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

Take Control of

Third Edition
Jason Snell
(3 customer reviews)

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 two ebook formats—PDF and EPUB—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 Ventura and iOS 17/iPadOS 17! 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!

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
  • 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
  • Locate and remove duplicate photos
  • Search for text, faces, and other objects in photos
  • 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 & Pets features, and get summary views
  • Sync and share individual photos and videos with iCloud
  • Use iCloud Shared Photos to share a separate library with up to five other people
  • Work with multiple Photos libraries
  • Show off your photos on an iPhone or iPad, including customizing your lock screen
  • Use the Camera app in iOS/iPadOS to capture photos and videos
  • 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 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

What’s New in Version 3.2

In macOS 14 Sonoma, iOS 17, and iPadOS 17, Photos has grown and changed. As a result, I’ve updated this book. Along with many smaller changes, this version adds the following:

  • Photo Stickers. A new method of sharing the subjects of your photos with other people via Messages. See “Share Your Stuff.”
  • People and Pets. Photos has upgraded its capability to find people to include your pets, so I’ve updated references to that functionality throughout. See “Find People and Pets.”
  • Apple Watch. Choosing the contents of the Photos and Portraits faces allow much more control via the Watch app on your iPhone. Adding the faces now occurs on the Apple Watch. See “View Photos on Apple TV and Apple Watch.”
  • Lock Screen. iPads have gained new custom Lock Screen features that can highlight your photos, and both iPads and iPhones have gained a new animated Live Photo lock screen feature. See “Show Off Your Photos.”
  • Widgets. Widgets are now available on the macOS desktop, and new Photos widgets allow you to choose specific albums to shuffle through. See “Show Off Your Photos.”
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 3.2
  • Introduction
  • Photos Quick Start
  • Navigate the Photos Interface
    • Browse Your Library Through Time
    • Explore Beyond the Library View
    • Filter Your View
    • Hide Items from View
    • Delete Items
    • Use the Info Window
  • Work with a Single Item
    • Identify Objects in Your Images
    • Select Text in Images
    • Interact With Live Photos
  • Organize Your Items
    • Play Favorites
    • Make a Favorite
    • Add Keywords
    • Organize Items into Albums
    • Define Smart Albums on a Mac
    • Manage Duplicates
  • Use Search to Find Items
    • Embrace the Search Field
    • Harness the Power of Categories
    • Find Items from Specific Locations
    • Search for Items via Spotlight
  • Find People and Pets
    • Find Items Containing a Person or Pet
    • Name and Merge People and Pets
  • Make Quick Fixes
    • Use Auto Enhance
    • Rotate and Straighten Items
    • Give Your Items a Filtered Look
    • Fix Red Eye
  • Make More Complex Edits
    • Adjust The Look Of Items
    • Improve Items with Adjustments
    • Remove Blemishes and Dust on a Mac
    • Copy and Paste Adjustments
    • Edit Live Photos
    • Edit Portrait Mode Photos
    • Edit a Video
    • Edit Outside of Photos
  • Use the Camera App
    • Navigate the Camera Interface
    • Choose a Capture Type
  • Import Your Files into Photos
    • Import Files Directly
    • Import from an External Device
    • Manage Files Yourself on a Mac
  • Manage the Library
    • Understand the System Photo Library
    • Back Up the Items in Your Library
  • Sync with iCloud Photos
    • Set the System Photo Library on a Mac
    • Start Syncing With iCloud Photos
  • Use iCloud Shared Photos
    • Get Started With iCloud Shared Photos
    • Working With Two Libraries
  • Share Your Stuff
    • Transfer Your Stuff Directly
    • Export and Resize Images
    • Share via iCloud Link
    • Use Photo Stickers in Messages
    • Get Sharing Suggestions via Messages
    • Share Using Shared Albums
    • See Media Shared by Others
  • Show Off Your Photos
    • Decorate Devices with Widgets
    • Decorate the iOS/iPadOS Lock Screen
  • Relive Moments with Memories
    • View, Share, and Edit Memories
    • Edit Memories to Perfection
  • View Photos on Apple TV and Apple Watch
    • View Photos on an Apple TV
    • Viewing Photos on an Apple Watch
  • Make Slideshows in Photos
    • Create a Slideshow on a Mac
    • Make Slideshows in 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

3 reviews 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!

  2. Arlan Smith (verified owner)

    I agree, please keep the Mac and IOS parts completely separate in future versions. Otherwise, there is lots of good stuff here if you can just keep the separate operating system versions sorted.

  3. Joe Kissell

    @Clive, @Arlan Thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately, there’s no practical way to keep the Mac stuff separate from the iOS/iPadOS stuff, because that would require massive amounts of duplicate text. It would make the book vastly longer and even more cumbersome to navigate. Sorry, we realize it’s not ideal either way, but our current approach is the lesser of two evils. —Joe

Add a review

You may also like…