At Dishtag, we celebrate the art of storytelling through food photography. This week we catch up with Jojo, the mysterious blogger who has refined her storytelling artistry to her 10,000 followers through her foodie account and website Little Foodie Jojo. Jojo is a Hong Kong-born and raised food blogger, and an early adopter of the Dishtag app. She shares how food has played a huge part in her life, and her personal tips for sharing dining experiences through creative and stunning photography.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? What do you do when you’re not sharing your personal food journey?
My name is Jojo and I’m an ordinary office worker with a regular 9-6 job from Monday to Friday. This routine, mundane work-life is what initially prompted me to find something interesting and exciting to do outside of work. That’s how I started food blogging. My passion for food penetrates almost every aspect of my daily life. I love watching all sorts of cooking shows and competitions, and I love cooking and experimenting with creative recipes as well. There really isn’t much in my lifestyle that doesn’t involve food!
What role does food photography play on your IG account? Do you find your followers more inspired by the photos or by the comments you make on the dishes?
People nowadays always “eat” with their eyes first. The appearance of a dish is far more critical than ever before. Food images on menus and social media are an important deciding factor on whether people would pay a visit or not. On Instagram in particular, the photo is everything! People scroll through millions of feeds every day and probably spend just a few seconds looking at each feed. It’s the high quality photos that draws people’s attention and any good comments won’t get read without a good cover photo.
What gear do you use to document your dining experiences?
I mostly use my iPhone X and small DSLR camera. I believe the most important thing to do is to enjoy the moment while documenting the feeling and taste in my memory.
Can you share your very favourite food shot on your Instagram? What’s the story behind it?
This is a hard one! I love all my food shots and every single of them represents a unique dining experience with a story behind it. The stories are sometimes good and sometimes bad.
I always struggle with wide-angled shots which I think is the hardest to master – this is an example that I am quite satisfied with.
This is a close-up shot that I like a lot, capturing the dripping maple syrup.
I also like photos involving some kind of interaction with the food, like this one capturing the moment of pouring sauce on the dish.
In your view, what kind of food image is the most engaging content on your blog?
I would say simple rustic local food, such as cha chaan teng items, are the most popular. People love indulgent comfort food!
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?
To me, food photography should be adaptive to the condition of the restaurant and food. There are always workarounds and smart ways to optimise a food photo. The time taken for shooting, however, has been a constant struggle of mine. On the one hand, I want to take good shots of beautiful food. But on the other hand, the tasting experience diminishes the more time I spend capturing the perfect shot.
My main tip would be to take multiple snapshots from various angles (closeup, flat lay, wide-angled shot, etc.) as quickly as possible, and only review the photos after the meal (that’s why photo editing tools exist anyway). This way we can still enjoy the food when it’s at its best!
What is your favourite type of food to shoot?
I would say bread, particularly bagels and croissants. I love shooting them as much as I love eating them. Also, anything that involves eggs and oozy egg yolk always makes for a lively, enticing photo!
Favourite restaurant in HK?
What advice would you give to new food bloggers?
Always be true to yourself. Don’t get distracted by what others do. Express your true self and be creative. Give honest reviews. Don’t get carried away by the number of likes and followers. Just enjoy the process of creating content and all the good food!
Have you heard of the Dishtag app? Can you tell us what you like about it?
Yes, I am an early adopter and have also shared my images on the app! I like that it focuses on specific dishes and food photography instead of restaurants, as many other platforms already offer this feature. It is indeed quite interesting and unique in the market. Very excited to see how it expands!