If you have an iPad or iPhone, your Mac recognises it as a digital camera and will open iPhoto as well as iTunes every time you sync it.
This happens because when you first launched iPhoto you would have clicked on a button telling the software to open whenever it detects a digital camera. This can be a pain in the neck if you’re not transferring photos whenever you sync your iOS device.
You can turn this setting off in iPhoto’s Preferences (iPhoto > Preferences > General), but doing this will also stop the app recognising your ‘real’ digital cameras as well.
There is an easy way to exclude a single device from iPhoto’s recognition protocol, however:
Next time your iPad or iPhone is hooked up to your Mac, launch Image Capture (in your Applications folder). At the top of the pane on the left you’ll see your iOS device under the Devices section. Click on it.
At the bottom of that pane will be a small, square preferences panel, with the words ‘Connecting this iPad opens’ and a pop-up menu with iPhoto selected. Clicking on this menu brings up a list of choices, including Image Capture, Preview, AutoImporter and – most importantly – ‘No application’. Click this and your problems are over.
In this box you’ll also find two check-boxes. The first, ‘Share iPad’, lets you share the photos on your iPad with other Image Capture users on your local network; the second, ‘Delete after import’, deletes all the photos on your device after they’re been transferred to your Mac.
If you can’t see this square preferences box, simply click on the little arrow-in-a-box icon in the bottom-left corner of the Image Capture window.