Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Instagram.
(This is the part where you raise your hand wherever you’re reading even if you’re in public.)
Instagram, as described by Taylor Swift, is a highlight reel of our lives. What we see while scrolling has been, in most cases, carefully selected and sometimes expertly curated, thus eliminating our exposure to outtakes and hiccups. This description actually makes a lot of sense (which isn’t surprising, considering T. Swift has so expertly mastered the art of living her realest life).
If we’re honest with each other, we’re all totally drunk on the Gingham-filtered, Afterlight-tweaked, brightness-increased Kool-Aid of Instagram. If we’re brave enough to admit it, we’ve all had one too many sips out of the punch bowl and we keep going back for more.
So, what makes up the perfect Instagram post? Good lighting, artsy decor, the perfect outfit, a distressed red brick wall…the aesthetically-pleasing list goes on. But, almost more importantly, who’s behind the perfect Instagram?
Instagram husbands, of course. They’re our social media sidekicks, the designated friend who knows the drill: they shoot from multiple angles, they never cut our shoes out of the frame, and they make sure the light is supremely flattering. They play such a crucial role, in fact, that one might argue that they are the real social media stars, the selfless saints behind the iPhones.
Firstly, I’d like to personally recognize the moms and dads out there who have served or are serving as Instagram husbands. In particular, my parents, who at this point know that every family vacation will inevitably involve at least one major Insta photo shoot – often conveniently in unfavorable weather or an otherwise difficult environment.
Exhibit A: Stopped in the middle of the hiking trail in order to get a cool picture of me in greenery.
Exhibit B: Battled crazy seaside wind (and constant hair-in-face) to get Insta-worthy laughing beach shot.
If your parents aren't available, you can hire an Instagram husband as your own personal street style photographer, as some Instagram stars did for New York Fashion Week. (Because what you wore while walking in the vicinity of the Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2017 show is practically more relevant than the designer’s actual collection, right?)
‘GRAMMERS AMONG US
So, are you an Instagram husband? Better yet, do you have one? I asked a few of my Insta-friends about the trend.
The Social-Savvy Traveler
Junior, University of South Carolina | 941 followers
Instagram husband(s): Travel pals
On her stellar solo shots from a summer abroad: “I just had whichever friends I was with at the time take my pictures. I’d have them take at least 40-50 at a time, so I’d have a lot to choose from.”
The Street-Style Guru
Senior, Towson University | 27.4k followers
Go-to photographer: Aren Johnson @wishmd
On life before Insta-fame: “When I first started, I was going outside into my driveway and taking pictures there, by myself. I soon realized I needed someone to take my photos. I would annoy my dad to come outside and throw demands at him about how the photo should look – mind you, a 65-year-old doesn’t really want to be doing this, so the quality of the photos wasn’t what I was looking for.”
On finding the perfect photographer: “I was walking on campus in my normal attire: a plain tee, Bape shorts and Adidas Ultraboosts. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder, I turn around, and in front of me was this guy I’ve never seen before but he seemed all too familiar to me. He was wearing Bape shorts as well, so I knew we both appreciated street wear. I never thought I’d really need a photographer, but such is life.”
On his changing Insta-game: “Since working with Aren I've 100% seen a change in how my followers react to the photos I post online. Prior to our meeting, I would typically get around 600 likes with maybe 5-10 comments; nothing I was particularly proud of but it was a start.” Now, the quality of his photos – and therefore follower interaction – is much better with the help of his photos and editing team.
On what he loves about the Insta world: “Instagram is much more than just a social media platform. To me, it's an outlet, a community, inspiration, desire and love. I would have to say my favorite part about Instagram is the people and the sense of closeness I'm able to have with my followers and my friends.”
The Blogger-Photographer Dream Team
Junior, Purdue University | 3,444 followers
Go-to Insta gals: Chandler Nehrt @candidlychan & Emma Honohan @emmahonohan
On how she met her team: “I met Emma via Instagram – I saw that she was also a Purdue student with a blog, so I slid into her DMs and we got lunch together. She knew Chandler and introduced me, and the rest is history!”
On what it takes to get the shot: “The number of pictures we take when we shoot together versus when I used to shoot with my mom and sister is actually so much less,” Balogun says. “We know what angles we like, we tell each other what we want, and we can get it done faster. I’ll usually get about 75 shots from a shoot, post one or two of those on Instagram, and then use several on my blog.”
On the benefits of teamwork: “When we shoot together we always give each other photo credits, and then our followers will usually increase because people see that we have similar aesthetics. I love taking pictures and actually started off taking pictures for Chandler. People saw my work with her and started reaching out and asking me to photograph sorority dances and other group events.”
On what she loves about the Insta world: “I’m an industrial engineering major, so my Instagram and blog are great stress relievers and allow me to be creative. I love being able to do both engineering and also pursue my love for fashion and photography.”
Happy Instagramming, y’all! May your lighting always be perfect and may your Insta-husband always be on top of their game.
feature photo courtesy Damisola Balogun