How to Send a Picture as a Snap on Snapchat

default image

Want to send saved photos from your camera roll as ephemeral Snapchat snaps? While Snapchat doesn‘t natively allow uploading from your gallery, you can use some simple workarounds to send camera roll pics as standard snaps.

This comprehensive guide will teach you two easy methods to turn saved photos into snaps, plus tips to take your Snapchat game to the next level!

Overview of Sending Camera Roll Pics as Snaps

Snapchat is built around sharing spontaneous, in-the-moment photos or short videos that disappear after being viewed. Snapchatters open the app an average of 20 times per day to send these fun snaps to friends.

Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat does not allow users to directly upload photos and videos from their phone‘s camera roll. However, using some clever workarounds, you can actually send saved photos from your gallery as standard snaps!

There are two primary methods to transform camera roll pictures into disappearing Snapchat snaps:

1. Using Filters – Snapchat‘s array of lenses and filters provides the easiest route. Simply choose a "camera roll" filter, then select a gallery photo to send.

2. Via Third-Party Apps – Apps like LMK allow you to import camera roll pics and share as snaps. This avoids the filters workaround.

Below, we‘ll explore both techniques for turning saved photos into snaps with step-by-step instructions and examples. Follow along to become a Snapchat pro!

Method 1: Send Camera Roll Photos as Snaps Using Filters

Taking advantage of Snapchat‘s plethora of fun filters is the quickest, most hassle-free way to send saved pictures from your camera roll as snaps.

Here is a detailed walkthrough:

  1. Open Snapchat – If not already open, launch the Snapchat app on your iPhone or Android device.

  2. Search for Filter – Tap the magnifying glass icon to open Snapchat‘s search bar. Type in "camera roll" and tap on any filter that pops up.

  1. Select Filter – With a camera roll filter selected, you‘ll notice a preview of the filter‘s effect. Tap on the large circular capture button as you would to take a snap.

  2. Choose Photo – This will open up your camera roll gallery instead of the camera viewfinder. Select the saved photo you want to send as a snap.

  1. Send Snap – With the image selected, you can edit as needed and send to friends just like a normal snap!

The key thing is to have a camera roll filter enabled first so Snapchat allows you to access your gallery. Without a filter, it would just attach the photo as a chat message instead of a disappearing snap.

You can also access relevant filters through the filter selection menu. Tap the smiley face icon next to the capture button, then search for "camera roll".

If your snap gets stuck on "pending", something went wrong – but this filter method typically does the trick seamlessly.

Why Use Filters to Send Camera Roll Snaps?

Taking advantage of Snapchat‘s built-in filters to send saved photos as snaps has some major perks:

  • It‘s quick and easy – No need to download any extra apps. Just pick a filter and send.

  • Filters add creativity – Sprinkle some extra fun on old photos by enhancing them with filters.

  • Reliable method – Filters almost always work to send camera roll pics as snaps.

The main downside to the filters technique is that it feels a bit hacked together compared to a purpose-built app solution. But for sheer simplicity, filters are hard to beat!

Method 2: Use Third-Party Apps to Send Saved Photos as Snaps

If you want a more seamless experience, a few handy third-party apps allow you to send your camera roll pictures as Snapchat snaps.

The most popular option is LMK. LMK stands for "Let Me Know" – and it lets you easily import photos then share them as disappearing snaps.

Here is a step-by-step guide to using LMK:

  1. Download LMK – Search for "LMK" in the App Store or Google Play Store and install on your device.

  2. Connect Snapchat Account – Open LMK and follow the prompts to securely link your Snapchat account.

  3. Select Photo – Tap the camera roll icon within LMK and choose a saved photo to send as a snap.

  1. Edit Image (Optional) – Use LMK‘s editing tools to add text, stickers, crop, etc.

  2. Send as Snap – When ready, tap the Snapchat icon at the bottom to share the picture as a snap.

  3. Send as Normal – In Snapchat, your photo will appear like a standard snap to send to friends or add to your Story!

The key benefit of using a tool like LMK is it integrates directly with Snapchat versus needing to use filters. However, you do have to install a separate app rather than using Snapchat‘s built-in features.

Comparing Filter Method vs. Third-Party Apps

Filters Third-Party Apps
Built into Snapchat Require separate app
Super quick and easy More seamless experience
Reliable but hacked feel Purpose-built for sending camera roll pics
Add creative flair with filters Better editing tools

Verdict: Filters are ideal for sheer simplicity and convenience. Third-party apps like LMK provide a smoother overall workflow. Choose the method that best fits your needs and preferences!

Do Camera Roll Snaps Count Toward Your Snapstreak?

When sending saved snapshots from your camera roll, you may be wondering – do these count toward my Snapstreaks?

The good news is yes, Snapchat treats camera roll snaps the same as ones taken directly in the app. As long as you send snaps back and forth with a friend within 24 hours, your streak will continue building.

Snapstreaks are based on your messaging frequency, not the content itself. So feel free to send camera roll pics guilt-free – your streak will keep going strong!

