There is nothing better than a job that you love and are passionate about. This week we go Behind the Lens with FM Chan, also known as @fm.feed on Instagram, and asked him to share more about his passion for his job, and the key to a perfect food photo.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? What do you do besides your passion for food?
My name is FM Chan, but you can always call me Rex. I am the Technical Lead of Innocode Technology, where I work predominantly on web and mobile app development. Recently I have also been working on Instagram/Facebook filters. I like coding (definitely!) and feeding my fish, and my biggest hobby is photography, especially of food. I have also been trying portrait photography recently.
How do you see the role of food photography on your IG account? Do you find your followers more inspired by the photos or by the comments you make on the dishes?
I see food photography as a way to make a connection between food and humans from all walks of life. Not only am I trying to look for amazing food, but I also want people to feel connected to the food itself. I build my personal brand as a foodie who has a unique style, quite gimmicky and funny. I don’t think my style is easily replicated by someone else, just look at the shot below of the cake and the cat! I will say my followers are equally inspired by both my photos and my food reviews, but genuinely I think that photos are the most engaging. Photos can always deliver how the dish looks and feels, and it lets my followers sink into the atmosphere of the dish itself. I would really love my followers to read my reviews on the food I post, but I always enjoy their appreciation for the photos I take.
Can you share your very favourite food shots from your Instagram? What’s the story behind some of your posts?
The first shot is a picture of three jars of brittles, with a hand holding it. I took this picture with an iPhone 11 in the early stage of my blog. My favourite part is the “Depth of Field” effect of this picture (the blurred background that creates depth in the image and focuses the attention on the subject, in this case, the jars).This was also the first time that I used cards as props for photography and it ended up looking amazing!
I also think this this picture of a LEGO figure holding three mooncakes is a good reflection of my unique style. It is not so common to take food photos this way and I think the use of the LEGO figure worked well in the photo. It was a really new approach for me, and the composition of the photo is really good.
Another one of my favourites is a this shot of a bagel. The bagel itself already looks lovely with the colourful filling, and the natural light shedding on it looks amazing as well, it makes the colours in the picture look even richer. On top of that, the smile on the model’s face looks lovely and beautiful. I genuinely like this picture.
In your point of view, what kind of food image is the most engaging content on your blog?
I’ll say when a spot is a popular place that is trending, the post engagement would be higher as people are actively searching posts of the place. Generally speaking, in-action (lifestyle) photos are more engaging, and I personally like them very much.
Your photos look so yummy and inspiring! Could you give us a few tips on how to take great food photos even when dining out in non-optimal situations?
- Gear up. You don’t always need a camera, a nice phone with a nice camera lens can do the job for you. For example, an iPhone in portrait mode.
- Ask for help. Get a friend to help you with the light or even just with their phone’s flash. Great light can really make a difference.
- Don’t be afraid to try out different angles. You will eventually find the perfect shot.
What gear do you use to document your dining experiences?
Recently, I am using a Sony Alpha 6400 with Sigma 16mm F1.4 lens to deliver better photography with the features that a smartphone lacks. I also find out that a fill light is quite essential. Previously, I used an iPhone 11. A mobile phone with a nice camera always comes in handy,
What is your favourite type of food to shoot?
I’ll say food with liquid or sauce. They are perfect for in-acton photos, and I can do a lots of creative things.
Favourite restaurant in HK?
That’s a hard one. I’ll say Heart Spade Diamond Club. The team there are really impressive, I really love their vibe and live music performances there are just amazing. Two more restaurants I would like to share, FAB Kitchen and Bellevue Bar & Grill. They deliver wonderful quality foods for fine dining.
What advice would you give to new food bloggers?
The most important thing is to always enjoy what you do and be passionate about it. I understand that many new food bloggers will give up easily because they feel stressed with their own work and they do not have time to manage their blog, but as long as the passion remains, you will always feel fulfilled. Therefore, never leave your passion behind and never forget why you started.
About Dishtag: As an early adopter of the Dishtag app, what do you like most about it?
Of course! Many lovely restaurants are on it, including mid to top tier restaurants. I think Dishtag is an amazing platform for bloggers to connect with each other and build up a network and I really appreciate that Dishtag features bloggers who use the app on their Instagram. Also of course I like the “Behind the Lens”, so we can tell our stories and we can know more about other food bloggers in the scene. I hope you enjoyed my story !