If you didn’t Instagram it, did you really eat?

By: Ruben Garcia | @kingrubencito

food-on-instagram

In this day of age, if you really posted something on social media, did it really happen? Everyone is captivated at the thought of social media and sharing your activities. The same goes for the gym, if you didn’t take a picture, did you really work out? On Instagram, you can do anything: take pictures for leisure, market companies, and sell food.

Companies that take advantage of Instagram are food trucks! This is because it is very easy, it is a good way to tell their story, and it is mobile – just like food trucks. This is what mobile-cuisine.com says about mobile food trucks:

  • Instagram’s technology helps you easily create stunning images that you can easily use on your food truck’s other social networks.
  • Both Facebook and Twitter have optimized how photos are displayed on these platforms and you can share directly from Instagram to those platforms (as well as to Tumblr, Foursquare, Flickr, and email) automatically or by individual selection.
  • Instagram combines two of the most powerful forces in the social technology market—mobile and photo sharing—to create a platform that truly offers a unique value proposition. Food Truck owners with an Instagram presence can take advantage of that intersection where users are focusing their attention.

trailercakes

An example of a food truck that uses Instagram to sell their products is Trailercakes, which is based in Dallas, Texas. Trailercakes is known for their miniature sized cupcakes, cakeballs, and other cake products. They have a food truck named Bubbles, who is usually parked at Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas. They post what days and their daily menu on Instagram to allow their Instagram followers to know when and where they are going to be. They have a huge fan base that follow them everywhere.

Instagram has given many food companies success.

References

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/food-brands-instagram

https://mobile-cuisine.com/social-media/use-instagram-food-truck-business/

http://trailercakes.com/

 

Do Social Media like Denny’s Diner

By: Kalyn Baxter

It is commonly known throughout the business world that there are brands that should and should not be on a specific social media platform. The essential ones like Facebook or Twitter can be used by most but social media sites like Tumblr and Instagram might be riskier depending on the content and customer demographics. There is a company that I have recently noticed displaying content on a site that their consumers would not expect them to be on. Denny’s Diner is a company that surprised me when it comes to running a social media platform. I found out that Denny’s had a Tumblr account about a year ago, and its actually doing extremely well, as it has been for a while. tumblr_oobn3n3B3N1s46p8ao1_500Tumblr is a platform that thrives mostly on visual content, it has the social aspect of other sites like Facebook while allowing users to create a personalized blog at the same time. The graphics that Denny’s Diner creates are so visually appealing and creative that it does not make anyone regret to say they follow the restaurant. Denny’s usually gets the reputation of being a restaurant that is commonly occupied by more elder consumer rather than younger ones, but puts out great content that successfully attracts people of many age groups. Their Tumblr page is even in the running to being presented with a Webby Award in the Social, Food and Drink category. The Webby Awards will be on May 15th, 2017 and whether or not Denny’s Tumblr will win the award cannot be released until then. Along with their quick entertaining pictures their Denny’s Diner Instagram account has their unusual but great images on it. The social media accounts for Denny’s Diner has definitely shown how a restaurant can rotate between promoting a new menu item or special to posting humorous original images that are worth sharing.

Sources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/should-you-be-on-tumblr-seven-business-case-examples/

http://www.hngn.com/articles/224493/20170405/2017-webby-awards-nominees-announced-people-s-choice-voting-open-until-april-20.htm

https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2017/social/social-content-and-marketing/food-drink

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230971

https://www.instagram.com/dennysdiner/

 

Is #FoodPorn an Actual Thing?

 

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Photo Credit: Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

By: Kenya Mavhera

Many have seen the popular #FoodPorn hashtag that’s used all over social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But there’s a lot behind this clever hashtag other than delicious mouth-watering pictures of food. Many people think that consumers are the ones behind this all. If these foods are posted throughout people’s timelines, their first initial reaction is to gain an appetite! So are consumers targeting people with these photos in hopes that they go out and purchase the food items? Many people may think so, but food advertising through social media has become very popular and what better way to do that then to post appetizing foods for all to see.

A prime example of food advertisement through social media is the popular videos “Tasty” that have been seen on several social media networks. These short 2-3 minute cooking videos usually leave viewers hungry and with food on their minds. Many other food networks have caught on to these catchy videos and have started their own social media profiles as a way of advertisement. The idea of having photos and videos of food pop up on people’s timelines as they’re scrolling through their newsfeed is very strategic. Food networks around the world try to target their audience and compete with other vendors and what better way to do that than through social media. This is where the famous #FoodPorn comes in, this hashtag was created when people began taking pictures of what they were about to eat since it looked delicious and was totally photo worthy. Once the picture was taken the #FoodPorn caption was inserted and the photo was ready to upload! I find our generation getting more excited about the photo of the food than the actual food itself. This is all a part of social media and how we’ve advertise our every move, where we are, what we’re doing, even what we’re about to eat! People don’t realize but consumers target us based on the things we like and eat, by us publicizing that they get a better idea on how they can target us and convince us to buy their products.

instadinner
Photo Credit: Instagram

So what does the future hold in regards to #FoodPorn? With technology rapidly changing and social media becoming more and more popular I think food being used as advertisement on social media is only going to increase. Next thing we know, food will become 3D as we see it on social media making our appetites even more appealing. Who knows maybe even one day we’ll be able to virtually eat the food that pops up on the screen!

