Whilst hoping to maintain some anonymity (balancing Instagram and his private life), @tschang loves living in East London – he’s originally from Malaysia – and says that the culinary variety on offer here continually inspires him.
He is drawn to Columbia Road and Broadway Market, but gems he’d recommend are Som Saa on Commercial Road and Gunpowder in Spitalfields. Whilst sharing food pictures is popular, it’s not something he takes lightly.
“I wouldn’t take a picture if I was eating dinner with my friends or family, I want to eat my food when it’s hot. If I get invited to eat a complimentary meal for a review, that’s when I will prioritise the photography.
“To take a good picture you have to move the food around, stand on the chair, go all out and be prepared to eat it cold.
“I’ve been doing this thing for a long time now, and I have no shame about it. If I’m out with other influencers, we’ll all take time taking the pictures before we eat too.”
His advice for aspiring influencers is be curious to learn. Get to know your audience and what they want. There are many underhand ways to climb your way up, but Instagram is a photography platform, so it really comes down to photography. There is no point buying followers or likes, because you can tell.
With Instagram he explains: “It’s all about the grid. The square grid, you need to make sure it all fits together. For people to then follow you, they need to know what you’re about.”
His advice: have specific themes and colours. You don’t need to use fancy editing techniques. He just uses the Instagram filters, enhanced with a few apps; VSCO, Snapseed and SKRWT.
Katya Katkova’s feed, born as a spinoff of a project of the same name which saw her collecting paintings and drawings of local cafes, is mainly focused on coffee and early morning adventures.
She claims that “a cafe in East London is not just a place where coffee is sold, it’s a religion and lifestyle.” This, in her opinion, is what makes them such special places for Instagram.
Her pictures are taken more spontaneously than other influencers, whilst she is finishing her cup of coffee. If there’s any editing it will be a bit of tuning on VSCO.
Her advice to aspiring influencers is “Follow your heart! Blog about what you can’t not blog! Tell what you want to tell and you’ll find people who want to hear it.”
Since starting his Instagram account last year Richard has become ‘an Instagram obsessive’.
He’s had a prolific career within the East End food scene, and made some influential friends – but nearly all of the restaurants he finds and shares are on Instagram.
He recommends Morito, Lyle’s and The Marksman to name a few – they serve a considered and quality menu within a considered space “for those millennial types who like to document what they are consuming as well as tap into the older market who don’t necessarily care about their online presence but like to go to a nice restaurant with a great menu.”
His advice to aspiring influencers:
1) Block your bots. As soon as you see an account following you that doesn’t look right delete it, because they will bring down your engagement and credibility.
2) Captions: Make them funny and relatable. Also, people love puns.
3) More general location tags and specific hashtags will mean more people are actually seeing your posts.
4) People prefer portrait photos, because they take up more of the screen.
5) Stick to one filter- For life!
Essential Apps: VSCO and Snapseed again, and Face Tune for touch ups (not just of your face)
Chriss Prowler is interested in photographing real places, not havens for PR mavens.
His Instagram success is almost a coincidence. He’s always had an interest in sharing places to eat and Instagram is just another platform for him to do this.
In East London he thinks the food scene is special, because it generates it’s own press, i.e. there are still a lot of organic, ‘grammable places.
On aspiring influencers, Chriss is a little skeptical: “Everyone got into it when they realized that they could get free food out of it… Some people just crave it, they go to a place just to take a picture of a specific food item. If you want to do Instagram well, be genuine. Don’t just advertise rubbish food for free rubbish food.”/ 12 September, 2017