On mobile devices running iOS / iPadOS (back to at ~least~ versions 11.x):

  1. Photos taken by the built-in Camera app go directly to the Photos Library (formerly known as Camera Roll)
  2. When viewing the Library using the built-in Photos app, the user may select one or more photos and add them (as a reference) to one or more individual or shared Albums
  3. When viewing an Album (individual or shared) using the built-in Photos app, a user may select one or more photos and remove them from that Album (but they will remain in the main Library unless deleted from there as well)
  4. A user may delete one or more photos from the Library; after doing so, those photos will disappear from any (individual but not? shared) Albums where they previously appeared.


It doesn’t seem there is a way, using the built-in Photos or Camera apps, though, to select an existing Album, and then take multiple photos which would then automatically appear both in the selected Album and in the main Library.

  • Is there something I’ve missed? (it seems this would be a basic feature)
  • If not, are there any third-party apps that can do this while using the native device photo library? (i.e. a different interface while still using the on-app/iCloud photo library for actual storage - e.g. no separate database or storage service)

Why it matters

Example use case #1:
  1. Mary collects rare coins. Today she wants to quickly take pictures of 20 old French coins, and add them to her existing “Francs” album.
  2. Mary opens the Photos app on her iPhone, clicks the “Albums” icon, and clicks to open her “Francs” album.
  3. Mary clicks the “+” button (or a dedicated camera icon) and selects the “Camera” option from the resulting menu; a camera interface then opens.
  4. Mary sees the normal iOS camera interface, and takes as many photos as she likes.
  5. There is no step five. All photos Mary just took now appear both in her “Francs” album and in her Library (to be synced to iCloud if that feature is enabled). There is zero chance any of the photos were mis-filed.

Oh, btw, Mary is 72 and has undiagnosed ADHD, so fewer steps are better. She has been using Apple products for 30 years, and hopes to for another 30 yet.

Example use case #2:
  1. Stede is an oil field service technician working across rural North Dakota and Montana.
  2. Some days, he uses his iPhone to take photos of equipment needing maintenance at multiple sites.
  3. At the end of the week, when he has better access to high-speed internet at the office, he often sends some of the photos from each site by email to the home office.
  4. Being able to accurately and quickly (since it's been a long week) separate them out by site would be easier if Stede could have taken some of them directly into named albums as the photos were taken.

1 Answer 1


Partial solution for iOS 16 and later

Beginning with iOS 16/iPadOS 16, the Camera app appears to allow saving new photos to a shared iCloud album.

Saving directly to a specific local album may still not yet be possible, at least when using the built-in Camera app.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .