Do you love to take photographs but don’t know how to use the new digital software to edit them? Do you like to see photographs other’s have taken? Now you can do both easily–all from your phone using Instagram, a free photo sharing mobile app. What’s great about this site is that it allows you to easily take photos, apply a filter to your liking and share with others through social networking sites. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started.

Step 1: Get Instagram
Although this program initially launched on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, it’s now available for Android users to enjoy as well. You can get the app via the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Step 2: Signup for an Account
Once you download the app you’ll be instructed to create a user name.  You’ll want to decide whether to be more anonymous (happy grandma) or use your real name. There are no rules–just select a name that fits your personality and purpose for sharing photos.  Once you’ve selected your user name you’ll want to fill out the brief profile and add a photo to represent yourself.

Step 3: Connect
Connect your account to Facebook, Twitter or any other third party sites where you’d like to share your photos. Using a social network will also help you quickly and easily find friends who are using the service. Not interested in sharing to outside social networks? Not a problem. You can simply share within the network or email photos to friends and family directly from the app. If you want to find other users to follow simply go to the the Account tab on the bottom right to find friends, invite friends or search instagram. If you want to view photographs from people you don’t know yet, click on the star button on the bottom to view popular photographs.

Step 4: Start Sharing Photographs
Now that you have your account set up and people to follow it’s time to start taking photographs. To upload a photo simply hit the photograph icon in the middle on the bottom of the screen. Here you can either take a photograph directly in Instagram by clicking the camera button on the bottom in the middle or you can upload by hitting the icon all the way on the left. Once you’ve uploaded the photograph you can adjust the photo in the frame and select a filter from the 18 available or you can choose to leave your picture unfiltered. When the image is just the way you want it click the green checkmark, enter a caption and the way you’d like to share the photograph.

Instagram is an easy and fun way to take and share photographs with people you love. We’re sure you’ll have fun using it this summer at all your wine tastings, family gatherings and wherever your travels take you!