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

How to Use Photos (Albums) vs. Photo Stream on Your iPhone/iPad

May, 2016 – This has been my most popular “how to” article, but it is outdated. Therefore, I have written a 4-part series called How to Manage Your iPhone Photos. Please start with the new article and, enjoy!

The Photos app that comes on your iPhone/iPad has two main functions: Albums and Photo Stream. Albums contains photos that you have taken with your iPhone/iPad or saved to your iPhone/iPad from a text message, email or website. They are pictures that are physically stored in your device in an Apple-named album called Camera Roll.

Photo Stream shows photos that you are sharing among your other devices or that have been shared with you by someone else. Photo Stream is a feature of Apple’s internet-based storage called iCloud and is your personal, centralized “location” for sharing photos.

(There is a third function called Places that I still do not understand how to assign within iPhone/iPad. I’ll let you know as soon as I do!)

How to use Photos Albums

These instructions assume that you have taken some pictures with your iPhone/iPad and have not deleted them.

  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon on the bottom left.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • It will open to thumbnails of all your pictures.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.

To email, text, share, print, copy, assign or use a photo as wallpaper

  • Select the photos by touching each one to check it.
  • Touch Share on the bottom left.
  • Select your method.

To create or add photos to a previously created photo album

  • Touch each photo to be included in the album to check it.
  • Touch Add To on the bottom.
  • Select to either add to an existing album or create a new one. This will not move your original pictures from Camera Roll. Copies of your pictures go in albums you create.

To permanently delete photos from your iPhone/iPad

  • Touch each photo to be deleted to check it.
  • Touch Delete in the bottom right.

How to use Photo Stream

As Apple support says, “When you take photos on an iPhone/iPad/iTouch, or import photos from your digital camera to your computer, My Photo Stream can automatically upload your new photos to iCloud and push them to all of your other devices”. These instructions for the iPhone/iPad assume that you are using iOS 6 or later. If you need set up instructions for your Mac or a PC, click here.

To automatically add all photos taken on your iPhone/iPad to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream ON.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.

To only selectively share photos taken on your iPhone/iPad with others and add to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream OFF.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.
  • Touch each photo to check it.
  • Touch Share.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch New Photo Stream.
  • Enter Contact names in the To: field.
  • Enter a new Name to name the shared Photo Stream.
  • Leave Public Website OFF.
  • Touch Next in top left.
  • Touch Post in top left.
  • This will create a new named Photo Stream in your iPhone/iPad and share it with others via email.

Some final thoughts on using Photo Albums and Photo Stream:

  • Do not worry that you are using extra space in your iPhone/iPad by saving your photos to Photo Stream. Camera Roll has your original photos. Photo Stream has copies of your original photos saved in iCloud.
  • Photo Stream will save your most recent 1000 photos in iCloud for 30 days. Long enough for you to download copies to your various devices.
  • You can set up your Mac or PC to automatically download and save your Photo Stream pictures permanently. This is the easiest way to save your iPhoto/iPad photos to your computer.
  • Remember – go to Camera Roll to see the photos that you’ve taken with your iPhone/iPad.