Instagram is primarily a social media network based on smartphone usage.  There is limited use outside of the mobile app.  You can view, like, comment on pictures on a computer but anything else is limited.  And there is no way to post from their desktop site.  (There are tricks and hacks to do that is outside the scope of this post)

Many people want to be able to take pictures with their fancy DSLR or mirrorless camera and post their edited images to Instagram but aren’t sure how.  A common question I see online a lot is, “how do I get my photos from my camera to my phone so I can post them to Instagram?”  I see this question asked quite a bit in online forums so I thought I would write a quick post about it.  In this post I am going to outline my own workflow.  There are many ways to do this but I believe my workflow is pretty easy and straightforward.

There are five steps in the process of taking the image with your camera and posting it to Instagram.  They are:

Take the picture> Send the picture to your computer>Edit the picture> Send the picture to your phone> Post to Instagram

I will outline these steps individually and by the end of this post you should be able to get photos from your DLSR or mirrorless camera to Instagram.


Take the Picture

Obviously the first step in the process is to take the picture.  I don’t feel I need to go any further.  


Send the Picture to Your Computer

Once you’ve taken the picture you need to copy the images to your computer.  There are two ways to do this.  The first is to use the USB cable that came with your camera and plug it in to your computer.  The camera should pop up on your computer like an external hard drive or flash drive.  You can then open up the files and copy the images to a folder on your computer.

The other way is to use a card reader.  Some computers, especially laptops, have these built in.  Otherwise they can be purchased from most big box electronic stores.  Plug in your memory card in to the reader and the card will show up as an external hard drive or flash drive.  Again, just copy the files to your computer.


Edit the Pictures

You may choose to edit your pictures.  If you shoot JPEG and do not edit your pictures you can move right to the next step.  If you shoot RAW you likely have to edit them.  There are many options of editing software out there (another topic for it’s own future post), but I use Lightroom.

Once I am happy with my images I will export the images from Lightroom as JPEG to a folder on my computer.  


Send the Pictures to Your Phone

With your images in a folder on your computer, you are ready to send them to your phone.  There are a couple ways to do this.  You can put the folder in your Dropbox or Google Drive and then use their respective app to get the images on your phone.  That is probably the easiest way.

I use kind of an old fashioned way.  I use and iPhone and I still sync my phone with iTunes.  I just tell iTunes to sync the folder with my images to my phone and they are uploaded that way.


Post to Instagram

Now your photos are on your phone and you are ready to post them to Instagram.  If you used Dropbox or Google Drive you will need to to to the images in the app and select “Open in…” and choose Instagram.  Then your image will export to the Instagram app and you are good to go!