This is done through iCloud. Set up iCloud on your Mac through System Preferences. Then set up iCloud in Settings on the iPad with the same options checked. Depending on how much data (ie contacts, calenar items, etc) is on your Mac, after a little while, the info will show up on your iPad.
This is Apple's site showing how to set up iCloud on each device: http://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/
I'm talking Ipad 1, windows, so may be off base here, if so please ignore.
However, in my environment you can also click on ipad when loaded in itunes. Select info, allows you to activate sync contacts with. Also click on photo, select sync photo from. At least in my world, no need to activate cloud. Call me paranoid, but I am not a fan of shipping all my data off to some site out of my control.
Again, my environment is totally different. My apologies if it does not apply to yours.