The Invisible Labor of The Fashion Blogger Boyfriend


On just about any personal style blog, you’ll see pictures of a pretty, young woman who rarely smiles, posing in carefully styled outfits on sun-dappled streets or in grassy fields. Sometimes, there’s a dog in the picture, or a coffee cup from an indie purveyor.

What you won’t see is the guy — and it’s usually a guy — taking the photos. Many personal style bloggers enlist their boyfriends or husbands to be their photographers. But unlike when, say, Richard Avedon used Audrey Hepburn as his muse, some of these guys aren’t an equal part of the collaboration — a few are even anonymous.

“You’ll see these poor men during Fashion Week,” says Bryan Yambao of the blog Bryanboy. “It’s sad to see them tailing the girls. It’s always the girls towering in sky-high heels and the little guy with the two camera bags taking her picture in the street. They’re like little puppies following the girls’ every whim.”

Kayleen Schaefer at the Cut takes a look behind the DSLR to unveil the secret weapon of successful fashion bloggers everywhere: THE MEN.

(I want to say this is hetero-normative but I also want to believe that lesbians are too cool for personal style blogs?)

I am sure that creative collaboration is fun and rewarding for some couples — though in my own life, doing ‘projects’ with my significant other is more romantic in theory than in practice (in practice I like to work on things by myself and MY WAY). And I’m sure / I hope the dudes are benefiting from all that sponsored post cash money that these types of blogs can bring in. Plus you know, love. And men’s role in society is to serve women. Et cetera.

That said, I hope that if I’m ever in need of a sad puppy to follow me around I can afford to pay them.

Photo: mikebaird

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9 Comments / Post A Comment

samburger (#5,489)

Men laboring without pay, crying their male tears, withering in the shadows of the women who have mastered them!

What a beautiful image to get me through the rest of my day.

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

This is interesting to me because of how it inverts the traditional gendered artist/muse dynamic. I don’t have a blog anymore, but even I did it never would have occurred to me to use anything other than the remote to my DSLR to take my pictures! Although I also don’t think anyone I was dating at the time would have followed me around with a camera. (I was also not a high-profile fashion/lifestyle blogger, so.)

guenna77 (#856)

why should it be sad that these guys are helping their girlfriends and wives? girlfriends and wives do this so constantly and consistently for men that we only notice when they are absent.

flickafly (#4,808)

I’m a queer fashion blogger and my partner takes most of my photos. But we schedule shoots on the weekends, not shooting me constantly whenever we walk around.

EM (#1,012)

If the fashion bloggers are married to their photog husbands, presumably all the revenue generated by the blog is shared within the marriage, so it’s hardly unpaid. As for the boyfriends, if I could travel all over the world for free with my beau in exchange for shooting some moody looking DSLR photos at the magic hour, I would be stoked.

Hava (#2,239)

I dunno about that, a lot of the fashion blogs I follow like A Clothes Horse, Delightfully Tacky and Scathingly Brilliant use a self timer and typically shoot their own photos by themselves.

Cass (#6,490)

We’re not too cool for personal style blogs – I read the lesbionic fitforafemme.com and I think the wife takes the pics.

Billwarren55 (#6,493)

yes you are right. I think their partner takes photo. and Some shoot their own photo. celebsoutfit

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