How to Manage Your iPhone Photos – Epilogue How to get old photos, slides and film scanned

After receiving questions and requests for advice on how to digitize old photos and slides, I’ll make some suggestions here, based on my own experience and recommendations from a website I trust.

There are two ways to get your old pictures into high-quality digital format: 1) do-it-yourself with a good scanner, or 2) use a professional scanning service. The first option costs a lot of time but not much money, and the second one is the just the opposite.

Thankfully, one of my favorite websites,, has reviewed both options.

DIY with a scanner

About ten years ago, I purchased a flat bed scanner to scan some old slides and photos for a fiftieth wedding anniversary party for my parents. The scanner worked well and I was pleased enough with the quality of my scanned images, but it was an extremely slow and tedious process – especially for the slides.

Here is the link for The Wirecutter’s review of scanners and recommendations:

I suggest you read the whole article, but if you want the bottom line, skip down to the last section “Wrapping it up.” Basically, the Canon LiDE 220 is their pick for just scanning prints and the Canon 9000F Mark II is the best one for scanning prints, slides and film.

Scanning services

Back when Groupon was all the rage, I stumbled upon a great deal for a scanning service called Scan Digital. At the time, I was anxious to have all of our home videos digitized before the tapes disintegrated. I had videos on Betamax, VHS and 8mm tapes, which are now safely saved on an external drive, in my computer and in my cloud backup, Crashplan.

Since then, a number of scanning services have cropped up, offering everything from average quality scanning of photo prints to archival restoration for all print and video mediums.

The Wirecutter reviewed a dozen scanning services in this article: Their favorite service is Memories Renewed. They did try the company I used, Scan Digital, but Scan Digital’s turnaround time was too slow for their review requirements.

I know that I do not have the time or patience to scan the thousands of remaining photos that I want to have digitized, so I will be saving my money to use a scanning service. I also recommend searching for online coupons. Scan Digital still offers some great deals on Groupon.

Some final thoughts

  • Scanning negatives vs. prints. Most experts and scanning services recommend negatives over prints, if you have them and they are in good condition. A Google search will direct you to many articles, but here is a good one I found:
  • If the scanning service you choose offers shipping packaging for a nominal fee, I recommend purchasing it.
  • If you like to create your own albums, slideshows or movies on your computer, send a new, small external drive with your pictures or videos. You will find it much easier to work with your digitized copies from one drive.
  • Only use a scanning service that scans in-house in the United States. You do not want your originals being shipped to India for scanning.
  • You will have to choose the scanning resolution you want for your digitized pictures. There are many explanations online to help you decide. The bottom line is that the higher resolution (and more expensive) option is better for passing these photos down to your descendants who will be using tv and video screens that are higher resolution than we have now. Here is an excellent explanation:

How to Manage Your iPhone Photos #4 In 5 simple steps

Now it’s time to get down to the “how to keep my iPhone photos under control” part of this series. What you will learn here is an ongoing system for saving and sharing photos and keeping your iPhone’s photo clutter minimized.

If you followed my steps in Part 3, the worst is over.

These are the guidelines that will help you manage your iPhone photos from now on.

First, set a reminder on your iPhone

  • Open Reminders on your iPhone
  • Touch the ‘+’ in the top right and then Reminder.
  • In the title field, enter “Manage Photos.”
  • Turn ON “Remind me on a day.”
  • Beside “Alarm,” select a future day of the week and time (i.e. Sunday, 8:00 PM)
  • Beside Repeat, select how often you will need to clean up your photos. Every week or 2 weeks will keep you from being overwhelmed.
  • Touch Done.

5 Steps when your Reminder goes off

  1. Delete the bad shots from the Camera Roll.
  2. Add any favorite photos to your shared Favorites album (if you did not create this, the instructions are in Part 3).
  3. Create and add photos to other shared albums. (This is also explained in Part 3.)
  4. Connect your iPhone to your computer to download the photos and videos you want to keep.
  5. You don’t have to delete every photo and video on your iPhone, but keep no more than 200 pictures and a few videos on an ongoing basis. Remember, always delete from Camera Roll, unless the computer deleted them for you.

