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Photo by from Pexels

What is an Instagram husband?

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published May 31, 2019

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Instagram husbands: The men behind the sultry beach shots, candid coffee sipping posts and iconic hair flip photos. 

In an era where social media is no longer the place to haphazardly post pictures of the mundane happenings of everyday life, the effort going into maintaining a pristine reel of Insta-worthy posts is at an all-time high.

To achieve social media success (we’re talking likes, comments and followers) takes more than just the perfect makeup, outfit and location, it requires a skilled photographer too.

Insert the Instagram husband. They initially derived from the need to have someone around, usually a spouse or boyfriend, to take pictures to be posted on to social media. As in; “Honey, would you mind taking a snap of me and the girls on the dance floor? Okay, thank you!”. I’m sure you've seen it before, men practically lying on the ground, cell phone in hand, trying to catch the perfect shot of their girlfriend basking in the sun, back arched as waves lap at their toes. 

The term ‘Instagram Husband’ was coined when a video of the same name was posted by Jeff Houghton on YouTube. He started off by saying, “Behind every cute girl on Instagram is a guy like me.” It’s a humorous take on the reality of being a partner to an Instagram-obsessed woman. It seems ridiculous, or perhaps rather endearing, depending on how you look at it. Regardless, in today’s online culture, they’ve transformed from being just men with smartphones into people who play an integral part in businesses. 

With the rise of social media stars, now dubbed ‘Influencers’, the role of the Instagram Husband is far more complex than just pointing and shooting. You may not think it, but posting pictures online is seen as a job with potential for garnering a significant amount of revenue for the poster. If you’re mindful of reading photo captions, you’re probably aware of hashtags such as ‘#ad’ or ‘#spon’. Basically, that bottle of sparkling water sitting casually to the left of the girl in the beach shot isn't just there by chance. It was most likely paid for to feature by the same brand sponsoring the picture. 

Brands of all kinds utilise people with a following, usually of celebrity status, to promote their products and services. From assisting in staging beautiful curated photos upon request to carrying the next outfit change as well as editing the final picture, Instagram Husbands aren’t just following a trendy looking girl around all day, they’re working too.

The concept of hiring someone professional to take all your social media pictures for you is actually pretty great. It eliminates the need to awkwardly ask strangers, only to look through your camera roll afterwards and find either really terrible pictures or that you've been pranked and instead have fifteen selfies of some random person on your phone - not at all amusing. For New York Fashion Week, an app called TaskRabbit that assists with the sourcing of everyday services (cleaning for instance), launched the Instagram Husband feature that enabled attendees to be hooked up with their own IG Hubby. All week long, you could have all your #OOTD’s (Outfit-Of-The-Day’s) professionally snapped and be assisted with sample returns. Evidence that the role of the Instagram Husband is expanding and becoming more and more vital, especially for Influencers attending high profile events. 

Of course, the job isn’t limited to males, anyone with the required skills can play the role of the Instagram Husband. For us regular Instagrammers though, who still prefer to use the app as a way to share bits and pieces of our lives, anyone can be your Instagram Husband. A friend, colleague or family member, will certainly do… just don’t expect them to quite as patient. 

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