13 In Women Now

Blogging buddies and the men who love them

I’m seeing it play out in my mind’s eye: two couples go on vacation together. Not just any two compatible couples: Instagram couples. The wives have fashion blogs and Instagram accounts, and the husbands have the willingness to snap outfit photos with an iPhone.

Everyone knows the drill, no one rolls their eyes or gets upset when the wives spot a great background for a photo. She’ll say, “Wait, wait, can you take a picture?” In synch, iPhones come out of back pockets, women smile from different angles, thirty pics are taken, they move on, and the conversation continues right where it left off.

Fantasy or reality?

Susan’s Instagram: susan_unefemme

Meeting for lunch in Petaluma with Instagram perks

This fantasy got started when Susan Blakey, author of the popular blog une femme d’un certain age sent me a message that she and her husband Doug were coming up from LA to visit Wine Country and could we meet?

Absolutely! I’d spent time with Susan in L.A., but I’d never met her husband. I suggested Della Fattoria in Petaluma, a favorite of ours for the food and eclectic interior design. Then there’s the fact that Della is near American Alley, an alley lined with public art on one side, providing perfect backdrops for photos. I know what impresses visiting bloggers!

Blogging buddies
Russ, Me, Susan, and Doug in front of Della Fattoria

After a long delicious lunch and a stop for the boys to get pie at the Petaluma Pie Company, we headed for the alley.

Bloggers need backgrounds

One thing bloggers need for their blogs is lots of pictures. And it’s great if those pictures have interesting backgrounds. Susan found a spot in the alley to stand in front of. She assumed her position and Doug assumed his.

Photo by Doug

Doug snapped this picture of Susan in front of the yellow/blue-green wall. Well, not just one photo because we need about thirty photos before narrowing the field to one we’ll actually publish on the blog.

Photo of Doug and Susan by Russ

Russ thought that piece of the brick wall was worth some shots, too. He snapped away.

Photo of Russ and Brenda by Doug

Finding that in-house photographer is harder than you think

Everyone assumes Russ takes all my photos. They’ll say, “Oh, you’re so lucky. You have a photographer in the house.” I hardly know how to respond because the truth is, I’ll only ask him if no one else is around and I’m flat out desperate.

You see, there’s a big difference between taking thirty quick shots on an iPhone versus his preferred way to take pictures, which is in a controlled setting with no one around and unlimited time. He gets out his real camera and changes out lenses so he can get a closeup of a dewdrop on a Forget-me-not. He prefers flowers and bugs over outfits.

I can see the pain on his face when I ask him if he can take some quick outfit pics for the blog. I’m not sure he even says yes. He mumbles, “Where’s your phone?” I’m sure he’s muttering plenty of things under his breath. Even if his lips aren’t moving, I can tell. Of course, then I tense up and get anxious. Under my breath–even if my lips aren’t moving–I’m saying, “I’ll never ask him again.” Okay, maybe that’s as bad as it gets.


Blogging buddies check for the details

No one could be as particular about clothing details as I am. I mean, it’s my profession. Russ is fiddling around with the exposure but is he paying attention to the collar being up or down, the sleeves being straight, or the jacket being even across the shoulders?

After several shots, I realize the sleeve was tucked under on one side of my jacket. Oh, well. We’ll move on.

When another blogger is doing it, it feels less awkward

I’ve used this part of the alley several times. I love the vivid colors and so did Susan.

Photo by Doug
Photo by Russ

We’re doing this in public places so of course, other people will be walking around. I always have my eye out for that. I don’t want people to have to stop and wait for us.

This lovely couple is an example. They stopped and waited while Russ was taking my picture. I said to them, “Gee, we should be taking pictures of you. You’re such a stylish couple.” I asked them if I could and got a nod from the bearded gentleman.

Aren’t they a smart couple?

Another street, another Instagram backdrop

We got through the alley and Susan wanted to see if Uber Optics was open. We walked over there but it wasn’t. She’ll have to come back again, right? She spotted the perfect pair of sunglasses in the window with her name on them.

That’s when I realized we didn’t have a picture of the two of us together. Russ got the assignment. We crossed the street to another popular Instagram backdrop.

Blogging buddies
Bloggers understand each other
Blogging buddies
Bloggers forever

It’s easy to be all smiles when you’re with your buddy. I’m so happy to have gotten to know Susan and now her husband too. I truly think our next step is a 3-day weekend somewhere where we can tell more stories, have more great food, see interesting places, and yes, find backgrounds for photos for our blogs.