Once you’ve completed these steps, open Reminders and touch the circle beside “Manage Photos.” You will be alerted again, depending on your reminder’s settings.

Backup your photos saved on your computer

This is where I get up on my soapbox and plead with you to pleeeeease use some kind of backup system for the pictures and videos that you have stored on your computer.

These are some options:

  • Automatically or manually copy them onto flashdrives or external hard drives. Theoretically, these should not be kept in the same building as your computer.
  • Automatically or manually upload them to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Photos. Dropbox is not free after 2GB. Google Photos is free for now but does not store full-resolution copies.
  • Automatically have all of your photos, videos and other files backed up to a cloud backup service with unlimited storage. Crashplan is my favorite, and here is an older post I wrote about it. It costs approximately $50/year.

Reduce or eliminate paying for iCloud storage

If you had iCloud Photo Library turned ON before you started this iPhone photo management method and you have been paying Apple for extra iCloud storage, you may want to downgrade or eliminate your storage plan because:

  • You have saved your best iPhone photos on your Mac or PC.
  • You can use Photo Stream to synchronize your recent photos between your devices.
  • You have implemented a backup system for the photos and videos on your Mac or PC (as discussed above).

Below is a screenshot from Apple’s support page Get Help with Your iCloud Photo Library. Follow Apple’s instructions to Disable and Delete iCloud Photo Library.

Apple Support Remove Content from iCloud screenshot

If you have a Mac and it was also connected to your iCloud Photo Library, I recommend that you follow the above instructions for downloading the originals to Photos on your Mac. You may have already done this without realizing it and there won’t be any new photos downloaded.

There’s still another step to downgrade your iCloud Storage plan. Apple explains how with iCloud Storage Upgrades and Downgrades.

You still have 5GB free iCloud storage – use it!

If you have not been backing up your iPhone automatically to iCloud, it’s time to start! iCloud backups will protect your photos in between downloads to your computer, in addition to other data and settings.

If you are unfamiliar about how to turn it on, follow Apple’s easy instructions How to Back up Your Devices Using iCloud or iTunes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning my system for keeping iPhone photos under control. If you have any questions or comments, feel to comment below or send me an email through the Contact link.

How to Manage Your iPhone Photos #3 Getting your iPhone photos cleaned up and cleared out

In the first installment of this series, I proposed seven reasons for learning how to manage your iPhone photos. Then, in the second part, I explained the effects of your Photos Settings on your photo management goals.

In this article I will show you how to get your iPhone photos organized and cleared out in preparation for your ongoing photo management system.

With this photo management method, you can:

  • Stop paying for extra iCloud storage from Apple
  • Move your photos from your iPhone to your computer
  • Share groups of photos with friends and family
  • Create albums of your best photos using minimal iPhone storage space

Warning: This is a long post, but aren’t the above rewards worth it?

P.S. Warning: Make certain all of your devices are completely up-to-date with their software and apps before beginning.

Some definitions

One more important, quick explanation. When you open Photos on your iPhone, there are three options across the bottom.

Albums are the photos and videos saved in your iPhone. The albums Camera Roll (or All Photos) and Videos takes up storage space in your phone.

Shared are iCloud Albums you have created or that have been shared with you. They are actually saved in Apple’s iCloud, for free, with a space-saving copy on your iPhone. The memory this uses on your iPhone is negligible.

Photos are all the photos and videos from Camera Roll and Photo Stream or All Photos (if iCloud Photo Sharing is on), organized by Years, Collections and Moments. It’s simply a reorganization of your photos and a different way to view them, not extra copies.

Getting your iPhone ready for the iPhone Photo Management System

        1. Check your iPhone settings
          • Go to Settings > Photos & Camera
          • iCloud Photo Sharing should be ON.
          • Do not worry about the other settings that you have ON or OFF right now.
          • Press the Home button to return to the Main screen.
        2. Create a Favorites album in Shared Albums
          Apple provides a Favorites Album in Albums that you may already be using. The problem with this album is that it requires you to keep those photos in your iPhone, taking up storage space.