Sources:

Tasty/Facebook, Buzzfeed. “Why These Recipe Videos Are Taking Over Your Facebook Wall.” The Cut. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.

Romm, Cari. “What ‘Food Porn’ Does to the Brain.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.

Is it cute or nah? Amping up your food photography

By Krysta Overton

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In this day and age, every millennial with a smartphone thinks they are a photographer. With all the assortments of apps, filters and fancy flash, automatic adjustments can be made to any picture to make it seemingly post worthy. But photography is about more than just the point and shoot, young Padawan. An experienced photographer can tell you that photography is much more than meets the eye.

(YES, PUN ATTENDED)

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http://www.eatnowdrinklater.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/chick.jpg.

This is especially true where food photography is concerned. Having an eye for the composition and detail of an exceptional food photograph takes practice and skill. I have been a photographer for the past 8 years and I am STILL nowhere near where I should be in terms of making photo greatness…but it’s a daily and sometimes even monthly endeavor.

So how does one improve? The first thing I always tell my friends is to STUDY! If you truly care about something, whether it’s a topic or situation or even a hobby, you learn what you can about it to make sure you are in “the know.” This applies to food photography as well. Find a favorite photographer or a favorite site and study the photos. Pay attention to how the photographer composed the picture, the supporting cast, the angle, the backdrop. This will give you an idea of how you should “see” when you are shooting. Obviously having a decent camera will help in this endeavor, and there are TONS of articles on the web to help you select the best one for you. If it’s a beginner’s hobby, or if you just don’t have the funds to invest in a new camera just yet (college struggles) then practice with a smartphone to work on improving the same items.

Some of my favorite sites for photo tips are Sarah Wilson and the Digital Photography School.  The photography school offers photo tips on EVERYTHING you could possibly think of if you are trying to expand your overall skill with a camera, but specifically for food photography I’ve consolidated some of their tips in 5 PHOTO BASICS:

1: The best way to go, A’ Naturale. Natural lighting is absolutely your friend where food photography is concerned. When shooting, try shooting from different points to incorporate different lighting. A diffuser may be helpful in some lighting, but overall, let the sun shine in.

zzz

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ab/64/7f/ab647fadae2f26cfdc604b6cac18f8f8.jpg.

 

2: ANGLES! Think about women and selfies. Enough said? The angle you shoot from changes the entire perspective of the photo.

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https://i0.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/01_Tip01_45_vs_90_Cupcakes.jpg?resize=600%2C447&ssl=1

 

3: Color is GOOD! Think of what draws you into a food photo: What catches your eye. One element of that is probably that pop of color and allure that grabs you when you see a picture. Color in photography can be adjusted via editing, but pay attention to it when shooting as well. The less you have to edit, the better you are becoming as a photographer.

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https://i1.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/08_Tip04_Lines.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1

 

4: Details with food are like women and makeup. She may already look nice, but if you add a little lipstick here and a bit of blush there, BAM! Diva status. Food is the same way, if the details in the photo are evident then it enriches what may have been an already stellar photograph.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IkCGmHJf5a4/UXkAFMFCiyI/AAAAAAAAAII/7Dj-w8HDTMc/s640/2678132790_4614ac4e52.jpg.

 

5: Last, Composition is KEY! Placement in photographs is extremely important. It provides balance and makes the entire image more aesthetically pleasing. Learn about different methods of composition: leading lines, the rule of thirds, etc. These are ALL used in food photography and the more you know about them, the more options you have when shooting.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6210/6032553895_8d5401a910.jpg.

Have fun!

Insta Food Fad

Written by: Sydney Wilburn

Projected fashion trends in 2017: sleeve slits, khaki and the color yellow.

Hairstyle trends in 2017: blowouts, twisted minimalism and something called “festival lingering.”

Instagram food trends of 2017: Magic.

Popsugar predicts that Instagram foodies will move on from the rainbow-colored everything trend from 2016 and replace it with metallic sprinkles and edible glitter. Some of Huffington Posts’ 2017 Food Trends seem to be created with Instagram in mind;  the increase of serving everything in a bowl instantly makes your meal both more aesthetic on your feed and more exotic to your followers. It seems like the overhead-shot of some crazy culinary concoction on our Instagram feed is the equivalent to the offbeat and sometime downright bizarre clothing we see models wear in Fashion Week. Would the average person pull that out of the closet to wear to school? Probably not. Would the average person choose to go out of their way to turn their sushi into a doughnut-shaped Ista fad? Probably not. But, like the styles of fashion week, we’ll soon start seeing these food trends trickle into our everyday lives in modified forms through social media, especially Instagram.

sushi-donut-sobeautifullyraw-11
The newest fad in Instagrammable cuisine– the sushi doughnut.

