We’re not married and we’re not dating. He’s a videographer by profession, and loathes the idea of being branded a photographer. “I am not a photographer” he says, holding my camera adjusting the F stop – whatever that is. Although he’s persistent on his lack of photographic skill (filming is completely different, apparently), I refuse to accept this silly idea. Whenever we meet, he’s acting as my Instagram husband and capturing my favourite self-images.
Who takes your Instagram photos?
My sister loves Instagram and to a lesser extent than me, understands the need to capture a moment. Out with her, I know I’m going to get some nice, smiley pictures for my blog and social-media. If I’m forced to ask my mum, I’ll listen to her lecture on my obsession taking photos, before she snaps a selection, keeping a frown throughout the process. Other friends don’t shoot with my camera properly and their phone skills are little admired.
My ex-boyfriend tried his hardest to appease me. I had to accept his photography meant no more than two great uploads. Many successful and wannabe influencers hire professional photographers and arrange shoots. Usually, a number of outfits get shot in a couple of hours. An influencer can then schedule the pictures and plan their feed before posting. Some however, make the partnership between them and their photographer lucrative. Recently, the term Instagram husband or boyfriend became parodic to define the people behind online photographs.
The term refers to the often men and sometimes women, who go to great lengths to shoot “models” in all their glory. The Atlantic reports Meredith Haggerty (deputy editor of The Goods by Vox) in 2016 saying: “In this progressive age, love isn’t about gender, it’s about finding that special someone who can take flattering pictures of you”.
Why you need an Instagram Husband
Social media moves fast, and staying on top of your account means updating your feed routinely. For bloggers especially, relying on their own pictures, weekly snapshots are essential. I don’t post myself on every blog, but I like showing my face because The Style of Laura Jane revolves round me. While bloggers appreciate this difficulty, friends and family are tough to persuade.
If they lack camera interest, can you expect them to learn angles and help instruct poses? I was on a modelling site when my Instagram husband contacted me. He asked me to model in his art video – I’ve since requested he shoot a million pictures. Though he’s a video shooter, he’s also a camera geek who equally loves Old Hollywood images. He taught me old film cameras are better quality than digital.
When the time came to purchase my camera, I knew he’d advise. He chose the perfect lens and taught (still trying to teach) me how to use without relying on auto. He selects great backdrops; he’s honest when my composition needs changing and he comprehends lighting. Plus, he takes non-blurry images without a tripod. The main benefit of an Instagram husband is being comfortable. I’m able to express myself and switch things up, knowing he can adjust as well.
Does a man remove “girl boss” power?
Jessica Sulima writing for The Observer, last month wrote a piece on the phenomenon of male partners working behind the scenes of successful female influencers. According to the article, women dominate the influencer industry. The top few have become entrepreneurs, writing books and running fashion labels. It’s a huge boost for female empowerment – “girl bosses” taking ownership in a wealthy, current internet market.
Sulima asked whether a male presence behind the scenes disrupts “the idea of the girl boss”, or highlights a “significant role reversal” with a man holding lesser power. If both happily agree, teaming up to collaborate seems extra lucrative. It’s very Kardashian – keeping up wealth in the family. If you’re using social media to build a self-employed career, surly your boyfriend wants to help? You likely spend most free time together, so why not form a work partnership?
I don’t believe a woman loses her girl boss status because a guy’s in the background. CEO men don’t lose acclaim for all the women brainstorming ideas in the office. The dominant issue is whether a couple can balance work and play, whether they’ll break up and have problems, and whether the Instagram husband actually wants the role. My friends prefer remaining behind the camera than in front, which from a selfish standpoint, works well for me.
The hidden additional benefit of an Instagram husband
If you want to shoot with a professional photographer yet don’t have adequate funds, there is a TFP option. Time for print is when a photographer (typically new) agrees to snap for free in exchange for being able to use the photos for their portfolio. Both model and snapper receive images with no money transactions. The photographer nonetheless, has to like your image in order to take the time to basically work for free.
Unless you pay, a photographer always retains the rights to photos. They decide what pictures to edit and which to delete. You need permission to edit and filter. This is why it’s worth paying and sourcing a long-term cameraman/woman. They can spend time choosing the right look and stick to the same styles.
An Instagram husband is a cheaper solution and if they use your equipment, there’s no worry over image rights. A male or female interested in photography is your best bet. I’m forever grateful for the photos my Instagram husband captures and he always likes the food I cook as a miniature thank you. I do ponder if the art of photography is lost in social media. And then again, I’m joyful I’ve found someone to present diverse sides of me in print, others don’t quite click.