically for a Mac user would be using iPhoto.

So I have connected my iPhone to my Mac. Now in iPhoto here if I go on the left I can see under devices there is the iPhone. I can see here are the photos that I've got. The same ones that I was looking at before on the phone itself. You can see I could just Import those 13 photos. So I'm going to do that.

When it is done I get to choose whether or not I want to delete these photos or keep these photos. Now deleting them simply removes them from the Camera Roll. Just like when you have a digital camera and you have taken some photos and now you want to clear the camera's memory off because you have copied all those photos to your Mac. So typically you do want to delete those photos and then we will look at how to get some of those photos that you want to have with you back onto your iPhone.

Now on iPhoto here I can go and look at the last import which I have selected or I can go into my Events and find what I imported. Typically things will be in a single event. Here I've got a lot of photos taken over a long period of time so they are all put in their own events right here. You can see all these different photos.

In addition to that if I go to my Events I can see that I have all sorts of events here from photos I have taken over the years. So it is not just the new ones but also a lot of old ones.

Now I want to create a way to get these photos back on my iPhone. Just the ones that I want. Now some people may love the idea of taking all their photos into the iPhone but I just want to take a select few that I want to carry around with me. Maybe pictures of my child, pictures of family, pictures of my most recent vacation. Things like that.

So the easier way to do that is to create a new Album. So I'm going to create a new album here and I'm just going to call it For iPhone. Then I'm going to go into my photos here and drag and drop photos that I want into this iPhone. I'm just creating basically an album like a playlist for iTunes or just a list of links to these photos. I'm not actually moving them from the Events of course when I create an album. I'm just creating an easier way to view these.

I put a whole bunch of them in here and if I view this album now I can see those photos. Those are the ones that I want to carry around with me on my iPhone.

So the next step is I want to go into iTunes. iTunes is how I sync things between my phone and my Mac. So under iTunes I want to select my device, my iPhone there on the left. Now if you don't have your left side bar turned on you can turn that on by choosing View, showing Hide Sidebar, and then you can easily see it if you do have the sidebar hidden then it actually would appear just over on the right. You can see your iPhone or list of devices.

I'm going to do it easier and Show Sidebar here in iTunes 11 so I can select my iPhone. You can see one of the tabs here is photos. Now here is where I can choose which photos to sync. I'm going to say Yes I do want to sync photos. I'm going to do it from iPhoto, and I can say all which will fill the iPhone with photos but I just want to go and say Selected albums and I can look at the albums here and see For iPhone. I can have multiple albums. I can create an album of family pictures, vacation pictures, things like that and select several of those albums to sync over to my iPhone.

For instance I'm also going to select this Scenery album that was there previously and have these two albums sync over to the iPhone. Once I have figured all that out I can hit Apply.

If we go back to the iPhone now that everything is synced to it and go back to the Photos app we can see we have much more than just Camera Roll there now. We've got Camera Roll still. These will be the photos we have taken since we last synced and last taken all the photos off Camera Roll. We also have Photo Library, Scenery and For iPhone.

Scenery and For iPhone we can recognize as the two albums that we synced to the iPhone. So we can look in iPhone and see those photos and look in Scenery and see those photos. Photo Library is just simply everything in all the albums that we have synced or Events or other things. You saw there were other options there where you can sync the last three months of events, things like that. So everything taken from you Mac, all the photos from Scenery and For iPhone in this case, are under Photo Library. They are not there twice, they are only there once. It is just two different ways of listing them.

So we still have everything in Camera Roll and we have everything in the Photo Library which is stuff from the Mac. So this shows a very common and simple method for most people to manage the photos on their iPhone. If you take new photos they go into Camera Roll. Then you sync with iPhoto on your Mac to pull those photos from Camera Roll onto your Mac. Then you create albums in iPhoto and sync those back using iTunes to your iPhone so you have photos that you can show people.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 26 Responses to “MacMost Now 841: Managing Photos On Your iPhone”

    3/20/13 @ 6:14 am

    Love you videos and learn a lot. I have a question on photos on Ipad or iPhone. Is there any way of putting dates associated to pic on the pic. To know when the pic was taken.
    Thank You

      3/20/13 @ 7:07 am

      Any photo you take with a digital camera, including the iPhone and iPad, get a time stamp put in the meta data for the file. You don’t need to imprint the date on the photo image itself. You can just get info on the photo in iPhoto,or in the Finder on your Mac and you can see this info.

