I know you’d rather do anything than take another snapshot of your wife in front of a brick wall, but such is life. You’re the Instagram husband.
There’s no point recalling all the early dating signs you’ve missed out. Like the times she consistently requests for that table by the window or asks if you’ve seen her latest Instastories.
I know you never agreed to be a human selfie stick, but when she hashtagged #JackWedsJill on your wedding day, it was clear that you’ll be her Instagram husband for better or worse.
I’m not here to make you feel bad. After all, I’m a faux Instagram husband to my single friends. I understand every sigh you make when an OOTD isn’t good enough. Or the annoyed eyebrow when the lighting isn’t great (it looks fine on your iPhone). As bitter as it may be, you secretly wish her Instagram would disappear.
Of course, you don’t tell her that. She’d unfollow you.
Do you know what I admire most about Instagram husbands? Despite the teeth-grinding annoyance, you do it because it makes her happy. That’s a trait that I wish more wives would thank their Instagram husbands for.
That also brings me to the reason why I’m here: I want to make you look good. In fact, I want to help you be a better Instagram husband. With that, here are the basics.
1. Get used to the cold latte
It doesn’t matter if you requested a hot latte because you’re going to drink it cold anyway. You can’t take a sip unless she says so.
Your latte is an important prop to the flat lay of eggs benedict and the big breakfast she ordered. Besides that, it goes exceptionally well with the baby breath flowers she borrowed from the next table.
Ask any Instagrammer and they’ll say latte art is art. Since every art has its place, your latte will have theirs on her Instagram feed. It’ll be filtered with a Ludwig and cropped into a square frame perfection. Nevermind that your latte looks exactly the same as the one she had last week – it’s still goddamn artistic.
If you’re tired of cold lattes, may I suggest an aesthetically boring beverage next time? Maybe, an Americano or plain warm water? Just pray that the water doesn’t come with a lemon slice or it won’t make a difference.
2. Lend a hand
Don’t just sit there, Instagram husbands.
Grab your cutleries and get to work. Practice those hand modelling talent that you never knew you had.
For the sake of flat lays, hold your cutleries mid-air, just millimetres shy from your freshly cooked eggs benedict, and wait.
Really, that’s it.
Just pretend that you’re about to break those poached eggs with your glistening fork. Here, the same rule applies: You can’t eat it until she says so. Over time, you might need to get used to the cold brunch too.
You may find this silly, but having #handsinframe does make a difference. She can attest to that with a screenshot of her Instagram insights.
If you’re feeling experimental, vary your hand poses. You can cup the sides of your coffee with both hands or pretend to reach out to the tastiest piece of sweet potato fries. Variety matters. Hence, don’t be shy to move your hands around. No effort will go unappreciated.
3. Pretend you’re invisible
…because your wife is about to place your coffee on those pretty tiled floors.
“My friend did it once, and the picture looked so editorial,” she justifies.
Nevermind that she’ll get stares from aunties and uncles for this dining faux pas. Heck, even your mother forbids you to eat or drink off the floor.
Then again, we all have our photography preferences. What do they know about Instagram anyway? Do they not know that #ihavethisthingwithfloors exists? Do they not know that #coffeeonthefloor gets more likes than #coffeeporn?
So when she alternates the latte between a wooden chair (for #coffeeonthechair) and the window (for #lattegram), shrug your shoulders. Pretend that it doesn’t bother you. It’s truly nothing out of the ordinary.
Remember, you’re invisible. It’s all for the ‘gram. If there’s no picture, it didn’t happen.
4. Think outside the box
When it comes to finding Instagrammable backgrounds, the average Instagram husband would take the lazy route. They’ll point at a brick wall or some cheapass mural and be done with it.
But, not you. You’re the better Instagram husband.
An Instagram husband 2.0 goes the extra mile. They’re a closeted Yu Tsai who is always critical about how a photo shoot should be. There’s no real magic in concrete walls these days. It’s repetitive and unoriginal.
So think outside the box.
For potential backgrounds, seek out an old sundry shop (snap when the tauke isn’t looking) or the rolling shutters of an antique shop. Don’t limit yourself to these options alone. Hunt down a rusty spiral staircase, find a weather-beaten wall and look out for Peranakan-style windows. If you see a vintage Volkswagen driving down the street, chase it!
There’s also a gold star for any Instagram husband who can find pink neon signages.
So, go get ‘em!
5. The devil is in the detail
Only Instagram newbies would think an OOTD is a point-and-shoot experience. Oh no, sir. It’s far from it. It’s always an OTT experience.
Out of the 46 snapshots you’ll take, only one makes it to her ‘gram. It’s serious business, and I’m sure you’re great with the head-to-toe basics. A full body shot of her twirling in her new dress from FashionValet? You’ve done it all before, no big deal.
The next step is painfully time-consuming because the devil is in the details.
Think product shots like the ones you see in Esquire or GQ. Basically, you need to capture close-up shots of the other accessories on her.
Snap a photo of her YSL quilted shoulder bag, get a beauty shot of her eyelash extensions, and focus on her Daniel Wellington watch. Don’t forget the brand new Nike Tanjun sneakers you bought for her birthday (this might take a while because there are 41 foot poses to do). The more shots you take, the better her Instacollage will be.
6. Compliment her
Of course, she knows how great she looks. Everyone looks good in cat-eye shades.
However, there’s no harm in showering your woman with compliments. It can be as effortless as saying, “Your curves really show when you pose this way”, “You look cute in those sneakers” or “Look at you! So pretty!”.
She would probably point out a pimple on her forehead or obvious muffin top but never let it discourage you. Behind these insecurities, women appreciate positive praises like this, especially when we don’t feel pretty or good enough. We may not appear like we acknowledge it, but those compliments secretly stay with us throughout the day.
Going around town and taking pictures can be tiring. So my final advice is to have fun.
I wish more Instagram husbands would enjoy taking pictures of the woman they love. Despite the very public nature of Instagram, picture-taking remains a truly personal experience for couples.
Just you, her and a brick wall.
If you look closely, there’s only one obvious difference between an average Instagram husband and a better one.
The better Instagram husband is always part of the experience.
For more articles by Cheryl, read The Modern Dating Struggles Every Introvert Can Relate To, and One-Sided Love: The Stages of Having a Crush on Your Colleague.