To see what Susan will be wearing for the rest of her week in the Wine Country, here’s her travel packing blog post. And to see a hilarious YouTube video about the trials of Instagram husbands, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFzKi-o4rHw

I hope you’ll check out Susan’s blog. She recently had a color and style analysis by folks at Red Leopard in London. I love hearing her talk about it. I think you will too. Doug was there taking the photos.

So there you have it: a behind-the-scenes look at bloggers and the men in front of them with the iPhones.

Do you have buddies that you’ve met through your work or hobbies? Isn’t it fun to have a secret language that you don’t have to explain to others–they just get it? Tell me about those relationships of yours!


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  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 6:33 am

    So much fun seeing you two ladies having fun together. I love Susan’s new look since she had her colors done!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 6:33 am

    I enjoyed this post from both your perspective and Susan’s. I followed the link to watch the video – so funny!

  • Reply
    Linda B
    October 22, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Sweet to see the two of you, and the four of you, together. I have been following Susan for a long time now, and it is fun to see two such inspiring women actually meet up!

    The “husband dynamic” is one reason I have never started a blog myself, though I used to think I would. I do occasionally (as in once or twice a year!) ask my husband to document my modeling of finished knitting projects, so I can post that on Ravelry, and that’s enough of that sort of experience for me.

    I have many people I met through my work. . . and some I’ve met through the world of knitters. It is fun to meet up after only corresponding on-line for years!

  • Reply
    Susan B
    October 22, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Brenda, you’ve captured this so well! It was such fun to see you and I really do hope we can manage to get together soon!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Thank you for making me start out my day with a smile. I really enjoyed this post. I was just in your area on my way back to Portland from my 50th high school reunion in Danville. I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, then we ate at John Ash and drove to Timber Cove for three days of relaxation. I lived in Santa Rosa for three years in the 1980’s and miss fabulous the weather and the dramatic coast. From your photos, I can tell that Petaluma has evolved nicely.

  • Reply
    Irene Greenberg
    October 22, 2019 at 7:06 am

    I have been following both of your blogs or several years and look forward to all of your insightful posts. My husband and I were in the Napa area this August an fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the wonderful sights. Seeing you and your husbands enjoying yourselves and each other brings back so many memories of our own adventures there. Cheers to you both!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Lovely post! Just discovered you thanks to Susan’s post today. I live in Santa Rosa and it’s fun to see how you four spent your day in Petaluma. And it was insightful to learn about the photographer husbands who are such good sports.

    Thanks for inspiring us! I

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    OMG!!! Husbands of Instagram .

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    First of all, I love the back drops for the pics! They are beautiful. I had a good belly laugh at your description of Russ’s response to taking 30 photos of an outfit for the blog! I was not sure if you had him confused with my husband who would have taken the pictures grumbling all the way-you definitely would have seen his lips moving. It’s wonderful that work has allowed you to develop friendships with other women. It’s so satisfying when you connect with someone! It’s energizing and makes you open to adventures!

  • Reply
    Sandra Sallin - Apart from My Art
    October 22, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Oh you so captured the truth of it all. My husband is also my photographer. I love that alley. If it were in LA it would be mobbed. So glad you both got together. Love you both. Go bless out husbands.

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Following Augustine
    October 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I love this post… two of my favourite bloggers having fun together and a glimpse at how they do what they do! My husband is the photographer for my Fashion Friday posts. Until I added that feature to my blog three and a half years ago, he’d seldom had a camera in his hands, but he does a pretty good job. He hasn’t yet learned to let me know if I need to straighten my collar or untuck something though. I love the interesting backdrops in that alley! I’d love to find more interesting places to take my photos, especially in the winter months when we’re freezing under a deep layer of snow here in western Canada.

  • Reply
    Nicole K
    October 22, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Love seeing two of my favorite bloggers together! So much style in one place.

    Russ sounds exactly like my husband. So much more interested in his “real” camera and bugs or leaves than taking outfit photos. I don’t have many reasons to take outfit photos, but my niece bought me a cute jacket recently and wanted a picture of me in it to see how I styled it. You’d think I was asking him to paint the entire house! Loud sighs. Dissatisfaction with the light, the place I was standing, etc. On the plus side, he is skilled and has a great eye for composition. So, it’s a gift when he deigns to snap my photo for something silly. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 28, 2019 at 7:11 am

    I hope you are safe from the wildfires. Susan posted that the area she visted is now in the midst of all that.

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