How To Train Your Instagram Husband

October 4, 2017

Advice For Instagram Husbands | The Elgin Avenue Blog

On Patience & Skills Required

To Be An Instagram Husband

There’s one person in my professional and personal life, who rarely gets the public credit he deserves: my Instagram husband. Also known as my boyfriend Oli.

Oli and I have been together for almost nine years, and during that time he has been The Elgin Avenue’s #1 supporter.

SO much has changed over the years since I started The Elgin Avenue in 2011, one of the major ones being Instagram.

Just last Friday I taught a workshop at the Next Blogger Network event all about refining you feed, your brand aesthetic, and how to best use Instagram for your blogging business.

No two ways about it – Instagram plays a major part in any bloggers’ business plan.

A major component of Instagramming for many, is taking outfit photos. Or ‘candid shots’ of yourself enjoying your coffee ‘just so’! Hands up if you’ve ordered a latte for the latte art alone, even if you don’t drink dairy?!

Um, ????????!

Having an Instagram Husband is not only helpful, but it’s basically an essential when it comes to getting those shots. Otherwise it’ll be a mirror/selfie situation forever more.

And, in case you’re thinking that an Instagram Husband requires a boyfriend, husband or better half, it really doesn’t!

It just requires a person in your life who is happy to step into those important shoes for you.

For years my girlfriends in London were tasked with taking a million photos of me on my iPhone, and now Oli gets the pleasure!

It’s important to not only identify and work with your Instagram Husband, but also to help them to take the best pictures of you. We’ve all fallen victim to the shot from ‘the chin up’ “whyyy?! You can now only see my triple chin?!” and the “did you really not see the dog poop by my feet?!” sitch.

Just a little Instagram Husband training can go a long way, and in a bid to help you and your chosen hubster, both Oli and I are weighing in with our top tips for capturing your Instagram Wife’s images.

Advice For Instagram Husbands | The Elgin Avenue Blog

My 5 Top Tips For

Training Up Your Instagram Husband


The Wife Takes The Photo First

More often than not your Instagram Husband is an obliging other half, or friend. They’re not a trained photographer. You can’t expect them to ‘see’ the scenario you do.

One of the most helpful things you can do is ‘take the photo first’ – without you in it. Set up the framing for the image you want to capture, and point at the screen to where you will be standing.

This helps your Instagram Hubby to know the exact framing you’re looking for.


Request 5 x The Amount Of Photos

When Ella and I team up to take Instagram photos of one another, we know to keep going until the one of us being photographed thinks they’ve got enough frames.

Oli now knows too to take about 20 photos before stopping. And sometimes even then we’ll keep shooting for more.

The tiniest detail can make an Instagram photo useable or not useable. A weird eye roll, a strange hand movement. The more options you have the better!

You can then go through and favourite your best images and delete the rest.

“You want space, calm and beauty

around your latte,

even if the reality is a

perilously perched hubby

snapping your cold coffee.”


Have References To Hand

Oli has mastered a lot of strange contortions in order to get ‘the shot’.

That overhead coffee image of your (dairy-free) latte balanced just so, with your necklace just glinting in the light?

Your Instagram Husband is legit going to have to stand on a chair or table to capture that!

In this instance it’s helpful to have specific image references to hand, so that when you ask for ‘an overhead coffee shot’ they don’t go all macro on you and zoom in real close.

You want space, calm and beauty around your latte, even if the reality is a perilously perched hubby snapping your cold coffee.

I like to save images from Instagram, or Pinterest, which show the style of photograph I’m going for. This helps Oli and I to be on the same page.


Learn Together

It’s taken years of working together to gauge what type of style of image works for my Instagram. Much of the workshop I taught at the Next Blogger Network event was about honing in on your colour scheme and evolving your Instagram style as the years pass.

Nowadays Oli and I know what type of background, colours and framing are likely to work well. We have our bank of locations we like to use, and the poses or framing which show off particular clothing items.

The dialogue is also something we’re now used to: “Mid” (waist up) “Detail” (close ups) “Scenario” (small image of me against a background). There’s no ‘set’ terminology for Instagram shooting (that we use anyway!) but you will develop your own funny lingo to communicate Instagram Wife to Husband.

We know that a cloudy day is a blessing (bright days can create harsh shadows) and to cross to the shadowy side of the street if it is in fact a bright sunny day.

You’re learning together, and it’s actually one of my favourite parts of working with Oli! We both celebrate the triumphs of a good shot, or work out the challenges of one which isn’t working.

There’s nothing better (for Oli in particular I’m sure!) than nailing that Instagram image first time round. He may even get to eat his food while it’s warm!


Be Respectful Of Your Instagram Husband’s Time And Effort

As Oli shares below, there have definitely been times when I blame a bad image on him. With my rational head on, I know that a bad image is not on him – if anything it’s on me for not having set up the scenario correctly, or following point #1 correctly.

If an image isn’t working, take the time to patiently figure out what you can change to make it better. Perhaps you need to change location, style up your outfit differently, look for shade or something else altogether.

As point #4 shares you’re working together, so make the effort to try and figure out things as a team.

Furthermore, your Instagram Husband is helping you out, so be respectful of their time and kind about their efforts.

Oli and I try to book in slots to shoot together, so that it’s not a last minute request as he’s running out the door, or just settled into watching Match of The Day.

Although Oli willingly takes my Instagram photos because he’s a darn good boyfriend, and a huge supporter of the blog, it’s important to me that his efforts are recognised and valued. If we go out shooting for Instagram together, I’ll buy us both a (hot!) coffee. Or if it’s been a particularly busy month, I’ll take us out for dinner to say a big thank you.

I wouldn’t be able to create so much of the imagery I share on Instagram without Oli (and my stand-in Instagram Hubbies form time to time!) and so it’s hugely important for me to express gratitude.

Advice For Instagram Husbands | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Oli’s 5 Top Tips

As An Instagram Husband

I asked Oli to weigh in with his advice for fellow Instagram husbands, and this is what he had to say . . . his approach is slightly different to mine ????


Don’t expect to eat food when it’s hot. A coffee cup is a prop not something to drink.


Be prepared to take the blame if a photo looks bad, regardless if your fault or not.


You are a human clothes rail.


Expect a 10 minute walk to take up to an hour.


Despite all of the above, it’s an awesome job. And it’s rewarding to be a part of the process.

What’s Your Take?

Do you have an Instagram Husband? Or are you looking to recruit one?

Do you empathise with the scenarios described above?!

In case you haven’t seen it before this spoof video still makes me laugh SO much! And a little while ago I did get the opportunity to publicly say thank you to Oli via Glamour.co.uk.

A HUGE thank you to all the Instagram Husbands out there, and especially to my own IG Hubby Oli, you are all a so very very lovely, supportive and patient!

Love, Monica x

Photos by Frances McMahon

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