I'm so picky with photos, lighting and angles that if you aren't legally bound to me by marriage, you'll probably run screaming. I'll be the first person to brag about my husband's near-superhuman levels of patience and dedication to helping me get perfect pictures — but as much as I love Vagner, I realize that not everyone has a spouse on standby who's always down to take pictures, help with captions, proofread blog posts and attend events. I'll always jokingly call him an Instagram husband, but you don't have to be married to take great pictures! Anyone can be your Instagram husband. I polled dozens of bloggers ahead of this post — while the overwhelming majority rely on their significant others, others use friends, family, and other bloggers to take their blogging shots. Here's how to get the folks in your life on board.
1. Know What You Want
Unless you're lucky enough to have a professional photographer at the ready, the person taking your pictures probably won't be able to give you much guidance with lighting and posing. It's important to do as much work as humanly possible beforehand — respect the time of the person who's helping you out! I'll go as far as posing in the mirror before a shoot so that I know exactly what I'm going for and what looks good.
2. Reward Them For Their Time
No one likes being taking advantage of, and you should be considerate of the people around you — even if they're your relatives. Vagner shoots all of my photos, and the tradeoff is that we have extra money to spend when I land campaigns — we paid for a good portion of my Europe trip Before I actually monetized my blog, I'd surprise him with his favorite Starbucks drink or a movie with him (I hate movies). If a friend is taking pictures of me, I'll always offer to make it up to them however I can.
And if someone genuinely hates taking pictures of you, it's going to be a terrible experience for both of you. My parents both have no idea how to use a DSLR and get impatient with me pretty quickly. I have friends whose parents take their pictures, but if I tried to do that, we'd go nuts! Respect the other person's boundaries, and save up to hire a professional photographer when you can to give your loved ones a break.
3. Learn How To Use A Tripod
Even if you have someone willing to take your pictures, they'll inevitably have days where they're tired, or sick, or sick of you. Invest money in a tripod and a self-timer remote and you'll be able to take photos on your own. (I only spent $25 on my tripod and remote.) All of the above pictures were taken with a tripod, although I've barely scratched the surface of its usefulness. My girl Josie Sanders has an e-book all about how to use a tripod that I highly recommend — it's perfect for people who want to become more independent in content creation.
4. Connect With Other Bloggers + Creatives
I usually don't shoot with other bloggers for the reasons mentioned in the first paragraph, but I have formed some sweet friendships with other local influencers and we'll occasionally shoot together. In general, I think that working with other bloggers is a great strategy and can help you meet people in your city, too. I typically only shoot with people I know well and use it as an excuse to hang out, but I have nothing against shooting with strangers! If you're a blogger, who takes your pictures?
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.