You might have noticed a big shift recently in the way Apple handles your photos. For years iPhoto was where you did your entire photo management on Apple devices, created calendars and photo books and organized everything into albums and events. With the big Yosemite upgrade, Apple rolled out a brand new, built from scratch app to tackle photos, sharing, multiple device issues and so far I think they’ve done a great job.

The shift to the new Photos app is a big one, though Apple has made it (in theory) really easy to do.

Before you do anything, BACKUP your photos. If you use Time Machine, run that or however you like to backup files, do that before moving forward. Seriously, I’ll wait…

Now that you’re ready, open up the Photos app. When you first open Photos it will ask you if you want to import your photos from iPhoto. Simple right? It will add any “old” iPhoto Events that you have to one large album called “iPhoto Events”.

The organization of the app is very different from iPhoto, but give it time. Like anything new, after you get used to it all is well. There are really only 4 tabs to work with now: Photos, Shared, Albums and Projects. This keeps things in a nice, tidy format. Within each tab you can use the arrows in the top left to drill up or down depending on the view you are wanting.

Photos: Apple Photos tab

Simple enough, this is where all your actual photos are organized, independent of Albums, arranged by date. Select an image or a set of images to add to an Album or to Share. Hover an image and you can favorite it. Click once then hit the ‘delete’ button to delete. NOTE: this doesn’t actually delete the image (yet). You have to go to File > Show Recently Deleted to permanently remove any images. Deleted images are removed automatically after 30 days, but this lets you recover any you might have mistakenly deleted before that time.


Apple Photos Shared tab

Sharing photos is so simple now and seems to be at the core of the new direction Apple is going with Photos.

To me, Shared Albums are AMAZING and something I’ve been waiting for. Imagine you are going on a trip with family and friends. Along the way people are posing for great pictures, taking shots on various parts of the journey, and you really want a way to not have to deal with the whole “hey, would you send me that when you get a chance?” thing.

Create a Shared Album! Anyone with an Apple device can then be added to it just by inviting them to the Shared Album. As the owner, you can control any of the pictures that are uploaded, but as well people can control their own pictures they upload. And, all of these added photos do NOT count towards your iCloud storage. The limit right now is 5000 pictures per shared album so you should be able to capture every second of that amazing trip. People without an Apple device can also be invited to just view the photos within a browser.


Apple Photos Albums tab

The concept of “Events” is gone. Now everything is organized into Albums. If you had albums before in iPhoto, nothing’s changed.

One thing that is a bit confusing is there are 2 types of Albums: shared vs. not. This can get really annoying when you try and put everything into an Album and then want to invite people to it only to realize you hadn’t made it a Shared Album to begin with. However, where this is nice is sometimes you have a full Album of pictures and only want to share 10 of them or so…so from that Album you can select the 10 pictures and just share those to a new Shared Album.


Apple Photos Projects tab

Here’s where all your Books, Cards, Calendars, Prints or Slideshows are now kept. All you do is select an Album or Photo(s) and click “Create” and you’re on your way.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the new Photos app. So far, we’re enjoying it and love how seamlessly it then works with all our other devices that are connected to the same iCloud account. Simple. That’s the way Apple likes to do things.


With over a decade of experience, I have managed online marketing for a wide range of industries including biotech, high-tech, financial, higher education, non-profit, manufacturing, hardware providers, and startups. My specialty is helping business make the right turn with their online efforts focusing on lead generation and analytics.

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