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.

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.