Simon Hooper - @father_of_daughters - with Anya and Marnie. Photo: Philippa James Photography

Instagram husbands, step aside. Hot on the heels of a new wave of Instamums, finding fame – and occasionally fortune – on social media, meet the Instadads stepping out from behind the lens. From Alan Lawrence @thatdadblog whose daily documenting of life as a father-of-six has amassed him 82.7k followers, to Maine-based mega-parent Matthew Novak @mattjnovak, a rising generation of Instagram Kingpins are turning their cameras inwards in a very public display of male solidarity…

@father_of_daughters

Simon and Clemmie, with 12-week-old twins Ottilie and Delilah

Simon Hooper, 33, is husband of midwife-turned-blogger-turned-Instagram-mega-mum @midwifeyhooper, father of four girls – Anya, 8, Marnie, 5, and twins, Ottilie and Delilah, 12 weeks – and Operations Manager for a software firm in his spare time (ha!). Three weeks ago he launched his own Instagram account, documenting everyday life as an outnumbered male, at home in Crystal Palace, South-West London. He already has 5.6k followers.

When and why did you join Instagram?
I only opened my account three weeks ago but the response already has been amazing. I was inspired to start documenting my life when I saw a video online that went around called ‘Instagram Husband’. Women seem to dominate the Instragram parenting space, yet behind the scenes men are taking the pictures and silently getting on with life. I just wanted to give the men a voice, too.

What kind of dad are you?
I like to think I’m a fun dad. I don’t take life too seriously. No-one wants to grow up and it’s much more fun to be on the same level as my girls. They’re my best friends, not just my kids.

How would you describe your posts?
Everyday life with a comic twist.

Who is your target audience?
Parents mainly, but really anyone that wants to see what life’s like when you’re outnumbered by kids (especially of the opposite sex!).

How often of you post?
I try and post every day to keep it fresh and people engaged.

What have been your most popular pics?
Unsurprisingly, it’s a picture of me with all my girls hanging off me.

Is there anything you wouldn’t post about?
I wouldn’t post anything that negative about my family or my kids behaviour. We all have to deal with tantrums and general rudeness, but I don’t feel the need to share that, especially when my kids are tech savvy and should easily stumble across it on-line.

What gratification has the account given you?
Just to know that people like what I’m posting and are entertained by it is gratification enough.

@london_dad

Greg with his daughter, Etta

Gregory Stanton, 34, runs a digitally-facing marketing/social agency. He is one half of avocadomagazine.com, and lives in Wimbledon, South West London, with his wife Alice and daughter, Etta, and their dog – Cat – in an old school-building in Wimbledon, London. He started posting as @london_dad in the middle of last year and now has 25.6k followers.

Why did you launch your account?
I had Instagram many moons ago, back in the days when Alice and I were living in Tokyo. It changed to the @london_dad handle in the middle of last year as a way to help promote my wife’s online magazine, Avocado Magazine.

What kind of dad are you?
It’s maybe a touch cliché but I would say that I am the best dad that I can be. I try to be as supportive and understanding as I can be to a toddler. Apart from that it really is doing the best you can with what’s put in front of you. I love life with E now as we are at the stage of really understanding eachother, so a walk in the park involves talking about seeds and chestnuts and insects. I am never bored of the ‘what’s that?’ or ‘why?’ question.

How would you define your posts?
Unstaged and unedited. The only thing I will ever do is to add a black and white filter if I haven’t shot them in native black and white. Aside from that I don’t really have a style so much. Maybe authentic.

Whats the purpose of the account?
It has evolved quite a lot in such a short space of time; initially it was to promote my wife’s magazine, and then it shifted to be more involved with engaging a community that has been built. Before, I was more focused on the number of likes and followers now it’s more a question of helping one another where you can. Being a sounding-board for someone who needs a hand or just to be told that they are doing okay.

Who is your target audience?
The target audience to start with was 100 per cent mums or mums-to-be but it’s really interesting how we have so many dads now. I think it’s really important that dads help one another where they can as we are less inclined to ask advice or help so if someone is out there on Instagram then there is a reason for it.

How often do you post?
I post once a day, mainly. I tried to post more often but realised I was just trying to find things to post for the sake of posting rather than talking one great shot from a busy day. I think it’s harder to choose that one image that represents where you’re at in that moment.

What have been your most popular pics?
The most popular are always those with Etta and I in them, so all the praise for the pictures should really lie with Alice. It’s kind of strange how the person behind the camera loses all of the credit.

Is there anything you wouldn’t post about?
Our life day-to-day is fine but there are more serious, raw moments that I wouldn’t post about. Saying that, I am trying to be a bot more real in my comments and I hope that comes across. It’s a fine line to walk really.

What satisfaction has the account given you?
I love helping people in any way I can, when I post about half-price nappies and get sent pictures of mums who have bought a car-load and saved enough money to go away for the weekend that’s really nice. Personally I think receiving a comment saying I look like a good dad is just about the best thing that can happen on Instagram.

@papa_pukka

Matt with his two-year-old daughter, Mae. Image: Emily Gray Photography

Matt Farquharson, 39, is a freelance journalist/copywriter/copywriter/content strategist. He lives in East London with his wife, Anna – AKA @Mother_Pukka and their two-year-old daughter, Mae. He launched his accounts in January and has around 1.7 followers.

Why did you launch your Instagram account?
I’m not really sure. My day job tends to involve bringing words and images together for brands, and Instagram is quite a magazine-ish way to do that for my own amusement. Also, my wife Anna has been running hers for nearly 18 months. I was involved in the blogging and vlogging for motherpukka.co.uk, and that prompted me to do it.

What kind of dad are you?
The very tired kind. I think (and hope) most dads are guilty of this too, but my dad ‘skills’ tend to fluctuate with other commitments. Parenting has revealed levels of patience and efficiency that I didn’t realise I had, but on very busy days I’ll skip the dinner-time vegetable battles, or accept that brushing two teeth out of 20 will have to do, ‘just this once’.

As a rule, I try and settle disputes with quiet explanation or by making farting noises, silly faces or any of the other surrealist clowning techniques favoured by desperate parents faced with an inconsolable toddler.

How would you define your posts?
Hopefully, funny and honest. But at the least, properly punctuated.

Who is your target audience?
I haven’t really been that ‘strategic’. It’s for anyone who likes it, but as it’s mostly about parenting, that tends to be parents. Non-parents tend to find parenting chat deeply repellant, however polite they might be.

How often of you post?
Every few days.

What have been your most popular pics?
Generally, any where I look idiotic. I asked our toddler to dress me for a small campaign called #StyledByChild. The idea is that you give your kids free reign of your wardrobes and they pick out your outfit. You post a picture and donate to Gingerbread, a charity that promotes flexible working and provides support to single parents. She went with a tutu, some monster fancy dress, and some of her mum’s dungarees. The end result made me look like I was having a severe and long-lasting breakdown.

Is there anything you wouldn’t post about?
I’m still working that out…

What satisfaction has the account given you?
For me, the greatest satisfaction comes when something that I think it true or funny is well received. It’s reassuring to know you are not alone.

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