          If you will save your favorite shots to a Shared Album, you can keep many more pictures there and use less space.

          • Open Photos and touch Shared at the bottom.
          • If you see  in the top left, touch it to return to the iCloud Photo Sharing screen.
          • Touch the  in the top left.
          • Type Favorites in the popup.

          • Touch Next.
          • Touch Create, without entering anything for “To:”
          • You now have an empty shared Favorites album.
        3. Add photos to your Shared Album “Favorites”
          • With Photos open, touch Albums at the bottom right.
          • If you see  in the top left, touch it to return to the main Albums screen.
          • If you have photos in the Favorites album on this screen, touch it to open.
            • Touch Select and then Select All.
            • Touch and then iCloud Photo Sharing.
            • In the popup touch Shared Album, Favorites and Post.
          • Touch  in the top left.
          • Touch Camera Roll (or All Photos).
          • Touch Select and touch other photos you want to add to your shared Favorites album.
          • Touch , repeating the steps to add to your Shared Album “Favorites.”
          • Finally, touch Shared at the bottom and confirm that your selected photos have been added to Favorites.
        4. Share groups of photos with others
          When my family gets together for a holiday or vacation, I create a shared album which they can all see and add pictures to. This also works for ongoing sharing of photos with a specific friend or group. To keep the photos private, all sharing contacts must have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac.

          • Follow the steps in #1 above with an appropriate name for your Shared Album (i.e., Christmas 2015)
          • Leave “To:” blank for now.
          • Follow the steps in #2 and add pictures from your Camera Roll (or All Photos) to your new Shared Album.
          • Touch Shared at the bottom and open your new album.
          • Touch People at the bottom and then Invite People… Depending on the information you have for your contacts, you may select to invite someone via email or their cell phone number. I find that inviting via email is seen more dependably by your invitees.
          • Touch as many contacts as you want to invite and then Add in the top right.  You can always add or remove sharing contacts at any time.***There are iCloud Photo Sharing and Photo Stream limits, but most people will not come close to reaching them. If you really want to know more, here are the numbers straight from Apple:
        5. Prepare Camera Roll (or All Photos) for saving on computer
          Once you have created shared albums for some of the existing photos on your iPhone, you need to look at the quality and number of photos you have in Camera Roll (or All Photos). Ideally, you only want to save the good photos on your computer. So, it makes sense to delete the ones you do not like first. However, if you have thousands of pictures in your iPhone, the overwhelming task of going through all the photos may hinder your photo management progress. If that describes you, skip the rest of this step, and you can decide what to delete later when they are on your computer.

          • With Photos open, touch Albums in the bottom right.
          • Touch Camera Roll (or All Photos).
          • Touch Select and touch each photo that you do not want to save on your computer and are ready to delete.
          • To quickly select lots of photos, simply drag your finger across any of the photos. As long as you keep dragging, each photo you touch will be selected.
          • When finished selecting, touch the trash can. If you have been using iCloud Photo Library, it will also delete them there.
          • If you delete by mistake, open the Recently Deleted album, touch Select, touch the picture(s) and touch Recover.
        6. Download iPhone photos to computer
          Before you connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac, you need to prevent iTunes from automatically syncing with your iPhone.

            • On a PC:
              • Open iTunes
              • In the top menu, click on Edit and then Preferences (if you don’t see the menu, follow these instructions from Apple:
              • Click on Devices.
              • Check the box beside “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically.”
              • Click OK and close iTunes.
            • On a Mac:
              • Open iTunes
              • In the top menu, click on iTunes and then Preferences…
              • Click on Devices
              • Check the box beside “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically.”
              • Click OK and close iTunes.

          Now, follow Apple’s excellent instructions for importing your photos
 and select either Import to your Mac or Import to your PC for the instructions.

