Master Apple’s Photos app in macOS, iOS, and iPadOS!

Take Control of

Second Edition
Jason Snell
(1 customer review)

This book introduces you to the many features of Apple’s Photos app on Mac, iPad, and iPhone, with advice on navigating the interface, editing your images, searching your library like a pro, syncing with iCloud Photos, sharing photos with others, and creating photo books.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Get to know Apple’s Photos app and how best to use it to import, manage, edit, sync, and share your photos in Big Sur and iOS 14/iPadOS 14! As the successor to Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture apps, Photos has a more refined interface and deeper connections to iCloud, and it runs faster. Following the expert advice of Jason Snell, publisher of Six Colors and former lead editor at Macworld, you’ll learn how to navigate Photos like a pro!

This 161-page book replaces and more than doubles the length of Jason’s previous book Photos: A Take Control Crash Course. It’s now a full-length Take Control title with much more detail. Also available: A bundle of Take Control of Your Digital Photos and Take Control of Photos for just $20.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import photos from cameras, mobile devices, or memory cards
  • Use multiple Photos libraries
  • Navigate the Photos interface, including the sidebar and icons
  • View, edit, or disable Live Photos
  • Organize your library by using enhanced search features, adding metadata, building albums, and creating smart albums
  • Edit your photos using quick fixes like cropping, applying filters, and fixing red-eye and rotation problems
  • Use advanced editing techniques within Photos and edit using external apps like Photoshop
  • Manage your photo collection using the Memories and People features, and get summary views
  • Sync and share your photos with iCloud
  • View your photos on an Apple TV
  • Share your photos via social media, export them out of Photos, or turn them into slideshows
  • Create printed objects (such as books and calendars) from your photos using third-party services

Jason covers cross-platform changes such as and improved Memories feature, the new sidebar on iPads, and support for captions on iOS/iPadOS; plus changes in Big Sur, including new video tools and an updated Retouch tool.

Jason Snell

About Jason Snell

Jason Snell has been writing about Apple since it was doomed—1994, to be exact—and was the lead editor for Macworld for more than a decade. He also oversaw editorial operations for PCWorld, TechHive, and Greenbot. He currently writes about technology at, and hosts the Upgrade and Download podcasts at, and produces and hosts many other podcasts at

In macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14, Photos has grown and changed. Here are the highlights of the biggest changes in the new versions of Photos.

iPad and Mac Versions Get Closer

The iPad version of Photos got a big overhaul this year that made it even more like the Mac version. The new sidebar gives you quick access to For You, Albums, Search, Shared Albums, and Media Types. Learn more in “Navigate the Photos Interface.”

The iPad and iPhone versions also now support Captions. Now you can add searchable text descriptions across all platforms, and have them synced via iCloud. See “Add Captions on iPad and iPhone.”

More Editing Features on Mac

The Mac version got some major photo and editing improvements:

  • For video, adjustments, filters, and cropping are now supported. See “Edit a Video on an iPhone or iPad” for more.
  • The Retouch tool has been updated to use advanced machine learning to better remove blemishes, dust specks, and other objects from a photo. See “Remove Blemishes and Dust on a Mac” for more.

Improvements to Memories

Memories has received an algorithm boost to make its automatic media selections more relevant. Videos are automatically stabilized when playing back Memory movies, and there are more music tracks that automatically adapt to the length of a Memory movie. See more in “Unearth Old Photos with Memories.”

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
  • Introduction
  • Photos Quick Start
  • What’s New in Photos
    • iPad and Mac Versions Get Closer
    • More Editing Features on Mac
    • Improvements to Memories
  • Import Your Files into Photos
    • Import Files Directly
    • Import via USB
    • Manage Files Yourself on a Mac
  • Manage Multiple Libraries on a Mac
    • Add a New Library
    • Switch Between Libraries
    • Merge Your Photos Libraries
    • Repair a Bad Library
    • Understand the System Photo Library
    • Use Photo Libraries on External Drives
    • Back Up Your Photos
  • Navigate the Photos Interface
    • Browse Your Library Through Time
    • Explore Beyond the Photos View
    • Filter Your View
    • Use the Info Window on a Mac
    • Hide Photos from View
    • Delete Photos
    • Interact With Live Photos
    • Decorate Devices with Widgets
  • Sync with iCloud Photos
    • Set the System Photo Library on a Mac
    • Start Syncing With iCloud Photos
  • Use Search to Find Your Photos
    • Embrace the Search Box
    • Harness the Power of Categories
    • Find Photos by Location
  • Name and Search People
    • Find All Photos for a Person
    • Name and Merge People
  • Unearth Old Photos with Memories
    • What’s In a Memory?
    • Take Control of Memories
    • Edit a Memory Video
  • Manually Manage Your Photos
    • Play Favorites
    • Organize with Keywords on a Mac
    • Make Albums in Photos
  • Make Quick Photo Fixes
    • Use Auto Enhance
    • Rotate and Straighten Photos
    • Give Your Photos a Filtered Look
    • Fix Red Eye
  • Make Edits to Your Files
    • Learn to Adjust Your Photos
    • Improve Photos with Adjustments
    • Remove Blemishes and Dust on a Mac
    • Copy and Paste Adjustments on a Mac
    • Edit Live Photos
    • Edit Portrait Mode Photos
    • Edit a Video on an iPhone or iPad
    • Edit Outside of Photos
  • Share Your Files
    • Transfer Your Files Directly
    • Export and Resize Images
    • Share via iCloud Link
    • Share Using Shared Albums
    • Share in a Family
  • View Photos on Apple TV
    • Scroll Through Photos
    • View Collections of Photos
  • Make Slideshows in Photos
    • Create a Slideshow on a Mac
    • Make Slideshows on iOS or iPadOS
  • Build Books and Calendars
    • Design Books with Mimeo and Motif
    • Make a Calendar
    • Make Prints and Cards
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

1 review for Take Control of Photos

  1. Clive Huggan (verified owner)

    Like all Jason Snell’s writings I’ve read over the years, Take Control of Photos is an expert, extremely comprehensive, thoughtfully written book. I frequently recommend it to colleagues, friends and user group members.

    The only reservation I have with this particular book is that when I want information about Photos on the Mac, I have to be careful that I’m not reading about Photos on iOS; sometimes I have to look back a page or so to be sure. I’d have to say that I’d prefer a Mac part separate from an iOS part — which shouldn’t be much of a problem with an electronic book; there could be cross-platform links where the reader might want to go between Mac and iOS.

    But that’s a minor quiblle; it’s a book that I heartily recommend!

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