Popsugar explains that, like other forms of media like home remodeling TV shows or even Fashion Week, many viewers don’t watch to reproduce these products exactly– it’s a form of entertainment, watching a form of artwork created. Some even say that posting your filter-covered meal on Instagram makes it taste better when you finally put the camera down and dig in. This psychological trick, in addition to adding a location to your photo and probably a hashtag or two, has the potential to increase a restaurant’s cool-factor, customer base, and of course, social media engagement. I’ve seen signs posted in restaurants to encourage friends and families to put away their phones during meal times and enjoy each other’s’ company. Coming from a humanistic side, I see the value in this. However, my social media and business-minded side is desperately jumping at this opportunity. Encourage your patrons to post the most creative photo of their meal on their Instagram profile and use the establishment’s personalized hashtag (or even better, tag the establishment themselves in the photo because they should have an Instagram account). Use Instagram’s location-tagging feature to let people know where you are. And, after they’ve hit “Post,” they’ll dig into their (hopefully still warm) meal and– according to science!– enjoy it just a little more because they’ve shared it with their friends.

The Struggles of Food Blogging

by: Krysta Overton

http://www.healthnutnation.com/2014/08/18/learn-start-food-blog/

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When it comes to pursuing the things we love, it’s fairly easy. It’s a personal endeavor that involves you, yourself, and whatever other alternate personality you use when you’re out on the weekends.  When it comes to converting that interest into “likes” so other people will want to be a part of that endeavor, it becomes a whole new ball game.

And here, on the not so lonely precipice that is food blogging, is where I found my issue. Food blogging has become a craze on social media. Partly owned by the fact that people love to eat, but more so because the next best thing to eating is obviously looking at pictures of food. Food blogs have taken on random forms, from recipes covering every possible food genre known to man, to food blogs centered on making food “pretty,” recipes, restaurants, and reviews… the choices are absolutely endless. So when food blogging, how does one keep their blog afloat among all the other equally interesting options?

From my research, I summed it into 3 different rules, though I’m sure there are many more or the rules could be broken down even further.

  • Nevertheless, rule number one: Pick your audience. By pick your audience, I mean a combination of knowing who your audience is and catering directly to them. Social media offers a plethora of platforms that enable one to engage with their public, but even then, it’s extremely possible to overextend yourself. If Facebook and Instagram are getting the most feedback, then focus primarily on those two. That is where the audience is.
  • Rule number 2: POST! I haven’t met a single fellow blogger who isn’t pressed for time at some point or another. With full time jobs and children and LIFE, it’s easy to not always be able to factor in a few spare hours to write a well thought out blog. Oddly enough though, that is the exact thing that can be the difference between a successful page and a page populated by the “friends and family” morally obligated to support and follow us on social media. The articles I read said that posting often is a must, and posting monthly should definitely be the minimum.tuna-584x400http://www.eatnowdrinklater.com/lamb-chop-dish/
  • The last rule, rule number three: It’s all about the content. This one goes without saying in my opinion. If you have a food blog that relies heavily on food photography and the photography is garbage… I’d say you have a little bit of an issue. The writing, the photography, and whatever else one adds to a post should be intentional and thought out. The goal is not to drown the reader, but intrigue them.

These aren’t the only things needed for a good food blog, but hey, it’s a pretty good start.

 

Bryan, A. 2016. How to increase food blog traffic and visitors. Urban Tastebud. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from http://urbantastebud.com/how-to-increase-food-blog-traffic-and-visitors/

Gibbs, A. 2015. Food blogging: How to cook your way to success. CNBC. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/14/food-blogging-how-to-cook-your-way-to-success.html

 

First Blog – Jasmine Ibanez

Hey class! My name is Jasmine Ibanez, and I just wanted to take the time to talk about some issues that I feel are important to share.

A few days ago, I watched a Facebook video of a sentimental mother sharing her story about her little boy and a his classmate. In the video, the mother explained that her son had been asking her to make him two school lunches instead of his usual one meal. It turns out, her little boy had been asking for an extra lunch because a classmate would sit alone and eat nothing but a fruit cup for lunch. The boy’s mother was touched and refused when the other boy’s mother offered to pay her back. Instead, the mothers raised money together and donated the money to pay the overdrawn lunch accounts the kids had at the school.

(You can read the full story here!)

This video actually made me upset. How is it that millions and millions of people pay thousands of dollars in taxes each year and their children can’t even get a decent meal at school. I remember my lunches would LITERALLY be molded bread on a sandwich and brown apple slices usually accompanied by an expired milk. I’m not joking. My school would  make kids actually pay for this food.

In this picture below I acquired from ViralYak, you can see a comparison of school lunches around the world. (A little disclaimer, the USA lunch in the picture looks so much better than what we were given when I was in high school and the portions look significantly bigger.)

school-lunches

As you can see, the USA lunch looks significantly unhealthier and less balanced, something growing kids need from their meals. On top of having unhealthy, rotten food choices, TAXPAYER CHILDREN HAVE TO PAY FOR THESE MEALS!!

In my personal opinion, children should not have to pay for a standard school lunch. If kids do not have the option to miss public school without repercussions, feeding a child should not be an option for a school.