I'm not a phone person. I don't like talking on the phone and I don't have a texting plan. I use my phone for emergencies, to IM with Steve, and occasionally to check email or get directions when I'm out and about. I don't carry my phone around with me 24/7 the way everyone else seems to do. I do carry my point-and-shoot camera around. I never leave home without it, and I almost always carry it up and down the stairs with me during the course of my day. When I want to take a photo of something, my camera is right there. My phone is not. Because of this, I've never felt the need to take a photo with my phone. And because I'd never needed to take a photo with my phone, I'd never understood the appeal of Instagram.
It has become increasingly obvious to me that I'm being passed over for certain opportunities because I am not active on Instagram. For creative professionals, Instagram is huge and growing. As someone with a toe in the professional world of crafting and scrapbooking, it doesn't make sense for me to ignore something that could be helping me professionally. Beyond the crafting world, all sorts of businesses offer discounts and deals to people who use their hashtag to post a picture of their burger, their store, their logo, their whatever.
So I've been using Instagram for exactly three weeks. What I should have done was find a friend who could walk me through it in person. I've figured out the absolute basics, but the process has been more frustrating than fun. So far, I don't love it. I want to love it. There's where you, my Instagram-using friends, come in. Help!
Here's what I'd like to know:
1) Is Instagram the same on all phones (iPhone vs. Android, various phones within the Android umbrella, etc.)? Does everyone have the same features? I feel like I'm missing some really obvious things that a camera can do.
2) For example, is there a way to crop my Instagram photos? Or zoom? Do I really need to physically walk forward or backward to properly fill the square? I tried taking a photo of swim lessons from the edge of the pool. Without a zoom, I couldn't get close enough for an acceptable photo. Same with baseball practice. The opposite happened during Book Club when I tried to take a group shot. The room was too small for me to back up enough to get all the kids in. (I ended up posting this photo of the books they'd read. Even that was cut off, but cutting off books is better than cutting off kids.
3) Can I edit photos after they've been posted? As we were leaving The Squeeze Inn on Tuesday after baseball, I noticed a sign on the wall offering a free drink for posting a photo of a Squeeze Burger with their hashtag. I'd JUST posted a photo of the Squeeze Burger I split with Trevor (that thing is huge!), but I haven't done any hashtagging yet. I tried to find a way to edit the photo to add it, but couldn't find a way.
4) Can I upload to Instagram via anything other than my phone? There doesn't seem to be a way to upload via computer. I do see that I can view other people's photos on the computer, but that seems to be it.
5) How do I get my photos off Instagram and onto my computer? I understand how to print them directly from the phone (Groovebook, for example), but what if I want to post the photos to my blog?
I know there are about 100 other questions that have come up for me in the past two weeks, but this is enough for now. If I could get these figured out, it would HUGELY improve my Instagram experience. Thank you!!