Name: Lucia Lee
Location: San Francisco
1. What inspired you to start blogging the foods you eat on IG?
I was inspired to start blogging about the foods I eat on IG during the mandatory 3 month quarantine in California. It was quite devastating for me to see my favorite childhood/college spots close or suffer during the pandemic, and I thought that using Instagram as a platform to showcase my favorite dishes and businesses would definitely generate interest among my friends and the foodie community in supporting them as well.
2. What kinds of foods did you grow up eating?
Growing up, I ate a lot of Taiwanese and Chinese meals cooked by my mom! I definitely did grow up with a few of my favorite spots in my hometown though- it's great living close to Vietnam Town in San Jose and trying new Vietnamese dishes!
3. Favorite snack growing up? Favorite snack now?
Ah this is a really hard question - I'm honestly not too much of a snacker, but I definitely ate a LOT of candy growing up. Now, I've been a big fan of the milk tea + boba popsicles ever since I tried them in Taiwan 2 years ago!
4. What’s your favorite thing about being a foodie blogger?
My favorite part of being a foodie blogger is definitely having the opportunity to work with small businesses and fellow content creators. Through this platform, I have been able to discover and work with the most amazing small businesses that I normally wouldn't have known about or gone out of my way to try. It's been such an eye-opening experience being able to learn about the stories of the businesses I work with, and I wouldn't give that up for anything!
It's also been super awesome being able to meet so many foodies (virtually)! It's crazy what a small world the foodie community is, and I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to connect with so many kind content creators who have given me advice and supported me throughout my journey as a food blogger.
5. What do you dislike about being a foodie blogger?
There's honestly not much I dislike about being a foodie blogger! For me, this is more of a hobby and a platform for me to express my creativity, so I definitely try to focus on that instead of being caught up on statistics or performance. I'll admit that it definitely sometimes gets hectic, especially since I work full time as a COVID-19 researcher, but it definitely always makes my day reading the sweet and supportive comments from my foodie community!
6. What are some interesting things you learned through the process of blogging about food?
I've definitely learned a lot of interesting things! Among some of the highlights:
* I've learned that I'm not as adept with technology as I thought I was! Still trying to learn how to perfect my reels but we're getting there haha
* The importance of color theory, the rule of odd numbers, composition, lighting, and angles when it comes to getting the perfect shot!
* The beauty of growing at your own pace! Everyone's journey is different, and it's okay to take your time and explore what you're comfortable with!
7. What’s one of your favorite foods and drinks you’ve posted on?
One of my favorite foods/drinks that I posted was for a collaboration with OmniPork for their US launch. It was absolutely such a touching experience reconnecting with one of my college friends who now works for OmniPork's parent company, and learning about the importance of food sustainability, especially when it comes to red meat consumption. As a foodie, it was a good reminder for me to be more conscientious of the environmental impact of my own actions, and how I can actively reduce my own carbon footprint.
8. When did your IG start to gain more attention from people? And what do you think triggered it?
If I recall correctly, my IG started to gain more attention around last summer. Honestly, I believe what triggered it was my friend's suggestion to post a picture of myself so that my followers could get to know me. Before, I tried to keep my page as anonymous as possible since I'm a pretty private person, but I'm glad I took that step forward and started making my page more "me!"
9. What inspired your style of posting content on your IG?
I don't know if I have an exact inspiration when it comes to my style of posting content on my IG, but I have definitely learned a lot from some of my foodie friends who have been running accounts for a longer period of time. As for my current style, I would say I go for a brighter, more vibrant, and warm look!
10. We love your work! How do you plan for food/drink photoshoots? What kind of equipment do you use?
Thank you for your kind words! I usually plan for food/drink photoshoots by waiting for golden hour (around 4-6 PM now) so I can get the optimal and bright lighting for my pictures. Props such as flowers, books, and towels also really help to improve the composition of my photos. In terms of equipment, I do use an iPhone XR, but I do eventually want to learn how to shoot with a DSLR.
11. What is your full-time job?
I work full time as a COVID-19 and alcohol metabolism researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine!
12. What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me looks like work in a lab from 9-4 PM, a pickup for a collaboration at 5 PM, shooting/planning content afterwards, and then my daily Chloe Ting exercises at night! It seems pretty stacked, but I truly do enjoy having a busy schedule.
13. What are some challenges you encountered to get to where you are at today (as a food blogger with 5k followers)?
This year has definitely been tough, especially with some events in my personal life, community, nation, and world. Sometimes, it does feel difficult for me to post with all that is going on, so I do take the necessary breaks to prioritize my physical and mental health. Nevertheless, this year has taught me the importance of balance and having a healthy perspective when it comes to social media, and all the lessons I have learned will only help me grow as a food blogger!
14. What is your long term goal with food blogging?
To be honest, I didn't really expect to ever have such a large platform when it came to blogging. Nevertheless, I am so thankful for my community, and I look forward to continuing to share my favorite spots and dishes no matter where I am!
15. Any advice for people who want to start a food blog?
My advice - just do it! And remember to stay true to yourself - I promise that it will definitely pay off!