        7. Delete photos from Camera Roll (or All Photos)
          Following the instructions in the link above, on a Mac, you will have the option to let Photos automatically delete your pictures from your iPhone after they are imported. If you did not check the box to do that or you have a PC, then you will need to delete the photos on your iPhone as described in item 5 above.
        8. Change Settings on your iPhone
          • Go to Settings > Photos & Camera.
          • If ON, turn OFF iCloud Photo Library and then touch Remove from iPhone (twice).
          • My Photo Stream should be ON.
          • The other settings are a matter of personal preference.

Doesn’t it feel great to have your iPhone photos cleaned up and cleared out?

Although your Camera Roll (or All Photos) will be empty, your shared albums that you created are still there to see and enjoy.

Don’t miss my last article which will teach you how to keep your photos under control going forward!

How to Manage Your iPhone Photos #2 iPhone photo settings you need to understand

In my last article, I suggested seven reasons for learning to manage the photos on your iPhone.

From simply saving time in the long run to leaving a cherished legacy to your loved ones, mastering your photographic chaos will pay you back in spades.

In this, Part 2, of the iPhone photo management series, I will explain the iPhone settings that affect your photo management: iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Sharing and Summarize Photos.

iCloud Photo Library is called a cloud storage service, but it’s really a cloud synchronization service and should not be used for keeping a permanent backup of your photos. When iCloud Photo Library is turned on, all of your photos and videos from your iPhone, iPad, and even computer (if set up for it) are synchronized and can be seen on all of your devices.

There are two problems with iCloud Photo Library if you use it:

  1. You will quickly run out of your first 5GB of free iCloud storage from Apple and have to pay monthly for more storage space.
  2. It is not a backup for your photos. It is a synchronization service. Do not fall victim into thinking that iCloud Photo Library keeps a copy of all of your photos forever. If you delete a photo from your iPhone or iPad, it will delete it in iCloud Photo Library also.

My Photo Stream acts like iCloud Photo Library in that it automatically synchronizes photos taken with your iPhone or iPad so they can be seen on all of your devices. So what’s the difference?

  1. It only synchronizes your most recent photos and not the videos. According to Apple, it will keep up to 1000 photos for 30 days. In my experience, it keeps photos until you reach the 1000 photo limit and then removes the oldest ones as newer ones are added.
  2. It does not synchronize your videos.
  3. It does not have the capability to synchronize photos that are saved in your computer, which iCloud Photo Library can do.
  4. It only works over WiFi.
  5. It does not count against your free 5GB of iCloud storage.

Functionally, iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream are so similar, that I am surprised that Apple still offers My Photo Stream. As long as it’s available though, My Photo Stream is my preferred photo synchronization service.

iCloud Photo Sharing is another free photo synchronization tool from Apple that is under-used by most people. Instead of synchronizing photos among your own devices, it lets you synchronize specific pictures and short videos to the iPhones and iPads of your friends. You create what is called a Shared Album and then invite your friends and family to view the album on their own Apple devices. Other benefits are:

  1. Your invited friends and family can add photos to the shared albums for all of you to see.
  2. You can create a shared album and not share it with anyone. It’s a way to keep special groups of photos in your iPhone without taking up as much space as they do in Camera Roll (or All Photos).

Summarize Photos is an option to reduce the number of photos displayed in Years, Collections and Moments. If you keep a lot of photos from lots of years on your iPhone, it may be helpful to have Summarize Photos ON. However, since my intent is to help you reduce the number of pictures on your iPhone, Summarize Photos can be OFF. 

In Part 3 of this series, I will provide detailed instructions on how to organize, share and download your photos.

How to Manage your iPhone Photos #1 Seven reasons why you should

When I was little girl, having my picture taken was an agonizingly long affair. First my dad had to go get his camera, take it out of its special case, attach the flash, put a new bulb in the flash attachment, position me just so, and then measure the light with his light meter. Then he would fiddle around with all the lens settings until finally, one shot could be taken!

