The Alia Bhatt Ranbir Kapoor romance has crossed this important stage
Till digital detox do us part
The Alia Bhatt Ranbir Kapoor romance that no one saw coming has officially moved into the next stage, one that every Instagram-famous woman and her dedicated partner can identify with — the Sanju star isn’t just a devoted boyfriend, but has blossomed into the role of that unique modern species known as the ‘Instagram boyfriend’. And just like all creatures of this unique subset, even Ranbir’s photography skills went unsung — only until now, when Alia Bhatt decided to finally credit him. Looks like all those multiple re-takes paid off:
In fact, Alia’s hairstylist has proof that Ranbir is the nameless face behind Alia’s pretty pictures. That’s right, a dedicated Ranbir in the background is perfecting his skills for Alia’s next Instagram post that will be seen by 22.9 million followers only.
We’re sure this plandid — a meticulously planned, not-so-candid — was taken by He-Who-Must-Be-Named:
The duo, who’re currently shooting in Bulgaria for Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmāstra, have clearly found their playground.
All the proof we needed that Ranbir is rocking this whole Instagram boyfriend thing.
10 simple steps to nail that perfect picture for Instagram:
What really makes a winning plandid is when you look away and are seemingly photographed mid-laugh. This method requires no real laughing — just cough once from the diaphragm while smiling. It feels and looks weird (and may draw some judgement from your photographer), but trust, it will result in the perfect open-mouthed smile. Look how much fun I'm having!
Looking cute is half the plandid equation — but how about that background? Where you are tells the other half of the story. Some staples that always work: brick walls, murals, or anything that indicates you're on a rooftop. But, the real magic happens when you spot an unexpected corner and see the backdrop potential. Exhibit A: this rusty abandoned trolley in Brooklyn.
You've got to keep moving around to get the best shot. I've done everything from spin around, dance like a maniac, and walk repeatedly back and forth to get a plandid worth posting. Here is a not-at-all embarrassing grid of myself trying to capture a fun "I'm at Coachella" photo. (I was having zero fun, but who wants to see that?).
Here's the final result enhanced with the disposable camera app, Huji.
This is a trick I learned from a friend when I was trying to take an outfit photo against a wall and felt like something was missing. As she handed me her oversized sunglasses, she instructed, "Pretend like you're pushing them up on top of your head like a headband." Lo and behold, we got the shot immediately. Looking back at my other plandids, I've noticed some hand action is a common thread. Flip or play with your hair, cuff your denim jacket, hold a drink, apply lipstick — you get the idea.
I'd so much rather do a ridiculous self timer set up (cue, that one time I propped my iPad on a bench in front of the Eiffel Tower) than ask a stranger to take my photo. But, if I happen to be blessed with a willing collaborator (lol), it's on me to guide them. I'll go so far as to actually stand in their spot, frame the photo, and tell them exactly where I need to be in the shot. I also instruct them to take a minimum of 50,000 photos. Which brings me to my next point...
Even Rosie Huntington-Whiteley admits it takes 100 tries to get a selfie she likes. And she's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. That means a normal like me needs even more and, truth be told, that's usually the case.
No matter how posed the photo, including a friend will immediately make your plandid feel more organic. Here, my best friend and I pretended to casually lounge around while drinking hot chocolate in a ski lodge. We arranged the pillows just so.
It's a meme at this point — remember Kylie Jenner's "lost something" pose — but staring downward is always a solid option. You're nonchalant, chill, just enjoying life while conveniently dressed in a great outfit. Bonus points if you look down while walking directly toward the camera.
At the end of the day, Instagram isn't real life. It's often referred to as a "highlight reel" and that is 100 percent true. At its core, it is a platform where aesthetics do matter (just look at the feeds of the most successful, millions-followed influencers), so I play the game. I approach it as an extension of my job in beauty, which by nature is an industry reliant on strong visuals. I also like my memories and experiences to look beautiful—and I always have, even pre-Instagram days (just look at my hundreds of Facebook albums).
That being said, I actively check myself to make sure I don't start putting too much value on how many likes, views, or comments I get from my posts. I try to counteract the glossy moments by showing what's really happening. Immediately after taking my fancy tub photo, I took a picture of the ridiculous means I used to get the shot. People had a field day with that one. "An iconic BTS" one friend messaged me, "You're an independent woman," another joked. One even said, "Yessss thank you for keeping it real."
Oftentimes, they're even better than the posed ones. Real smiles!