In part 1 of this series, I showed you how to sign up for the popular social photo sharing and editing app Instagram and gave you a quick tour of the basics. In part 2, we’ll look at how you take a photo.

There are two options for Instagram photos. You can use images already on your phone or take the picture within the app. I prefer to take the photos using the controls on my phone’s camera. That’s just because my phone has a very good camera that offers me a lot of options for picture modes and I like having that control.  To take a photo, tap the camera icon in the middle of the menu.

Your screen will now display whatever the camera is pointed at, whether it be a beautiful sunset or your shoes. (or the Happy Meal toy on my desk.)

You have a few options for the camera within the Instagram app. Tap the grid symbol and you’ll see a grid that helps you choose your shot. This is important for this app, especially when you first start using it. Photos in Instagram are cropped to a square. Your camera takes nice wide rectangular shots, so you’ll only be able to use a portion of the shot. So it’s important that you frame the show so that you can crop out a square to get what you want in the picture.

You can also choose to switch to the front-facing camera on your device for a selfie or to turn the flash on or off.

 Once you have your photo framed, just tap the big blue button to take the shot.

Your other option for selecting an image is to select one that you’ve just taken with your device or one that’s been stored on your device for awhile. You can also use photos that people have sent to you that are saved to your device. You could even move a photo from a storage device or your computer to your phone in order to share it.  To choose a photo that’s already on your device, you tap the little square made of squares instead of hitting the big blue button take the photo.

The photo gallery on your device will open and you can choose a picture from there.

Now that we have a photo, it’s time to select where to crop that image. A square will appear over your image and you can position it, just by moving your finger around the screen. You can also make the square larger or smaller by touching the corner and pulling it in or out.

Once you are satisfied with the result tap the arrow icon at the top and we are ready to do some photo editing.

In part 3, we’ll look at your photo editing options.

~ Cynthia