iPhoto ’11: Avoiding the Built-In Email Stationery

When I email pictures from iPhoto, I don’t like using the built-in stationery-type messages. Usually fancying it up with all of that extra stuff is just overkill for what I’m looking for. Plus, it often results in larger messages, and goodness knows my dad’s poor inbox doesn’t need that. So I’m here to tell you how you can sidestep iPhoto’s frilly stationery and send your pictures how you want to. It’s a good feeling, this freedom.

You may know that when you click on iPhoto’s “Share” button in the lower-right corner of its window and choose “Email” (or when you select Share > Email from the menu bar), your selected images will be put into iPhoto’s stationery interface. You’ll have a bunch of choices on how you’d like the message to look, how large you’d like the pictures you’re sending to be, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong—the stationery is pretty.


There are a couple of issues with this, though. One, as I mentioned above, is that the gussied-up messages can be much larger than just sending a simple email, depending on which template you choose. Another is that it can be difficult to discern whether you’ve emailed pictures already, as iPhoto often doesn’t communicate which messages have been sent to Apple Mail. To find out whether you’ve sent a particular photo, you have to click on it and hit Command-I (or choose iPhoto’s “Info” button in the bottom-right) and then check the “Sharing” information. Intuitive, right? 

Great job, iPhoto.


So how do you avoid this mess? By far the easiest way around the default setting is to change the option in iPhoto > Preferences > General labeled “Email photos using.” Switch that to “Mail” (or any of the listed programs, I suppose) and you, my friend, are good to go.

After you do that, selecting that same Share > Email option will pass your images to Apple Mail (or your other selected program), where you can send them as you normally would.

Of course, if you’re so inclined, you don’t have to use iPhoto to send your pictures at all. My favorite method for emailing photos is to select what I want to send first, and then I just pick ’em up in iPhoto, drag them to the Apple Mail icon in the Dock, and release. Blammo, one new message, no waiting.

Admit it—you like it when I use these weird screenshots, don’t you?


So there you have a couple of ways around iPhoto’s stationery. Pretty simple, huh? I swear, if these programs get any easier to use, I may be out of a job. Well, a couple of jobs, actually. I expect all of you to offer to hire me when that happens. Why, I make excellent coffee, sir!