To my dismay, he would start all over with a new bulb, light readings, winding the film, etc.

It’s a miracle that he had the patience to take a couple of thousand photos during my youth. Compare that to the thousands of photos many people take in less than a year’s time today.

Here’s a staggering number for you. In 2015, worldwide, we uploaded and shared over 1.5 TRILLION photos through various sites like Facebook and Instagram. And that’s just the pictures that were uploaded and shared!

When my father would receive his developed slides (his preference over prints), he didn’t throw them in a pile on top of his desk or dump them in a drawer. He culled the bad shots and carefully numbered and cataloged the good ones into special slide boxes.

Those preciously organized pictures were his gift and legacy to me and his grandchildren.

In our haste to capture so many moments of our lives with our cell phone cameras, I’d like to suggest that there are some important reasons for learning how to manage the photos that are rapidly filling up your phones.

  1. It is time-consuming and difficult to find a particular picture when you want to show someone.
  2. You’d like to share all of your photos from a recent trip with other family members, but it’s impossible to email or text them all, little by little.
  3. You keep getting the “Not Enough Storage” message that your iPhone cannot be backed up. This leads to…
  4. Apple selling you additional iCloud storage so that you won’t get that message and maybe your photos will be backed up.
  5. Depending on the storage capacity of your phone, you could eventually run out of space.
  6. One day, you will forget the important facts about certain photos that you wanted to remember.
  7. When you are gone, your photos will be forgotten or deleted. Who is going to take the time to go through your digital mountain of unorganized pictures?

Depending on the extent of your photo clutter, the initial process to get your iPhone pictures “in shape” will take some time. But with clear explanations and step-by-step instructions, you can go from snapshot mayhem to photo supremacy.

If you are ready to create a discipline for managing and organizing your iPhone photos, I invite you to join me in this four-part series

4 iOS 9 Features Worth Trying

Now that iOS 9 for the iPhone and iPad has been out for a month or more and has even had a few updates, I’d like to share my four favorite features and encourage you to start using them. They are listed in reverse order because I saved the best for last!

4. Wi-Fi Assist Mode

We’ve all been “taught” to get our iPhones onto Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid using our cell phone data plan. It’s a great practice, except when your W-Fi signal is weak and the cell phone data signal is strong. Until iOS 9, your iPhone would stubbornly struggle to connect to an app or website over Wi-Fi, oblivious to the stronger and faster cellular data connection it had.

If you prefer speed and don’t mind using your data plan, there is a new setting that will automatically switch from using Wi-Fi to cellular data when your Wi-Fi connection gets spotty. To turn it on or off, touch Settings > Cellular and scroll all the way to the bottom and touch the toggle switch.

3. Multiple Photos Selection

Most people let their photos accumulate on their iPhones until they get the “Not Enough Storage … This iPhone cannot be backed up” message and panic. Until iOS 9, deleting photos from the Camera Roll or All Photos (if you have iCloud Photo Library turned on) was a painstakingly slow, one-by-one tap on each photo. Now, from the Photos app, after you touch Select, you can drag your finger across multiple pictures to choose them quickly.

2. The New Notes

For years I’ve been synchronizing my iPhone Notes through Gmail. (It’s a setting on an iPhone under Mail, Contacts, Calendars for most email providers and iCloud – not just Gmail.)

The reason I synched through Gmail rather than iCloud was that iCloud required you to create an email address to sync Notes. For most of us, having yet another email address was not needed or wanted.

Now, Apple has upgraded Notes to include basic formatting, drawing, inserting photos and even organizing Notes into folders. The catch is that it only works if you synchronize your Notes through iCloud, but you no longer have to create an email address!

If you use Notes frequently, you will especially appreciate the ability to create folders to organize and then find them.

1. Siri

Siri is so remarkably improved that she deserves this whole article to herself (or himself, depending on your settings). It really wasn’t that long ago when you tried to tell Siri to “Call John Smith” and she responded by calling your mother. And of course you replied with a few, choice words for Siri!

With iOS 9, Siri understands almost everything you say and can do so much more.

