photo credit: camerakarrie via photopin cc
photo credit: camerakarrie via photopin cc

How do you take your Instagram pictures? Are you a passionate smartphone photographer or have you advanced to using an SLR or compact camera for your photos?

If you are using a ‘fancy’ camera you have one problem. How do you get your photos from your camera to your phone to post on Instagram?

The good news is that by taking photos on your camera you are ensuring better quality images and you also have lots of options for editing on your PC before sending your pics to Instagram. I’m not going to talk about Photoshop of GIMP today. In this post I’m going to show you two cool tools for cropping and adding text and logos to your posts and two tools to post Instagram photos via your computer.

#1 Adding effects, filters and text to your photos

My photography lecturer in college was a purist. He insisted that we should never crop a photo we had taken, it should be printed as it was taken. This taught us to think more, it was essential we got the framing right when we took the photo. It was good discipline for us students, but not all of us get it right every time.

I often wonder what he would think now if he saw me editing my photos online.

I still aim to take perfect photos every time but when I fail I am happy to crop and make adjustments using Canva or Pic Monkey. They also both give me the option to add text or my logo to my images. To get started upload your photos from your camera to your PC.


Canva is more a graphic design tool than a photo editing tool. It can help even the most design-challenged people create attractive images. It’s free to use the basic tool and it can help you create more attractive branded images to share on Instagram.

To get started go to the Canva website and sign up. You’ll be prompted to follow a short tutorial, I highly recommend you do this.

Now you are signed up and schooled click on the ‘Instagram post’ template to start your design.

instagram template canva
Select the ‘Instagram Post’ templage

Click ‘Upload’ on the left-hand side to grab photos from your computer (this can take quite some time if you have low bandwidth)

Once the photo has uploaded click on it, it will appear on your design template.

Stretch out the edges until your image fills the frame or keep stretching to select the are of the image you want to feature. Be aware that the more stretching you do the lower quality the final image will be.

Whilst the image is selected click ‘filter’ in the floating toolbar. This will open a new menu for you.

click filter canva
choose a filter

Select a filter to add standard effects to your image or click ‘more options’ for more editing control. This allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and more.

filter and image editing canva
For more control click ‘more options’

To add your logo to your image upload it the same way you uploaded the photo earlier. Click on it and it will appear withing your design.

Resize it by pulling in or out the images and click, hold and move it to reposition it.

pull out edges logo canva
Pull out the edges to resize

Add text to your image by clicking ‘T’ on the left-hand sidebar. You can see in the example below I added the hashtag of the event I was posting about.

add text
Add a hashtag or web address using the text tool

When you are satisfied with your work click ‘Download’ and save the image to your computer. It can take quite some time for your download to happen, be patient.


Canva is great for creating quick images on the go but for a more comprehensive online photo editing tool try PicMonkey (affiliate link). It’s completely free to use and you don’t need an account to get started. I have upgraded my account to Royale to make use of some of the extra fonts, tools and filters that this gives me but it’s not necessary.

To start editing with PicMonkey visit the website and click ‘edit’. This will prompt you to upload an image from your computer.

picmonkey upload photo
Click ‘Edit’ to upload a photo from your PC

To add filters to your uploded image click the ‘magic wand’ icon on the left-hand side.

picmonkey filters
Add filters to your photo

To add text click the ‘Tt’ icon on the left-hand side. Click the font you want to use and type your text into the box that appears.

add text picmonkey
Add a hashtag or web address using the text tool

You can change the colour and style of the text by highlighting it and selecting a colour or style from the palette.

To resize the text grab a corner of the text box and either pull out to make it bigger or drag it in to make it smaller.

expand text picmonkey
Resizing text is easier on PicMonkey

To add your logo click on the ‘butterfly’ icon on the left-hand side.

Click ‘Your Own’ at the top of the menu bar and upload your logo from your computer.

add logo picmonkey
Use the overlay tool to add your logo to your image

This will place your logo on your image. You can resize it the same way you did the text.

There’s lots of other features on PicMonkey to play with. Check out their blog for inspiration.

To download your finished image click ‘Save’ at the top of the screen.

#2 Sending photos to Instagram from your PC

There are lots of tools that can help you send photos from your PC to your phone where you can upload them to Instagram.

A lot of them are glitchy, even the mac tool ‘AirDrop’ which is seamless when it works sometimes refuses to see my phone or iPad. The two tools below have proved to be the most robust and both are far quicker than emailing yourself a photo.


Dropbox has become such an essential part of my life it’s hard to imagine a time when I didn’t use it to share files.

Recently it’s become my go-to solution for transferring photos from my computer to my phone and visa- verse. You sometimes have to wait a while for images to upload and download, particularly when you are in low internet areas, but it’s by far the most robust tool for sharing.

  • Install the dropbox app both on your phone and PC.
  • Upload the photo you want to share to Dropbox on your PC.
  • Open the photo in the Dropbox app on your phone and then save it to your phone’s camera roll. (screen grab from iPhone app)
dropbox to instagram
Use the Dropbox phone app to get photos from your PC


Hootsuite recently introduced what it called ‘Instagram Scheduling’. In reality it doesn’t schedule but it is a nifty tool for sending photos to your phone from your PC.

