My wife and I both take pictures on our iPhones. We have our own iCloud accounts. Sometimes we want to make albums of pictures selected from both our accounts. What is the easiest way to share high resolution pictures from both of us?

Apple's photo sharing seems to have some significant downsides:

  1. Shared photos are not full resolution (i.e., when we try to print them out, they're blurry)
  2. Pictures must be manually added by each person (and I'm lazy and don't always add mine)

Some possibilities I've thought about:

  1. I don't know of a way to do it on a Mac, since the Photos app, as far as I can tell, can only access one iCloud account per Mac account. Tying to a Mac account means I need to log out of one account (which is a major hassle since everything we do is on one Mac account) in order to view the pictures from the other.
  2. From one Mac account I could load the other library in a icloud.com browser window. This at least I can have them available concurrently, but they're not collated.
  3. I'm sure most people, including us, have multiple devices and that enables viewing photos concurrently. But when, for example, preparing a photo album, you now need a way to transfer the original photos from one device to the one where the album is being prepared.
  4. I don't know/think I want both of us to use the same iCloud account... because that ties everything we do together, e.g., we'd receive each other's text messages etc?
  5. I could create a 2nd Mac account, have it download all the photos from the 2nd iCloud account. Then export them to a shared directory on the Mac, import them into the primary account. This would mean that the photos are either duplicated or removed from the original iCloud account, neither of which are desirable, besides being a bit time consuming as well as potentially deleting photo origination information.

This seems like a very desirable feature for families that a lot of people can't figure out. I realize that Best way to share all photos with partner asks more or less the same thing, but things may have changed in the meantime.

  • apple.com/family-sharing maybe? Not sure the photo sharing fulfills your requirements though.
    – nohillside
    Oct 2, 2019 at 11:19
  • I have that activated. The name sounds promising, but it looks like that's focused on sharing purchases and does not enable anything with regards to photos (or any files). E.g., it says: Family members won’t have access to each other’s files
    – amos
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:10
  • here's a 1.5 year old version of the same question apple.stackexchange.com/questions/316457/…
    – amos
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:11
  • Well, technically that makes it a duplicate :-)
    – nohillside
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:13
  • 1
    Yes, as I acknowledged in the question, this is technically a duplicate. However, it seems important enough to keep asking. Ah, I'll have to look a Family album when I get home. Quick look, it appears to be just another shared album, but one that's even less useful because other shared albums are organized. i.e., if I'm going to take the time to do all the taps to share a photo, I might as well put it in a categorized album.
    – amos
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


This is an answer, but not the answer either of us want: no, it's not possible to do what you're looking for.

My wife and I have our own Apple IDs. We want to be able to automatically see all of each other's photos since 99% of our photos are of the same events and the same subjects (our children). We don't want to have to manually move/share photos, which means that Family Sharing Album is no good (and it also has a max photos limit).

The only way we've been able to solve this problem so far is to not use iCloud Photos at all. Instead, we have a shared Google Photos account and we both have that set to automatically upload all our photos there.

If I want to look at photos I just use the Google Photos app, and I'll see all the photos both of us took at the same event. It's a shame I can't stick to iCloud photos for this, but c'est la vie!

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