    3/21/13 @ 8:51 am

    Excellent presentation. Well organized, straightforward, clearly presented. Admire your effort to help others learn. You have taught me how to do this with additional collateral information. Sincere thanks. Will be watching for more learning opportunities from you. Best!

    Paul Reynolds
    3/21/13 @ 8:55 am

    Thanks Gary, good stuff as usual. Do you have any experience with the thumbnails and pictures being different? Many like this on my iMac, iPhone, and ipad?

      3/21/13 @ 8:57 am

      No, not at all. You mean they are completely different photos? I’d rebuild my iPhoto library:

        Paul Reynolds
        3/21/13 @ 9:30 am

        Exactly, many of the thumbnails are other photos in the library. I have rebuilt but will try again. Also interesting, the Apple programs are the slowest to open on my iMac.

          3/21/13 @ 9:36 am

          As for slowness, it is hard to compare. iPhoto is slow compared to what? Unless you are comparing it to another photo management tool with the same size library, then it is not a good comparison.

            Paul Reynolds
            3/21/13 @ 9:54 am

            Don’t have another photo program but get the spinning beach ball for 15-20 seconds opening and closing iPhoto. Perhaps that’s normal but I used to rarely see the spinning ball but very often now.

              3/21/13 @ 10:10 am

              Maybe it is because your iPhoto collection is getting large? Maybe you should think about re-building your iPhoto library too (see above).

    Barbara Hooper
    3/21/13 @ 9:25 am

    I just downloaded over 1000 pics from my digital camera to iPhoto on my MacBook and now they appear on my iPod Touch thru Photostream. How do I get them off the iPod Touch? Do I just delete them from Photostream in iPhoto and sync the iPod Touch?

      3/21/13 @ 9:35 am

      You’ll need to examine your Photo Stream settings or this will happen every time. Decide how you want to use Photo Stream (if at all) and perhaps turn it off for some or all of your devices. In this case, simply turning it off on the iPod touch would mean that Photo Stream photos will not appear there.
      Also check your iPhoto preferences. In there you can set things like “Send all new photos to My Photo Stream” and other options.

    3/21/13 @ 10:16 am

    What are advantages/disadvantages to rebuidling the iphoto library?

      3/21/13 @ 10:55 am

      Disadvantages: takes a few minutes of your time. Advantages: may clear up problems or speed things up a bit. A typical user may never need to do it. But it is worth a try if problems are present.

    3/21/13 @ 1:06 pm

    Thanks for all your great tips. I created an album of photos from my iPhoto photo library which I want on my iphone, and synched as you have explained, but only one photo from the album shows up on my iPhone. Any suggestions?

      3/21/13 @ 2:06 pm

      Check and recheck. Make sure you really have those photos in that album, and then check your iTunes settings to make sure that album is really being set to sync. Then check to make sure you are viewing that album specifically in the Photos app.

    Joseph M Landwermeyer
    3/21/13 @ 1:54 pm

    Gary, is there a video you could point me to on rebuilding the iPhoto library? It would be appreciated.

      3/21/13 @ 2:05 pm

      No need for a video as it is pretty simple. Just click on the link in the comment earlier on this page. It tells you what to do.

    3/21/13 @ 3:39 pm

    Another great presentation. We are not involved with any of the “social media” but would be glad to help get the word out if there is another way you can suggest.

    3/21/13 @ 7:17 pm

    Gary, do you think Apple may ever bring keywords I’ve applied to photos in iPhoto to the images as they are synced back to my iPhone such that I could search via keywords?

      3/21/13 @ 7:58 pm

      Maybe. But I can’t see it being high on the priority list.

    3/21/13 @ 11:47 pm

    This syncing is independent of Photostream, right? New photos I take and delete after importing to iPhoto will still be there on Photostream?

    Phil Husted
    3/22/13 @ 6:21 am

    I am 69 yrs old and have just finished transitioning from the PC world to the Apple world. MacMost has been wonderful…thank you ever so much for this site.

    3/23/13 @ 4:49 am

    Ok, but why this happens…I have took a bunch of pictures from my lectures notebook, then I sync these photos in iPhoto, then I created a new album with the same photos and sync them back to the iPhone. When I open the album in the iPhone all the photos are randomly showed. In iPhoto, same album, pictures are showed in the way that I took them. Hot to fix this?

      3/23/13 @ 9:17 am

      I believe the sort order is based on the last modification date for the photo files themselves. But I hear there are apps you can get that let you set the sort order to anything you want.

    3/23/13 @ 12:31 pm

    Absolutely love the way you produce these videos. The mini-vid of you in the upper right really adds depth to your already clear and concise presentation.


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