How to Add Photos to Instagram

Want to start your own photo and/or video exhibition on Instagram?  This tutorial will show you how to get your collection up and running in a snap!  (No pun intended.)

To add a photo to Instagram

  1. Open your Instagram application on your mobile device and log in.

  2. Tap the Add Photo button () at the bottom of the screen.  (Note that if you're using Instagram on a Windows Phone, this button will look similar to Instagram's logo instead.)

  3. You have three options for adding a photo or video to Instagram.  The first is the Gallery option, which allows you to import a photo or video already on your mobile device.



    Tap the word next to the "X" at the top of the screen to choose where on your mobile device you want to look for photos or videos to import.  Then, tap one of the thumbnail previews of pictures that are in that location, near the bottom of the screen, to select it.  The one that you have selected will be darkened, and a preview of it will show up in the main part of the screen.

    If this is the picture or photo that you want to post to Instagram, tap the arrow icon in the top-right corner.  (If you're using an iPad or iPhone, this may say Next instead.)

  4. The second option is the Photo option, which allows you to immediately take a photo and post it on Instagram.  Tap this option at the bottom of the screen to select it.



    Here, you can tap the double-arrow icon on the left to switch your device's camera between exterior mode (i.e. facing away from you) and interior mode (i.e. facing towards you, like it is in this screenshot). 

    You can also tap the lightning bolt icon on the right to turn on the flash function for your device's camera, if you're taking the picture in a dimly-lit area (though note that it may only work for your camera's exterior mode).

    (NOTE: these two icons will look slightly different if you are using Instagram on a Windows Phone.)

    Tap the big blue button to take your picture.

  5. The third option is the Video option, which allows you to immediately record a video between 4 and 15 seconds long, and then post it to Instagram.  To switch to this option, tap it at the bottom of the screen.



    Like when taking a photo, you can tap the double-arrow icon on the left to switch between your device's exterior and interior camera (if it has both), and tap the lightning bolt icon on the right to activate the flash function if you're filming in a low-light area.

    To record your video, press and hold the big red button.  To stop recording, release the button.  The white line near the middle of the screen will give you a visual representation of how much you've recorded.  You can also press and hold the red button again to record another segment of the video, up to the 15 second limit.

    When you stop recording, two new options will appear.  Tap Delete near the bottom of the screen twice to delete the last segment that you recorded.  Or, if you like how your video turned out, click the arrow icon in the top-right corner to move on.

  6. After you've selected or created your photo or video, you can edit it by adding filters and other modifications.  We'll go over how to do that in detail in our How to Edit Instagram Photos tutorial.  For now, if you're okay with how your photo or video looks, tap the arrow icon in the top-right corner again.  (If you're using an iPad or iPhone, this may say Next instead.)

  7. It's now time to put the finishing touches on your photo or video.



    Tap the "Write a Caption" section and type in a short description of what your photo or video is about.  You can also tap Tag People and then tap on people who appear in the picture, and write their names.  If you'd like to add a location to where this photo or video was taken, tap the "Add to Photo Map" toggle to turn it on, and Instagram will use your mobile device's GPS locator (if it's enabled) to find where you are.

    If you'd like to share your photo on another social network, tap one of the boxes below the "Share" heading.  We'll go over this in more detail in our How to Connect Instagram to Social Networks tutorial.

    You'll also notice that you currently want to share your photo with your Followers (and anyone else on Instagram who finds it, if your account isn't private).  If you only want to share your photo with specific people, you can switch over to Instagram Direct here.  See our Instagram Privacy article to learn more about private accounts and how to use Instagram Direct.

    Once you have everything set up the way you want, tap the checkmark in the top-right corner.

There you go!  You now know how to add a photo or video to your Instagram account!

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