Over the past few weeks I have received a lot of questions regarding the iPad and organizing Photos. It seems that the documentation online tells you what you “can” do but not “how” you can do it. And I also get a lot of requests from people saying that they don’t know how to organize their photos on the iPad like they do in the official Apple videos. So for everyone that is new to the iPad and wanting to know how to organize their photos, this is the article for you.
The Key To Good Photo Organization
The key to good photo organization is to plan ahead before you sync your photos with your iPad. There are a few ways to accomplish this. A lot of the organization depends on if you are using a Mac or a PC. Let’s go over both systems so you understand how photo organization works.
Organizing Your Photos Using A Mac
If you are using a Mac then you are most likely using iPhoto. And you probably already have a lot of photos in your library. In iPhoto there are multiple ways to organize photos. You can use Albums, Events, or Places. Here is a description of all three:
- Albums – These are ways to organize your photos by your own choosing. You can create albums and name them anything you want to and put any pictures in there that you choose.
- Events – Events are automatically created when you import a batch of new photos. You can name Events anything you want but the default is to name them by the dates the photos were taken.
- Places – Places are photos organized by geographic location. If your camera does not do any geo tagging then you can manually enter this information in iPhoto.
Once you have all your photos organized the way you want in iPhoto then you can sync your iPad and it will duplicate that organization. After the sync, when you open the Photo app on the iPad, you will then see your photos organized by Albums, Events, Places, and all photos.
Note: You cannot make changes to the Albums, Events, or Places categories directly on the iPad with the photo app. Many people are frustrated over this and hopefully it will be an option in later releases of the iOS. The only thing you can do to photos directly on the iPad are delete them or use a Photo App to make changes to them such as enhancing colors, etc.
Organizing Your iPad Photos Using A PC
If you are a PC user then you do not have iPhoto and it is very confusing to people who see commercials or watch the Apple tutorials because these are all based on using a Mac and iPhoto to organize photos. So, for the PC users out there, here are some tips to help you better organize your photos before you sync them with the iPad. For Windows PC’s Photo albums of photos already on the PC:
- Create a master sync folder on your PC with no photo files at the root level of the folder.
- Create sub-folders within the master sync folder with the sub-folders named what you want the iPad’s photo albums to be named. This can be an event, a place, a vacation, or anything else that identifies this group of photos.
- Place the photo files you want to sync in the appropriate sub-folder within the master sync folder.
- In iTunes on the photos tab, select the master folder as the sync folder.
- After syncing, each subfolder will be an album on the ipad with the proper photos contained therein
Now you will have all your photos on the iPad organized into Albums that are more descriptive and grouped how you want them. If you want to make changes to the albums, then you have to do it on your PC first and re-sync with iTunes. When using a PC to sync photos with the iPad, you won’t get Events or Places.
Using the iPad Camera Connection Kit
Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to use the iPad Camera Connection Kit in order to place photos directly onto your iPad. This is a great way to transfer photos, but, you still cannot organize them into the respective Albums, Events, or Places. They all show up in one place. So in order to organize your photos after an import, you must sync to iTunes, then organize them in iPhoto how you want them to appear and re-sync the iPad. Now all of your photos are exactly how you want them to appear.
It’s not the most convenient way to have to do it, but as we said before it will be nice to see this entire issue fixed in future iOS updates. It would make sense if the iPad software allowed people to organize photos directly on the device instead of syncing back and forth.
Hopefully this has been useful and helpful in helping you get all your photos organized exactly how you want them. If you have any tips or tricks that you use, please share them in the comments below.
Here are a few additional Photo-related posts you can read as well:
- Photography planning and editing
- iPad Photo Tips and Tricks
- Transfer iPhone Photos To iPad Via Bluetooth