What I really like about this is that you can write the whole caption on your PC, great for fat fingered people like me. When the photo arrives on your phone the caption is saved to your clipboard. All you have to do to add it to your Instagram post is click inside the caption box and paste.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for a Hootsuite account and install the app on your phone
  • Add your Instagram account to your Hootsuite dashboard
  • Select your Instagram account in the update box at the top of the Hootsuite dashboard
  • Write your caption
  • Click the paperclip to add your photo and then click either ‘send’ or the calender icon to schedule
post to instagram from hootsuite
Create your post on the Hootsuite web app

If you scheduled your post you will get a push notification to your phone at the allotted time and date.
If you just clicked ‘send’ you will get that notification straight away. You will be prompted to open your post in Instagram.

Add filters if you wish, when it comes to captioning hold your finger down inside the text area and select ‘paste’ when it appears (I use an iPhone, Android instructions may vary)

hoosuite to instagram
Hootsuite transfers the caption to your phone’s clipboard for easy pasting when you post .

I think I’ll always prefer taking and creating images on my phone but more serious photographers may want the flexibility that a PC and these solutions give them.

What about you? Are you a iPoneographer or a SLR or graphic design advocate?

Follow my sister business We Teach Social on Instagram for more tips and other stuff.


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  • Kate

    Brilliant Amanda! Have so many pictures on the PC. This will be perfect for us! Tks

  • Krishna De

    Nice share as usual Amanda!

    I’ve tested a number of tools for posting to Instagram including Gramblr. You need to take care if you use a third party tool as Instagram has not yet released an API.

    There are a number of paid tools being released too.

    I have not had an issue with Gramblr but one other tool resulted in me having to change my Instagram password and I have come across others saying that they have had their account banned using non official tools.

    A way I use and recommend for moving photographs from your desktop to your mobile device and then posting to Instagram directly is moving images into a Dropbox file and then downloading them to your camera roll from where you can upload to Instagram.

  • Amanda Webb

    Thanks for the tip Krishna, you are right it’s important to keep an eye on the third party tools we add to our accounts.

  • Amanda Webb

    Thanks Kate

  • Karen Hughes

    Oh how I wish I could post to Instagram directly from a mac or pc – it would make life so much easier! My workaround is, I have my “Pictures” folder saved into dropbox and I have the Dropbox app on my phone and Ipad. If I want to post to Instagram I just have to select the photo on Dropbox. However you do have to save the photo from Dropbox to Camera Roll folder on the phone first which means you get a duplicate photo. But it’s easy enough deleting the duplicate once you’ve uploaded. Works for me :)

  • Amanda Webb

    Hi Karen, You can use Instagram on your iPad. Go to the app store and search for it (it won’t come up) at the top of the page you will see in small blue letters ‘iPad apps only, click on this and change it to ‘iphone apps’ you can then download it.

    Also if you activate your iCloud account the photos you take on your iPad will save to a ‘Photo stream’ album that you can access from both your phone and iPad.

  • Karen Hughes

    Sorry I probably wasn’t clear. I have Instagram on my iphone and ipad and both are synced. I was referring to photo’s I upload from my camera directly to my pc. Then I use the Dropbox workaround. Hope that makes sense.

  • Lorna Sixsmith

    I keep meaning to use instagram more – from the phone so I have no excuse really!

  • [Jen Lew] Marketing & Design

    another great tool that we’re trying out is – so far so good and it has filters. You can’t push to fb or t yet though but you can time posts

  • Christian Karasiewicz

    Karen Hughes, I’ve been using Bluestacks to upload photos to Instagram from a computer. I’ve found this to be the most reliable – aside from uploading to Dropbox and then posting to the Instagram app.

    Here are instructions in case you are interested in trying this out.

  • Christian Karasiewicz

    @Spiderworking:disqus, Gramblr has been broken for six plus months. I would also strongly caution against using it because it can break access to hashtags as well as your Instagram account.

    It would end up making more work for a user because Instagram is difficult to get a hold of when something breaks and needs to be fixed.

  • Reid Rosefelt

    I’ve always moved photos from my computer to my phone or iPad via the Transfer App (there are many like this) and then worked within Instagram. But mainly I like to take all my Instagram pictures with my camera because that’s the ethos of Instagram. It’s what it’s supposed to be about.

  • chany1230

    All I’ve been doing is I email myself the pictures from my computer. Open the email on my phone, save and upload to Instagram. Simple and no third party app needed.

  • Joanna Campbell Griffin

    The comment section of these blogs are very useful, thank you to everyone here. I was just wondering if there was a way to use an IFTTT recipe here too.

    Once photos from camera have been cropped to our satisfaction, add them to a specific Dropbox or Box folder & have IFTTT automatically add it with caption to our instagram account. We can always go in afterwards and add extra hashtags as appropriate (or another IFTTT recipe).

    Has anyone tried this? I use my Instagram camera but it is not stable and sometimes crashes during processing and I would prefer NOT to loose a photo I have taken time to set up.