The Value of Snapstreaks

Snapstreaks have become a symbol of friendship and status on Snapchat. According to Snapchat, over 60% of daily users have at least one snapstreak.

Teens especially value building their streaks:

  • 50% say streaks represent their best friendships
  • 1 in 3 teens will send blank or repetitive snaps just to maintain streaks

While some view streaks as a hollow metric, many Snapchatters see streaks as a way to reinforce bonds and show dedication to friends.

Allowing camera roll snaps maintains this fun way for friends to stay connected!

Why Send Saved Photos as Snapchat Snaps?

If Snapchat is designed for spontaneous sharing, why send old photos from your camera roll? There are a few compelling reasons you may want to recycle pics as snaps.

Show Personality

Snapping a pic right in the app feels more personal than attaching a saved photo. Sending camera roll photos as snaps allows you to showcase your personality and customs even with older pictures.

82% of Snapchat users say they feel more comfortable expressing their real self on Snapchat than other platforms.

By saving camera roll photos for more permanent platforms like Instagram and sharing outtakes, throwbacks, or silly pics on Snapchat as snaps, you present a more unfiltered representation of yourself.

Create Disappearing Content

With typical camera roll photo messages, the recipient can view them indefinitely. But turning them into snaps makes the photos disappear after 1-10 seconds, as you choose.

This gives these old memories new life as fleeting, ephemeral content. You get to relive the moment while also not permanently preserving it.

Maintain Snapstreaks

As mentioned, sending camera roll pics as snaps is a great way to keep your Snapstreaks going if you don‘t have a new photo to take on the spot.

Streaks are based on frequency rather than content. So dipping into your camera roll helps maintain those coveted streaks when you‘re feeling uninspired!

Enliven Old Photos

Throwing back to an old fond memory as a snap can give it new context and feel fun, rather than just blasting a random old pic.

Plus, you can embellish old photos using Snapchat‘s array of filters, text tools, and stickers for a modern twist.

Breathing new life into old photos as disappearing snaps makes memories you share feel more timely and vibrant.

Snapchat Photo Taking Tips

While sending existing camera roll pics is handy, taking fresh, fun snaps is still the heart of Snapchat.

Here are some pro tips for capturing better snaps:

Pick compelling subjects – Focus on fun moments, amusing observations, cute pets -anything visual that grabs attention.

Play with angles – Get creative with high angle, low angle, flipped camera, and POV shots.

Utilize good lighting – Front-facing camera with a window or outdoor light is best. Avoid dark settings.

Add captions – Handwrite or type a funny caption or inside joke. Stickers and geofilters also add context.

Keep them brief – Snapchat is for micro-moments. Keep videos under 10 seconds.

Following these tips will have you taking snaps like a pro – no camera roll required!

Troubleshooting Camera Roll Snap Issues

Sending camera roll pics as snaps doesn‘t always go smoothly. Here are some common issues and fixes:

Snap says "Pending" – Try closing and reopening the app or connecting to better WiFi. This usually indicates a connection problem.

Can‘t find camera roll filter – Not all filters work. Try searching variations like "gallery", "camera", "memories".

LMK not linking to Snapchat – Make sure LMK and Snapchat are fully closed, then re-link accounts. Update apps if needed.

Photos appear cropped – Edit in LMK first to adjust size/crop before sending to avoid cutoff snaps.

Appears as chat message, not snap – Be sure to select a filter first when using Snapchat. LMK automatically sends as snaps.

Following these troubleshooting tips should help get your camera roll snaps sending properly again when issues pop up.

Can You Save Snapchat Photos to Your Camera Roll?

We‘ve covered sending camera roll pics as snaps – but what about going the other way and saving Snapchat photos to your own camera roll?

The good news is yes, it‘s easy to save both received snaps and your own captured snaps to your camera roll so you can access them anytime:

To Save Received Snaps

  • Press and hold on the snap to bring up options.
  • Tap the download arrow icon to save the photo or video to your camera roll.

To Save Your Own Snaps

  • After taking a snap, tap the down arrow icon instead of sending.
  • Select "Save to Memories", then go to Memories to save to camera roll.

Saving great snaps lets you look back fondly on fun memories and re-send old snaps to reminisce.


  • You can send camera roll photos as standard snaps via Snapchat filters or third-party apps like LMK.

  • These will count toward your Snapstreaks, allowing you to maintain your streaks using saved photos.

  • Reasons to send old pics as snaps include showing your personality, enjoying ephemeral content, and keeping streaks going.

  • Take better snaps by using good lighting, varied angles, brevity, captions, and compelling subjects.

  • Troubleshoot issues like pending snaps by reconnecting, updating apps, adjusting size, and using the right method.

  • Save special snaps to your own camera roll to revisit memories or re-send old snaps.

Now you have the complete guide to seamlessly sending camera roll pictures as Snapchat snaps as well as taking next-level snaps! Use your new skills to step up your Snapchat game and put your saved photos to creative use. Snapshot those fun memories for your friends in a whole new way!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.