They say that behind every great man is a great woman, but an updated version of that saying might go: "behind every flawless street-style Instagram photo is an exhausted photographer breaking their back to get the perfect angle". Or something.
That is the life of the so-called Instagram husband – those poor unrecognised people behind stunning Instagram accounts.
This beleaguered group have their own viral video, and a Tumblr blog dedicated to their struggle.
Businesses have also seized upon the phenomenon, with Task Rabbit recently offering Instagram Husband and Wifey services during New York Fashion Week. And snaps of Kanye West and Jay-Z taking photos of Kim Kardashian and Beyonce have shown that anyone can be a victim.
Meet the stars of Instagram
Meet the stars of Instagram
1/10 Charlie Barker
Barker’s following is greater than the combined circulations of Hello! and OK! magazines
2/10 Charlie Barker
Barker says: ‘I wanted to get a tattoo on the palm of my hand and because it was painful I was like, 'what do I believe in enough to get tattooed on my hand for the rest of my life?', and I was like – Hello Kitty’
3/10 Charlie Barker
With a photographic glimpse – or at least suggestion – of a life of colour and attitude, Barker has earned the sort of fame that only exists on Instagram
4/10 Brian Whittaker
Sixteen-year-old Whittaker has a quarter of a million followers
5/10 Brian Whittaker
Whittaker’s style and physique make him popular, but conversations with girls typically end when they ask his age
6/10 Brian Whittaker
An image of Whittaker's dog on Instagram. Whittaker says he has made new friends in real life, and thousands more on Instagram, many of whom he messages
7/10 Olivia Knight-Butler
Twenty-year-old Knight-Butler has 15,000 followers
8/10 Olivia Knight-Butler
Knight-Butler calls her account a channel, and fills it with fashion and lifestyle shots
9/10 Olivia Knight-Butler
Knight-Butler says: ‘There are followers who like my photos without fail, and they're mostly younger girls who want to know about my life.’
10/10 Olivia Knight-Butler
Knight-Butler had eating problems when she was 15 and 16. A need to be best at everything bled into social media and she later had to decide if Instagram was part of the problem or solution
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“It also goes to show that no matter how big you are, you'll still need to be a good Instagram husband occasionally,” says Jeff Houghton, a TV presenter who lives in Springfield, in the US state of Missouri, who is among the most famous of Instagram husbands.
He lives with his wife Michelle Houghton, who is a school counsellor and has over 3,000 followers on the app.
Houghton stresses that anyone can be an Instagram husband, and the tongue-in-cheek name isn’t a comment on gender politics.
“An Instagram husband refers to anybody who has to begrudgingly take pictures of their significant other.”
He adds that he and the team - half of whom were women - who made the video for his show the Mystery Hour wanted to “poke fun” at people who take a lot of pictures in a way that they were in on the joke, too.
“I know plenty of Instagram husbands that are the women behind the camera," he says.
Regardless of the poor soul's gender, being an Instagram Husband sounds like a dangerous business.
“The most extraordinary moment I've had as an Instagram husband was making the video. In the scene on the stairs when she says, 'Higher babe, higher,' I was on the rail of the staircase slipping and nearly falling. I wasn't wearing proper Instagram husband footwear that day.”
So, how exactly does he take his amazing photos?
“The way I've learned to take amazing pics is to just take a lot of them. If she has 30 to choose from instead of two, she's more likely to find one that works. It's all a numbers game.”
“We've worked out a good system as a couple. I'll indulge for a while, but if she wants to really take a while getting a perfect shot, she needs to get her sister involved. She gets it more.”Reuse content