  • Amanda Webb

    Great idea Joanna. I love IFTTT and it sounds like it might work. Let me know if you try it.

  • Amanda Webb

    Hi Christian, Thanks for your comment. It’s not broken for the mac. I used it when I created this post. I was unaware of the hashtag issue though and have amended my post above to highlight it. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Christian Karasiewicz

    What type of Mac did you test it on? I also used a Mac and it definitely didn’t work. I had a few other people test it as well and it didn’t work for them either. They were Mac users too.

  • Joanna Campbell Griffin

    I hope to play a bit more with IFTTT next week Amanda. I have only activated a few recipes so far

  • Mazhar Ali

    You are right Krishna, Instagram do not allow any third part website to upload images from PC.

    For your information, I also used almost all apps that allow upload images from PC and all have same issue. When you view that post uploaded from third party app in your mobile, you can not refresh that post.

    But last week I found a website that do upload images and you can view on mobile too. But they are only offering it for PC. And for MAC OS they says will add instructions for it very soon.

    You need to install a driver and a utility app (IG Bypass) they have both on their website. Which tricks the Instagram server to allow upload from PC.

    I hope that helps you.

  • Agung Pambudi

    If gambler cannot upload to instagram, you can use bluestack emulator or duos-m emulator

  • Anna Woods

    I tried using Gramblr, but when I press the upload button, it does nothing. Does anyone have the same problem? How do I fix this?

  • Rob Hulta

    i lost my phone…… fuck you instagram

  • SChan

    download failed:(

  • Shannon

    THANK you for this! I knew something like this had to exist. I need to do all my social media posting in one sitting and this definitely helps.

  • Locks and unlocks

    I am new on Instagram, is there any option to save or down load images from Instragram. And can I use or upload pic from PC. Is use of Gramblr is safe for Instagram?

  • Miyu Gabriella

    same here!

  • babajee

    Unfortunatly, IFTTT has not listed Instagram under ACTIONS which means you CANT do anything of Instagram using IFTTT (you can only chose Instagram as an ingredient)

  • Roger Patterson

    Thanks for this post Amanda – didn’t know about PicMonkey!

    Just wanted to add that you can also use to get photos from your computer onto Instagram (and it also gives you the ability to schedule in advance!)

    It’s not completely automated like Gramblr, (the Latergramme app uses the IG app on your phone) however this is because Instagram’s Terms of Service disallow fully automated systems (and your account may be at risk if you do use fully automated systems)

    It’s also free for the basic account!

    Disclaimer: I’m one of the founders of Latergramme so could be slightly biased!

  • GhaZale

    i have problem with bluestack i can’t upload posts in my instagram , it send me a msg , instagram has stoped 😐

  • Terri

    All my pics are on my computer. Unfortunately Gramblr wants to insist on installing into my C: drive folder, but not into my Programs folder (even if I specify a folder within it for Gramblr). Still hunting for a workable desktop use for Instagram. Till then, our account is languishing… I feel bad, but our product photos are just not taken on a cell phone. How do others handle this problem?

  • L. Scott Harrell

    I just use dropbox to get the photo onto my phone. Easy.

  • Ra

    the only way I want to upload photos on instagram via web is my internet sucks on phones though. Still not losing hope

  • Upload9

    Very well written post. It will be valuable to anybody who usess it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

    آپلود عکس

  • Omkar Kulkarni

    Does that really work ?!? I can just see the click button. How do you upload ?!? Please reply.

  • Omkar Kulkarni

    how do u do that ?!? Can you please explain in detail ?!?

  • Cher

    Hi Roger,

    I must have slightly misunderstood your post… because I signed up for Latergram using my laptop; then it asked me to … “Install the Latergramme Mobile App”. So obviously it’s something you first set up using your phone/or mobile device??

  • Roger Patterson

    Hi Cher,

    Yes, in order to not violate Instagram’s Terms of Use, we need to publish via our mobile app. Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • Amanda Webb

    Hi Roger, I’ll give that a go. This is a very popular post so I’d love to get a good solution :)

  • Roger Patterson

    Hi Amanda – please do, and let me know if you have any questions!

    We’re trying very hard to make a product that works within Instagram’s terms of use – but makes everything easier.

  • Victor Gorospe

    is this also applicable for videos?

  • rogerpatterson

    For those Android fans out there – we’ve launched the Android version of Latergramme now!

    You can get it here:

  • Guest

    thats more than 2 steps lol

  • Mary

    worked perfectly! thank you~!

  • Mazhar Ali this is the best and easiest website to upload images to instagram. You just need to register to use that service.

  • Ilya Kirichek – another one service for post photos to instagram from pc or mac. it’s works.

  • Mazhar Ali is the best site from where you can very easily upload a photo from mac,pc and desktop to your instagram

  • Mazhar Ali

    You should use
    You can esily upload a photo from pc to instagram account

  • rinky

    Thums up for
    I also tried it and found it awesome.
    Now I can upload any photo from my pc,laptop and mac to instagram without having any trouble

  • Jessica Bedy

    Thanks Mazhar Ali.
    Now I am also using and just love it.
    Now I can easily upload photos from my laptop to instagram
    Love you