Mac Photos not seeing all iPhone photos

Please help us resolve trying to create a Christmas printed photo book for grandma – using one Mac and two iCloud accounts/iPhones.

Current challenge: wife’s iPhone does not show possibly hundreds of photos when we try to download them into iMac Photos app

iMac - primary machine. Wife and husband have individual accounts on the Mac. Husband’s Mac account is the primary account, fully logged-in to iCloud. The ‘master’ Photos library is tied to husband’s iCloud account (30k+ photos, plus videos)

Husband’s iPhone - automatically syncs photos with the primary iCloud account. Automatically appear on iMac.

Wife’s iPhone - the one where most of the pictures are taken… For some reason, many, many, many pictures do not appear when we try to download into Photos on the husbands iMac account

What might we do to allow the husband’s Photo app on the Mac ‘see’ all the photos to import on wife’s iPhone?

Thank you!

This may not be the ideal long term solution but at least it will help you finish that Christmas photo book.

(if not already) Activate Family Sharing, and then create a shared album “Family”, have your wife added in their and send all her photos to that album, which would then appear for you since you are on it.

Might be the quickest solution for this project.


Your suggestion was really helpful — and, it’s how we’re currently making the calendar.

One thing we noticed is the pictures are coming in (on the iMac, where we’re creating the album), as low res. Like 200-300KB per photo.

Our process is currently:

  1. On iMac in Photos app, drag the desired photos from the Family folder to a created local album (e.g., 2020Calendar)
  2. File/Export the pics from 2020Calendar to a desktop folder as JPGs, maximum resolution. Most/all of the photos from Family are around 200-300KB
  3. Use the Walgreens, etc, web app to create the calendar — selecting the JPG photos from the desktop folder.

Another option can be the following, but it is more manual labor.
It’s a process I use and I have reminders set up so that I do it on a regular basis.

  1. Install the PhotoSync App on my wife’s iPhone (I have it installed on mine as well)
  2. Install the PhotoSync App on my mac
  3. Select/Import Photos to a location on my hard drive
  4. I have a bunch of Hazel rules for sorting, filing, renaming
  5. I can them import to the Photos App (if needed) However, for my needs I import everything into my Synology as the final archive.

They have added more automatic features that would probably make the workflow better, but I don’t have the current bandwidth to test it out and make sure it works and do all my checks at the moment.

This looks kinda cool, and it might solve the faulty built-in syncing. Does the Companion app still work on Big Sur?