The ability to activate Siri with the command “Hey, Siri” has been around for awhile, but only when your iPhone was plugged into a power source. If you happen to own the new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can ask Siri questions anywhere that your iPhone can hear you, without being plugged in.

Holding the home button down to activate Siri still works with all iPhone models 4s and later. For those of you who find that Siri can be a little impatient as you are asking a question, you can take as long as you want by holding down the home button the entire time you are speaking.

Here is a list of some of the ways you can begin using Siri to save time and make your iPhone more useful:

  • “Show my photos from Washington last June.” No more scrolling and scrolling through your photos!
  • “Get the Scannable app.” No more slow searching to find any app in the app store!
  • “When is the next game for the Tar Heels?”
  • “Remind me to turn on the oven when I get home.”
  • “What movies are playing near me tonight?”
  • “What is the best pizza restaurant in Chicago?”
  • “Find a table for four tonight in Washington, DC.”
  • “What is 20% of $63.75?” Or, something complicated like: “What is the square root of 325?”

Remember, go to Settings > General > Siri to turn it on, to allow “Hey Siri,” and to train Siri to your voice.

In addition, you can train Siri on other name pronunciations at any time or on contact relationships like “Learn to pronounce Shania Twain” or “John Smith is my husband.”

I highly recommend that you experiment and take a look at the list Apple has created at

2 Ways to Quickly Delete Photos on Your iPhone or iPad

Oh, how I wish Apple had built this into their Photos app.

Don’t get me wrong, I love finding apps that uniquely and thoroughly solve problems or save time, but I have an aversion to app-clutter.

Especially when an existing app could have added the needed features that I can only obtain by adding another app!

I’m talking about the issue of how to manage the number of photos that we seem to collect on our iPhones.

In my experience with helping others, keeping too many photos and struggling to organize, manage and delete them is a universal challenge. And when your iPhone doesn’t have enough memory or it’s too full to back up to iCloud, the culprit is usually too many photos.

The original photos that you have taken with your iPhone or saved from a text or email are located in either the Camera Roll album or the All Photos album. Explaining why you might have one over the other is an explanation for a future article!

Deleting photos from the Photos app can be a slow process. If you have very many pictures and want to view each one as you decide whether to delete or not, it takes multiple steps.

You must swipe through the photos, then touch the trashcan when you want to delete one and finally confirm that you want to delete it. This gets old very quickly!

Thankfully, there is an app for that! It’s called Cleen, and it is a much faster way to view and delete pictures saved on your iPhone.

Clean accesses your Camera Roll or All Photos album, plus any other albums you’ve created. You select the album you want to review, and as you swipe through the photos, the direction that you swipe automatically categorizes the picture as Trash, to be kept for later, or a Favorite. If you make a mistake, it’s very easy to undo with a backwards swipe.

How to use Cleen

  1. Download the app onto your iPhone or iPad.
  2. When you open the app, you will need to allow Cleen to access your Photos.
  3. The start screen shows you the swiping actions you can use.
  4. Touch Get Started and reply to the pop-up about Notifications. I chose “Don’t Allow.”
  5. The main screen shows either your Camera Roll or All Photos album, plus any other Albums you’ve created.
  6. Touch an album to open it. Simply use your index finger to swipe and sort the photos. It’s really just a quick little flick. Swiping to the left basically does nothing. It keeps the photo in the album and moves to the next photo. Swiping up will put the photo in a Favorites folder. Swiping down will put the photo in the trash but not delete it yet.
  7. You can undo any swipe by dragging a picture out of Favorite or Delete.
  8. Photos that you did not send to Favorite or Delete are categorized as Later. They are still in their original albums, but to go through them again on Cleen touch the Later tab at the top.
  9. When you are ready to delete all the photos in Trash, touch the trash can, Delete All and you may have one more pop up for a final Delete.

****This is very important! When you delete a photo with Cleen, it will delete it from every album in which it was saved. This is different from the way the Photos app deletes from Albums.

