Let me start by admitting I’m lucky enough to have the most amazing husband in real life, who’ll happily take 100 snaps of my #ootd or let me drag him around a city at the crack of dawn to get those crowd-free shots for my luxury-travel-focused Instagram account @jetset_jen. But even he has his limits, especially since our baby boy came into the world last year. So on our recent trip to Paris (quite possibly the most photogenic city in the world), I set my alarm early and snuck out to meet Kirill from Flytographer, a company specialising in candid shoots with local photographers in 200 destinations around the world.
We had agreed via WhatsApp to meet under a statue in Trocadéro and I immediately recognised him from his profile photo on the site. While it felt a little narcissistic hiring a photographer to take photos of me (most people book Flytographer for couple’s sessions or family holiday photos, though solo shoots are becoming more popular in this social-media-obsessed age), I decided to do it for the ’gram – and ended up having so much fun in the process.
The great thing about hiring a photographer is getting those perfectly staged “candid” shots of you casually “hailing a cab” or checking your emails between Fashion Week shows or, in my case, twirling in front of the Eiffel Tower, without having the awkwardness of asking a random stranger to take your photo or having to do multiple retakes when your begrudging hubby/friend/mum cuts your feet off or accidently puts their finger in front of the lens.
Another perk, especially for anyone like me who isn’t particularly comfortable in front of the camera, is direction – “lift your knee higher and point your toe to elongate your legs”, “look up and to the right for the best lighting”. And by working with a local photographer, they also know the most Instagrammable spots and angles and can offer you restaurant and shopping tips too – bonus! Unlike your typical Instagram husband, they also have the patience to wait while others get their shot at a popular location or shamelessly ask people to move aside so you can get the perfectly framed photo of the Eiffel Tower, sans tourists.
My hour-long shoot flew by, though we squeezed in several locations and an outfit change, and just five days later, 30 images popped up in my online gallery, beautifully edited and guaranteed to get the likes and comments rolling in.
• Jenny’s Insta husband cost Dhs1,285 for an hour-long shoot at flytographer.com