In May, I decided to start an Instagram account dedicated to travel, art, and (mainly) food because I wanted to challenge myself to cook more, try new restaurants, and explore more places. I had no idea what to expect, but overall I've found my food account to be a really enjoyable experience. This article is a reflection on the past three and a half months and how my account has made me realize how much food impacts our lives. 

Learning the Ways of Food Photography 

pork, meat, lettuce, chicken, salad
Josi Miller

I've never taken a photography class, but with the help of SpoonU, I've quickly learned the ways of food photography. Taking into account these two articles written by fellow spoon members, my photo-taking skills began to improve. Now I'm aware that natural lighting is everything, never use flash, take a ton of pictures, get the right angles, play with composition, and lightly edit the pictures. This advice truly makes a difference.

Maintaining the Account's Social Media Presence

salad, chicken
Josi Miller

How do I run my food account? First off, I'm not anywhere near insta-fame, but by following Beatrice Forman's advice, I've gained some media attention by fellow foodies and travelers. With an average of 40 likes per photo ( I know, not a lot) and a few comments every once in awhile, I've slowly increased my follower count and received positive feedback.

Furthermore, a month ago I invited my friend Daphne to help me run the account. We post at least one picture a day and make sure we tag the restaurant we're at and accounts that have similar content to ours. Both of us love going out to eat together and having photo shoots with our meals because it brings so much more excitement to the table. 

I'm More Motivated to Cook

cauliflower, salad, broccoli
Josi Miller

Going into this summer, I had a goal to cook more. I always have my go-to recipes that I make every week, but I wanted to challenge myself with new recipes. Some of these recipes are chocolate mousse, lemon garlic pasta, quinoa dishes, thai peanut noodles, chicken parmesan, stuffed peppers, and potstickers. A few of these dishes I made on my own, but many of them I cooked with the help of friends.

My motivation also stemmed from the food accounts I follow. I use a lot of food accounts as inspiration for my food pictures and save their recipes for later. Becomes a Group Project

strawberry, melon, watermelon
Josi Miller

When I first started my food account, my friends said how this account was "so me" and that all the pictures made them hungry. I was eager to share my love of food with them, so every week we got together and cooked. While I was learning new recipes, they were learning all of the different steps to getting the right shots. (Shout out to all of my friends and family who helped me this summer! I never could've done it without your iPhone 7s, hand modeling, and ideas.) 

Not only were the adults supportive and enthusiastic but so were the younger kids. Two of my jobs this summer involved working directly with elementary students, and they were some of the best assistants. They were excited every time we went out to eat and asked me to take pictures of their food for the account. Food was a fun, engaging way for me to interact with my students and they were the perfect hand models. 

Final Thoughts 

wine, coffee, beer
Josi Miller

All in all, I am very pleased with the outcomes of the account. I've learned about photography, culinary arts, and social media skills. What I love about cooking is that there is always something new to learn. I didn't think it was possible, but I've somehow boosted my love for food even more after approaching it from a totally new perspective. 

Moreover, what surprised me the most was how it impacted the people around me. Until this summer, I've never had so many friends text me about cooking. They saw the account and were inspired by what they saw. When they experienced how much fun it is to blast music, cook, and take pictures, they started to share the same enthusiasm for food as I do. This upcoming semester I hope to continue my food and traveling adventures.