If you have large groups of photos to delete and you don’t need to preview them individually, the Photos app does have a faster delete solution.  By selecting the Photos view instead of Albums, you can view and delete all the photos in a Moment, which the iPhone has automatically organized based on location and date.

How to delete groups of photos

  1. Open the Photos app and touch Photos in the bottom left corner.
  2. If the top of the screen doesn’t say Moments, touch a group of photos until it does.
  3. Touch Select in the top right.
  4. Touch select beside each group of photos that you want to delete.
  5. You can deselect individual photos within a selected group by touching to uncheck them.
  6. Touch the trash can and confirm that you want to delete.

How to get your deleted photos back

What if, after you’ve cleaned out your iPhone’s photos, you suddenly have “deleter’s remorse?” All is not lost. Your deleted photos are kept in a Recently Deleted album for up to 30 days and you can select photos that you want to un-delete. After 30 days, they finally disappear from your phone.

Because these deleted photos are still taking up space, I recommend that you give yourself a day or two and then open the Recently Deleted album and Delete All.

How to Share Multiple iPhone Pictures

One of the delights of having an iPhone is being able to share photos with others – either directly through a text message or email or by posting to a website like Facebook or Pinterest. It’s quick, easy and fun.

But what about sharing groups of photos from a vacation at the beach or a grandchild’s birthday party? We often don’t share many of those because we think we have to send the pictures one at the time and therefore, it’s too cumbersome.

It’s simple to share groups of photos with friends by using the “mysterious” Photo Stream. What is Photo Stream? It is Apple’s free cloud storage to save a copy of every picture you take with your iPhone or iPad. How many photos can it hold? Apple will save up to 1000 of your most recent photos in your own Photo Stream. How do you copy your pictures to Photo Stream? It happens automatically through a setting on your iPhone or iPad.

To automatically copy your iPhone/iPad pictures to your Photo Stream as you take them:

  • Touch Settings iCloud.
  • Touch Photos.
  • My Photo Stream should be ON (green).
  • Photo Sharing should be ON (green) to share pictures with others.

Shared Photo Streams are additional Photo Streams that you create and invite friends you’ve chosen to view or save the shared pictures. These sharing friends can even add their photos to this shared Photo Stream for you to see or save. These shared Photo Streams can each hold an enormous number of pictures and do not count as part of your 1000 picture personal Photo Stream limit.

I created a shared Photo Stream of my family’s Christmas get together in Charleston and shared it with my cousins, aunt and uncle. One cousin has added his photos from our reunion to my shared Photo Stream. I now have copies of his pictures and he has copies of mine, pronto! Of course, the other cousins, aunt and uncle can see all of our combined photos from that day and download the ones they want.

This is how you create a shared Photo Stream from your iPhone or iPad:

  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch Albums in the bottom right if it’s not highlighted blue.
  • Touch Camera Roll, My Photo Stream or any other album containing the pictures you want to share.
  • Touch Select in the top right.
  • Tap each photo that you want to share. A blue checkmark will appear on each one.
  • Touch the icon in the bottom left.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • You can enter a comment or not.
  • Touch Stream. You can choose a different Stream than the one automatically selected or New Shared Stream to create a new one.
  • If you select an existing Stream, touch Post.
  • If you create a New Shared Stream, you will enter the contacts with whom you are sharing in the “To:” field. If you select email addresses, your contacts will be notified by email. If you select cell phone numbers, your contacts will be notified by an alert on their iPhone.

To view or change the contacts in an existing shared Stream:

  • From the same Photos app, touch Shared in the bottom middle.
  • Touch the shared Stream you want to view or change.
  • Touch People on the bottom right.
  • To add more contacts, touch Invite People…
  • To remove a contact, touch the contact’s name and Remove Subscriber at the bottom.

Speaking of photos, for those of you who use Mac computers and would like to learn how to create and share beautiful iPhoto Slideshows, I have an online class beginning January 24. It’s self-paced from your home and I will be available to answer any questions. More info and registration through