How to be an Instagram Boyfriend
Updated: May 17
I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise with my girlfriend when I witnessed one of the hardest things a man can experience: a woman he cannot please with any photo he takes of her.
We sat in the jacuzzi, enjoying our pina coladas, when another couple came in. The girl was wearing a red string bikini that worked exceptionally well with her body type (she also had a very distinct small scar on the side of her face). She handed her cell phone to her boyfriend and asked for a photo.
The girlfriend was sitting on the edge of the jacuzzi, with her legs in the water, while the boyfriend was taking the photo. She was square to the camera, legs bent, and her hands on her lap. He had the camera at the height of her knees.
The boyfriend snapped a photo on the phone, and we can all guess what happened after he showed her the photo…she was “unhappy” with it.
He took another image of her in the same pose from the same angle, and…she was still unhappy.
This process was repeated for seven minutes while my girlfriend and I watched.
At one point, my girlfriend looked at me and said, “Why dont you go over and help them out”.
Royal Caribbean Instagram Photographer
I am ballsy, loud, and extroverted when I throw on my photographer hat… but by no means am I going to a random couple on a jacuzzi in a Royal Caribbean ship to take a photo of one of them claiming to be a professional photographer.
So we just sat there waiting…until the boyfriend gave up. The girlfriend tried taking a few selfies; if I were to take a wild guess, she probably picked one of those to post.
So instead of being able to save the day by taking over a mini model shoot in a Royal Caribbean jacuzzi… I decided to write a blog post on how to be an “Instagram Boyfriend.”
The first step is to be highly supportive, positive, and excited by the photos. The only words out of your mouth after taking the photo should be, “Damn, you look hot,” or something like that.
Even if you know it is not the best shot of your significant other, your only job is to be their hype person. The reason to be positive and turned on by your partner is that they will reflect that energy.
Whenever I shoot with any of my models/clients, I am extremely supportive and their cheerleader. I provide constant positive feedback to my clients (even if it is not the best shot).
My clients reflect the energy I share with them.
If I were to be saying negative comments, they would reflect negative energy and most likely cause the shoot to go down the drain.
So we can apply this to being an Instagram Boyfriend. Be your significant other’s hype person and cheerleader. Let them know how beautiful and sexy they are!
Now I cannot guarantee that this will solve all your problems of being an Instagram Boyfriend, but it should take care of half the battle.
Portrait Mode is an Instagram Boyfriend's Best Friend
Let us look at the tool of choice for the Instagram boyfriend…a cell phone.
All modern phones have a “Portrait” mode built into the camera app. That should be the only mode you use when you take any images of your significant other for their Instagram.
Portrait mode creates a “fake” depth of field which causes the background of your image to be blurry. It gives separation from your subject and the background, which generally makes the image flattering and professional looking.
I wouldn't use portrait mode if something was going on in the background that is important to the post.
Next, let us talk about the angles and perspective.
To keep it simple, whatever is closest to the camera will appear the biggest. So if you are shooting level to your girlfriend’s knees…then her knees will appear the biggest and the first thing you see in the image.
Imagine a laser coming out of the camera. Whatever it hits first is going to be the first thing you see. Try to keep this to whatever the image's focus (face, chest, butt…you get where I am going).
We also have angles. You can easily make your significant other look taller by shooting from a lower angle or shorter from a higher angle. Play around with it and see what works best for your image.
So let’s say you take three of the same photos of your significant other, hype them up, and show them the image, and they are not excited about it.
If you are going to attempt to take another, DO NOT TAKE THE SAME FUCKING SHOT! (Excuse my French). If she did not like the first three of her sitting at the edge with her legs closed, square to the camera, she probably will not like the next ten.
We can touch on the most challenging part of this: posing. The first rule in posing your significant other who constantly posts photos of themselves is to allow them to do their thing.
If you run into our jacuzzi friend’s issue with taking the same photo and not having any luck, this is when I would suggest different ideas.
Unless you are doing a close shot because your significant other is trying to show off cleavage, you should avoid shooting them with their shoulders square.
Having your shoulders square to the camera gives off a powerful and masculine look (unless that is the look they are going for).
Instead, have them turn on an angle to the camera. This slims out their body and can make other features more prominent.
Try to have them either cross their legs by the ankles. This will help create extra curves in the body without making anything look too awkward.
When I work with clients and models, I always try to find ways to create triangles with their bodies. For example, an arm straight down on the side is not very interesting. Instead, have them play with their outfit, touch their leg, shoulder, hair, etc.
How To Pose Your Instagram Girlfriend
So how would I have fixed the shot of this girl in her red bikini on the cruise?
First, if she only wanted to sit in the jacuzzi, I would have her twist her body and put her on an angle.
This would show off the string bikini and highlight other parts of her body rather than making everything look flat.
I would be mindful of her scar. Does she want it in the photo or not? This could change my pose and direction. If she wants to have it in the photo, have her turn so that side of the face shows, if not, do the opposite.
Next, I would have her cross her legs by the ankles to create curves in her body.
For the arm that is closest to the camera, I would have her take her hand and lightly grab the string bottom and pull up to create tension.
The other arm would lightly touch the neck, hair, or shoulder.
Both arms, now bent, should create two triangles with the image, adding dimension to the shot.
Finally, I would have her look in different directions and take multiple shots to see what I like the most.
If I wanted to do something creative, I would lock the rotate feature on the phone and hold it upside down, close to the water. This should also create a reflection of the “model” while making the shot that much more interesting.
To recap, being an Instagram boyfriend is a challenging job. Remember to be highly supportive of your significant other and enjoy the process.
It is about the memories you have together and the fun little moments you create.
If your significant other is still unhappy with the images, have her change the angle of her shots, make her play with her outfit, or try different things. If she does not like the shot, change it up and have fun with it! But if you want to hire a professional to handle the shots, please contact me from ETG Photos to handle all of your couple, and Instagram needs!