The term Instagram Husband has become an amusing catchphrase to describe husbands that go to great lengths to help their partners get that perfect shot for Instagram. Credit: GiphyAnd it holds true for me too, to an extent. Whenever we travel, my husband Faizal is always kind enough to take a picture of me and stand by patiently while I look at the photo and go “umm..can we try and take another one?”. He also politely holds off from eating food if I want to snap a picture first and will offer to use his phone (which has a superior camera, or so I’m told) to take the perfect portrait shot I didn’t even know I wanted.But curiously, while he’s quick to take pictures of me, and despite being okay with taking pictures of us together, he is supremely reluctant to have me take photos of him alone. And thinking about this, you have to wonder - while Instagram Husbands are a thing, you don’t hear as much about Instagram Wives or the ladies taking beautiful shots of their husbands.But I think that needs to change - so I’m here to make the case for why we should all to take more photos of our partners, especially as we travel! Here are 5 reasons to embrace your role as an Instagram Wife when travelling.
1.Document your travel companion (and the person you love!) throughout your journeysTravelling with your partner isn’t just about having a companion for your journey, but experiencing things together. And while it’s awesome to document yourself in a beautiful new setting and have someone on hand to help you do so, you bear the equally important role to help document them as well, whether they explicitly ask you to or otherwise.Despite Faizal’s reluctance to have his photo taken, that hasn’t stopped me from doing so. My phone contains a treasure trove of pictures I’ve taken of him solo, from when we met all the way to now, as we live and travel together as a married couple. His lack of cooperation is often evident - I have various shots of him looking mildly annoyed to other shots of him straight up blocking his face from the camera.
Faizal being an uncooperative subject. Thanks for that husband!But I still take them anyway, not just because I love him and think he’s cute (which he is, not gonna lie ?), but also because I want to visually document the moments he has exploring a new place or eating good food, for both our references. I like seeing him experience things, and I want to record it for posterity. Which is why I will continue to sneak burst shots of him (resulting in my phone containing 20 identical pictures of him taking a bite of food at that hipster cafe we visited), despite his objections.
2. They’ll thank you for their photos laterSo remember how I mentioned that my husband doesn’t like having his photo taken? Well, funnily enough, every time it comes to choosing a profile picture for some platform or other, guess who’s happy that they have a nice photo of them taken by yours truly ?Because the truth of the matter is this: everyone likes having a good photo of themselves. And sometimes it takes the eye of the person who knows and loves someone to be able to coax that good photo out of them.Credit: @pdoryp on InstagramTrue story: my husband’s profile photo for his Whatsapp profile, social media profiles AND every employment pass he’s ever had is a picture of him I shot while we were out having a meal together in KL that I essentially had to cajole him to smile for in the first place.
Check out that grin! You're welcome, Faizal
3. Capture your memories together through your eyesI firmly believe it’s important to take pictures of your partner while you travel because it captures a facet of your journey through your eyes with your partner as the subject, which is a unique point of view that can’t be duplicated. Taking a picture of someone is a lot different than say, taking a selfie together, in that you have more control is how your frame the shot and how you want to include your partner in it.Credit: @rui_camera on InstagramI am by no means a great photographer, but despite that, some of my favourite photos of my travels with Faizal are the ones I took of him, like the one below from when we travelled to Koh Samui. We were at a quaint little coffee shop, having iced coffees on a hot day after visiting the Big Buddha Temple. The cafe had a balcony where we were sitting that looked out to the sea, and there was an ocean breeze cooling us down as we sipped our coffees and occasionally chatted with the friendly shop owner. At that moment I think we were both just feeling happy to be there and in each other’s company. It was a lovely moment, and I get to relive it every time I look at this candid photo of Faizal looking out wistfully at the sea.
4. Understand what they go through as your IG husbandAs the one who usually has our photos taken, it’s always a good idea to put ourselves in our partner’s shoes every once in a while and extend the same effort into taking pictures of them. It’s a good reminder of what they go through when we ask them to take the same photo of us for the fifth time, or when they have to crouch in some odd position to get that crucial angle that makes you look like you’re holding the Eiffel Tower.Credit: @nanako.41 on InstagramThere are two clear moments in our history together where Faizal actually requested I take a photo of him alone. One was when we went fishing in Banting, Selangor and he caught this huge grouper. The other was when we visited the 3D Art Museum in Langkawi. I was surprised, amused and only too happy to oblige in both cases.
That’s Faizal and the humongous fish he caught (that we later cooked and ate!)At the end of the day, we should never take for granted that our partners kindly oblige us in taking our photos, and offer to return the favour ?Credit: @britster_ on Instagram
5. You have the opportunity to capture candid shots and learn more about themYou’d be surprised how taking a photo of a loved one can help you see them in a new light. And oftentimes, the most revealing photos are the candid shots, when you weren’t expecting it. There’s a time and a place for posed pictures (which are great!), but it’s also worth remembering that as your husband’s partner and travel companion, you have the opportunity to capture them in moments that are impromptu and truly genuine.Credit: @_jojie_ on InstagramSome of my favourite photos of Faizal are blurry shots of him looking towards the camera mid-laugh because he had given up trying to dodge my picture-taking. There’s another favourite one where I managed to capture him trying to sneak up on me with a dinosaur hand puppet (we were in the kids' section of an IKEA) with the most mischievous look on his face that makes him look like a 10-year-old boy, rather than a 30-year-old man. There are others that feature him engrossed by something else, not even realising I’m snapping a photo. I love these photos because they’re visual reminders of why I fell in love with him in the first place, and they’re the reason I continue to try and take them.
A collage of Faizal in various stages of camera-readinessSo I’m all for taking candid shots of your partners, which I think can be especially interesting when you travel. Being in foreign places often reveals a special kind of vulnerability as you navigate through unfamiliar places - being there to document your partner through these experiences may often reveal insights about what they truly love to do when they travel, as well as how they deal with the great and sometimes challenging moments while travelling.
Take candid shots of your husband while he's engrossed - like this picture of Mikhail studying artwork (very) intently at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
So there you have it, folks. Five reasons why I think we should all start switching the lens around to face our husbands (if we haven’t already!). No matter what your level of photography skills are, there are some beautiful, thoughtful pictures of the people we love that only we can take and can fully appreciate ?