Has 'Instagram Husband' Gone from Punchline to Job Title?

Has 'Instagram Husband' Gone from Punchline to Job Title?

Behind every attractive woman on Instagram is the “Instagram Husband,” the person reluctantly taking their significant others’ photos repeatedly to get it just right for the ‘gram. However, whereas in 2015, a viral video made the term a social media joke, has influencer culture made it an actual job?

In a recent article in The Atlantic, the men (and women) behind the camera talk about how the role of chief social media photographer in their relationships has evolved. In one case, a husband shifted away from his job at a tech start-up to basically manage the business end of his wife’s role as an Instagram influencer. The photographers all described the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into a carefully coordinated shoot for Instagram, and many described the pursuit as serious business. Some even gained enough of a following as Instagram husbands to be influencers themselves, albeit on a smaller scale.

Have we reached peak madness with Instagram and influencer culture? It’s now come to the point where people are faking brand-sponsored posts just to look like influencers, and where many so-called influencers are buying fake followers that it’s hard to tell where real influence ends and the smoke and mirrors begins.

My own experience when working with influencers has been an overinflated sense of confidence and an underwhelming amount of professionalism. At Canon, we hired influencers who ostensibly used our products for many experience events. Invariably, I’d see them posting from our events with cell phones where they should have been using DSLRs and wireless transfer. In all cases, they didn't care when I called them out on it.

In another instance, I was training a group of influencers hired for our event to use our app, when one raised a hand and complained that they couldn't find it. Turns out she was spelling “Canon” wrong in the search box; the company’s name was written on the shirt she was wearing. It’s quite possible that influencer culture is the next tech bubble to burst, if these experiences are any indication.

Is being an Instagram husband a legit job? Would you leave your job to pursue something like this full-time? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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14 Comments

I'll be ready for influencers and their enablers to go away any time now.

JetCity Ninja's picture

"influencer" is second in stupid to "disruptor."

the first is just a wannabe who thinks they hold more power than they do to change people's perceptions. even other showoffs don't like a showoff and it's certainly not a business. the second is someone completely ignorant as to why laws exist and is too arrogant to believe that law also applies to them, originally designed to prevent them screwing others.

it's good to challenge the status quo, but what's being produced today are the adult of equivalent of the 2-year old that just asks "why" repeatedly.

just like the first internet bubble, where banks would throw money at anything with ".com" in their name even when they had no clue how to monetize the property, this too will burst when businesses realize how much they've spent on marketing with no returns. the longer this goes, the more it should drive home that too many corporations today are making more money than they can reasonably spend and their employees are the real victims. imagine if all the money they're pissing away on "influencers" was spent on higher pay and healthcare for their employees or taxes they should be paying to benefit the communities they don't serve?

Michael Jin's picture

As distasteful as it sounds, some people are genuine "influencers". The social media thing has blown it up, but it's always been around. What was (is) Oprah if not an influencer? Sure, social media has diluted the perception with people trying to become the next big thing, but it can't be denied that there are people who can, indeed, alter public perception with a tweet or instagram post.

JetCity Ninja's picture

there's already a word for that: shill.

salesperson also applies.

"influencer," as it's currently used, has become a falsehood. everyone but the most beta is an influencer in some way or form. it's one thing to recommend things, using Oprah as an example as you have, but the current application of "influencer" is a perversion of the term. to conflate the two forces a logical leap of magical proportions. one makes recommendations based on experience, the other is just a narcissistic shill. oprah is an influencer, tits mcgee shilling protein powder in a bikini on instagram is not. #LivingMyBestLife

before "influencer," they were called "mommy bloggers," women with blogs who may or may not have children that would attempt to extort free shit from companies they like with threats they'll talk shit to their 100 followers of their blog or facebook page. yeah, so extortion is a form of influence, i suppose.

a disruptor is a romulan energy weapon, but you wont see me conflating proper usage with the perversion that word has become.

but my point was about the current application of the word, the legitimacy of those who use it to describe themselves, and not it's definition, hence why i included the current use of "disruptor" into my opinion. two things we no longer teach our children in american society: look both ways before crossing the street and nobody likes a showoff. likes are the current opiate, narcissism is the delivery mechanism and shilling is the currency.

now get off my lawn you little shits. </oldmansarcasm>

"Behind every attractive woman on Instagram is the “Instagram Husband,” the person reluctantly taking their significant others’ photos repeatedly to get it just right for the ‘gram."

That may be the saddest sentence I have ever read, and I've read Ann Frank's diary.

Philipp Pley's picture

I've earned decent money with my Instagram account for doing 'influencer work'.
Personally I think it's a terrible investment with the returns on most campaigns being very poor. Also I despise the term "influencer"; I think it just sounds sinister, manipulative and dumb.

These jobs are also awful because your client only cares about your audience, as opposed to your ability and vision to take photos: these jobs in turn pay less but are far more rewarding.

However, if the offers (very lucrative mind you!) drop in your lap and it's very easily earned money, of course you agree to partake.
I reinvest all the money into buying photography gear to take the photos I'm truly passionate about.

I expect the hype to die off sooner or later for the most part when brands realise they are wasting money, often even paying fraudsters. Instagram brings out the worst in people.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Maybe stop calling them influencers to start with. What exactly do they influence? :D

Mike Schrengohst's picture

Buying crap that nobody needs

Mike Schrengohst's picture

Instagram was a great idea when it started - now it has been prostituted for the all mighty dollar.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Read the title.
Said to myself, "I sure fuckin hope not."
Read the article.
Am now derpressed.

JetCity Ninja's picture

to answer the title's question: no. the husband is still a punchline and their wives are a joke.

'Influencer'? That's so funny!

Piotr Borowiec's picture

Well... to their defence: have you tried using the wireless transfer on Canons? ;p

John Friese's picture

This is just sad, what are these people trying to prove? They're already married, don't single people do this for attention?