If you are someone who shares photos from your iPhone or iPad with friends and family often, then you should rejoice at iCloud Photo Sharing. Before Photo Stream, most people would use iMessage, SMS or attach photos to an email. Apple realized this was a terribly inefficient method of sharing photos made even worse if you want to share more than a few images. If you share photos often, read on for how to setup shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad. This might just be the best feature in iOS, making it easier than ever to share those important moments.

Setup iCloud Photo Sharing

What you’ll need
iCloud Photo Sharing requires an iOS device running iOS 7 or later. Apple has changed the name from Shared Photo Streams to iCloud Photo Sharing. The naming has changed, but the feature remains largely the same.

Photo Stream Settings
You are going to need to turn on both your personal Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams. On your device, navigate to Settings > iCloud > Photos > Photo Stream. You’ll need to turn both of these features to On. Here’s a quick definition of what you’ll be enabling:

My Photo Stream: Automatically upload new photos and send them to all of your iCloud devices when connected to WiFi.

iCloud Photo Sharing: Created photo streams to share with other people, or subscribe to other people’s shared photo streams.

Enable Photostream

Create Shared Photo Stream

Go to your Camera Roll or Photo Stream. They are located in the Photos app. Tap on the Select link at the top right. Now select the photos you would like to share by tapping on each photo. A blue check mark should appear next to each photo.

Select photos

When you are finished, tap on the ‘Share’ icon at the bottom left. It’s the box with an arrow. You are going to want to select iCloud Photo Sharing.

Share Photos

If you were to have an existing group of photos being shared, it will be shown at the bottom right, as shown in this screenshot. To create a new share, tap on the ‘Shared Album’ link.

Existing share

If this is your first share, select the ‘+’ to create a new shared album. This will create an entirely new Photo Stream that will be shared with either one person or a group.

New share

You’ll need to give your iCloud photo share a name. In this example, I aptly chose the title “Awesome Selfies”.

Name photo share

Select next and tap on the plus sign to add contacts for whom you’d like to share this group of photos. When finished tap on next and your invites will get sent out. They will be able to accept, subscribe and view photos that appear in your iCloud photo share.

add to icloud photo share

Tip: You can always add photos to an existing stream. Let’s say I take pictures this weekend with Santa for a second time, I can add those to an existing shared Photo Stream. Once the person or persons accepts your share, they are subscribed to that Photo Stream.

I share photos often and until I started using iCloud Photo Sharing, I relied on email, iMessage and photo sharing websites. Not only were they cumbersome to use, but they were incredibly limiting. None of the above made it easy to share a large group of photos, without great effort on my part or those on the receiving end. Shared Photo Streams removes all of those hurdles, making it easy to share and view photos with friends and family.