An Instagram husband, cherry blossoms and a few quaint and colourful front doors – Instagram success = guaranteed. At least, that’s what everyone says. Now as you may have guessed from my lack of hundreds of thousands of followers, I’m yet to find a cherry blossom tree in Glasgow and my toddler won’t stand in front of a door for long enough to snap a picture (even if it is a magnificent shade of tangerine). One box I’ve finally managed to tick is the Instagram Husband.
Well kind of, he’s a boyfriend, not a husband, but ‘Instagram Boyfriend’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
I’m almost certain Jordan didn’t bet on having to learn to work a camera at all when we first started seeing each other – at that point, I’d never used a proper camera and my Instagram started and ended with a weekly Two For Tuesdays check in with Dominos. A few years down the line and the poor soul is now expected to know the in’s and out’s of shutter speed and light reflection, all in the name of the gram.
I’ve had this blog for nearly two years (craaazy) now and it’s pretty suffice to say that my photography has improved ten fold since my very first post. For reference, that post contained a single photo taken on my iPhone in a bathroom stall of the local shopping centre. It was bad – but I’ve spent the last two years educating myself and I’m now a dab hand at getting a passable blog photo. I’m not the only one who’s photography skills have improved though. I first drafted Jordan in to take some pictures of me and Harrison around a year ago when I was all but absent in pictures throughout Harrisons’ first year. It was a rather uphill battle, given that Jordans’ photography experience started and ended with annual drunk snapchat of his beer at Christmas time, but after many an argument over out of focus and over exposed images, he’s grown into the perfect Instagram husband.
Disclaimer: Jordan is a willing particpant in all things Instagram. Well, less willing, and more ‘if I don’t do this I’ve got no chance of watching the World Cup later so I’d better just do it quickly…’
I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but for your partner, taking 400 varying shots of you holding a coffee cup is probably not going to be their idea of fun. They do it because they love you, and because being a willing participant means they have more chance of being able to watch the World Cup undisturbed later on today. With that in mind, keep them happy. Do not ask them to shoot on an empty stomach, try not to string it out longer than it has to be and throw in the promise of a Nandos’ (or a pint) after you are finished.
I still find having my picture taken embarrassing. I’m not natural in front of a camera by any sorts, and I can’t help but feel my face burn up when we whip out the big camera in public. It’s easy to forget that I’m not the only one who is self conscious. People are curious, and will often give a second glance – it’s natural, but it can be uncomfortable and it doesn’t your unsolicited photographer feel at ease. We’ll always head to the quietest area we can find to take our pictures, less stares, less crimson faces and less moaning from Jordan. It’s taken us a long time to realise it, but sticking to capturing what is going on naturally is the best (and only) way for us to take pictures. For one, I can’t pose for sh*t, but for two, Jordan does not read blogs, or even have Instagram, so he does not naturally capture the types of images I am looking for.
I don’t really take any pictures on my phone any more, I’m a sucker for a blurry background so until iPhone produces bokeh, my insta-husband is stuck with my DSLR, which isn’t always the easiest. Now by all means, if you want to send them 5000 links for bedtime reading titled ‘How To Change The Shutter Speed’ or ‘What ISO Means’ then whiz them over. Will they read them? Better yet, will they understand them enough to action it (because let’s be real here, I still don’t really fully understand ISO and I’ve been at it for years).
Set up the shot you want them to take, take a picture of them and show them exactly what want. Place them in the exact spot you were standing in and tell them not to move a muscle. Unfortunately this is not full proof and chances are you will still end up with a completely different angle that gives you four chins and a streak of lighting beaming across your face BUT it’s better than what you would have gotten if left to their own devices.
Not everyone spends a significant amount of time scrolling through Instagram daily. Even less people read blogs now. Jordan does neither, and there is a good chance that whoever rather unwittingly falls into the role of your Instagram Husband won’t either.At this point in time, Jordan knows to find some form of plant, or bush, stand behind it and make sure I’m not the one in focus. That is an odd photo composition, but one I like, and not one he would work out by himself. We all have ideas in our heads of what we like our own images to look like, and unless your partner is a mind reader, they will probably get it wrong. Show them examples of what you are looking for. A photo reference, or if you want to go all out create a Pinterest board with your inspiration and let them scroll through for five minutes while you set up the camera. I didn’t get very many photos from our holiday to Gran Canaria, so I’ve created a ‘Family Travel Photo Inspiration’ board on Pinterest and I can almost guarantee I’ll work down it like a checklist when we travel to Cyprus. #NotSorry.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t give Jordan the recognition he deserves for acting as an unpaid photographer at every given opportunity. He takes the blame for everything that goes wrong in the photo (sorry, Jordan) regardless of whether or not it was his fault, and doesn’t complain all that often. Only, say 30 times for each mini-shoot. I’ve made a point recently of giving him the praise he actually deserves for his newfound ability to work the camera, and to take pictures a tripod never could achieve. All joking aside, try not to criticise to much. Sure, angles may not be ideal and there is a very good chance your picture is blurry – but everyone has to learn, so keep them happy while they do it. And Nandos, reward with Nandos.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Panasonic. All words and opinions are as always my own.