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