We all know the struggles of taking an Insta-worthy foodie pic. We’ve all been there — food in one hand, phone in the other, trying to just get that perfect picture of your acai bowl. There are so many factors that are involved in food photography: lighting, composition, color, exposure, and more. Your favorite iPhone photography apps (Afterlight and VSCOcam anyone?) can only fix so much.
After many failed pictures, I decided to go straight to the source: Remi Ishizuka, an Insta-famous 27-year-old living in LA. She has over 54.7k followers on Instagram because of her awe-inspiring pics of your favorite foodie breakfasts: cookie butter oatmeal, protein shakes, smoothie bowls, and more. *drools*
Spoon: Tell us a little bit about your journey to get Insta-famous (over 54,000 followers) with your beautiful breakfast bowls and lifestyle/fitness tips.
RI: It all started with a mindset change. I wanted to change up my work out routine because I was getting bored of doing the same thing at the gym. I was losing motivation and going maybe 2x a week max. Then I found Kayla Itsines healthy living Bikini Body Guide and Nutrition Guide and her amazing Instagram full of positive vibes, colorful photos, and inspiring transformation photos. I became obsessed with the whole healthy IG community and drool-worthy breakfasts that I started making them myself.
I posted a bowl a day on my once-personal-IG-feed (sorry friends, haha) and it quickly became healthy food based. I didn’t post a single progress photo of my transformation until about week 8, around the time I started noticing upper abs and stronger arms. Around week 11, one week before the end of the program, I grew some courage and posted a full transformation photo on my IG.
The next morning when I woke up, I saw Kayla reposted my photo and I had grown 10,000 followers! This was the same time she announced #theKaylamovement where everyone as a community starts the first guide together, so it was so perfect for me because I had just finished the guide once through. When I posted a second transformation photo, she ended up reposting it again! And I gained another 10,000 followers that night.
Spoon: What is your morning routine? How do you find time to make, take, and edit photos of your breakfasts?
RI: It’s funny because I have a 9-5 job, and before this lifestyle change, I would wake up at 8:15, get ready in 15 minutes, and leave the house without eating breakfast.
Now, I love waking up early around 6:30 am. I browse IG for inspiration for about 30 min in bed, I get up and make breakfast, shoot it, snapchat it, then I eat it and get ready for work. So by the time I’m at my job, I’ve already maybe done 2-3 photoshoots (for photos I’m posting that day) and I’m full of energy from breakfast and been up for a while being productive. It’s basically routine now.
Spoon: What is your number one iPhone photography tip for an aspiring Instagram foodie photographer?
RI: NUMBER ONE = lighting, and then DETAILS & balance. If there’s a crumb in the shot, take it out! Play with the angles and take as many photos as you can until you get the perfect composition. Lighting plays a huge role. I like to shoot in natural light, and I make sure all kitchen lights are turned off. The combo of yellow & natural light can make a photo look weird.
Also, I like to think about how it looks next to my other photos that I’ve already posted, and I use the same editing techniques/filter so each photo is similar in color across the board.
Spoon: Can you tell us a little bit more about your motto “bowls + buns”?
RI: Before I started this fitness journey, I was heavily invested in my bunny’s Instagram @buns_ lol. In a super short period of time, I got him to have 6000+ followers. He is my best friend and the sweetest and calmest bunny ever, so bowls + buns is a combo of my journey now — “healthy bowls” + buns, which is my bunny and other half.
Spoon: How do you balance nutrition and delicious food? Do you follow a certain diet or fitness regimen?
RI: See my response to question #1. It’s hard to say no to a cheese burger, fries, or ice cream sometimes, but I swear it gets easier and you don’t crave it as much as you used to. I rarely ever, ever take in any refined sugars anymore. It just doesn’t taste good to me and is just TOO sweet. Same goes to greasy foods I used to love. I just don’t crave it as bad.
Spoon: Do you have a favorite food to make? Or photograph?
RI: Favorite food is breakfast bowls (oatmeal, chia puddings, pancakes, smoothie bowls, nana ice cream). Photograph — photos of my bowls and lifestyle type photos, too.
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A big thank you to Remi for giving Spoon this exclusive interview for how to make Insta-worthy breakfast bowls. What are you waiting for? Get out your wooden bowls, spoons, natural light, and iPhone. Time to blow Instagram up — don’t forget to use #spoonfeed and tag @SpoonUniversity.