The Big Smoke gets our foodporn on with Michael Shen, aka @imstillhungry_, in today’s Know Who You’re Instagramming. Michael talks getting started, his passion for photography, and reminds us that, no matter what, there’s always something good to eat in Sydney!
Hi, Michael! Your Instagram pics are fabulous. If for whatever reason you could only save three, which three would you save?
I’d pick these three:
1. Cocktails at Catalina – I really like how this shot turned out. It’s a bit unique in composition and editing, so I think it’s quite the keeper. Besides, it really speaks to the guilty little alcoholic in me 😉
2. An eight-layer soft serve really illustrates how crazy the food can get in Japan!
3. And I can’t finish the set without a sushi photo – one of my favourite things to eat!
Can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how @imstillhungry came to be?
I developed a passion for photography five years ago and it was inevitable that this would be combined with my love of food. My food blog (imstillhungry.net) actually came first, but as not everyone has time to digest a long-form piece, the Instagram presence came along a few years after to cater to that particular segment. Given that we literally need food to survive, it is something to which we can all relate – why not make it taste (and look) as good as possible? That’s how @imstillhungry came about – to whet your appetites and indeed, get you hungry with the best of what’s around town.
InstaMoments: What do you think is the main driver to people coming to @imstillhungry daily and following you?
I would say it’s a combination of two factors. One: being consistent. Many people likely rely on my regular postings of what’s a good bite in Sydney (and occasionally around the world). The feed is always a reliable place to keep in the loop. Two: making sure the photos always adhere to a minimum standard of quality. I’m quite discerning with what I post on my feed – while I don’t focus on food styling (given the focus on restaurants), I make sure that dishes I capture are done so with reasonable composition, decent lighting, and of course, accurate to how the dish truly looks in person. It can be challenging at times as restaurants don’t always have the best lighting environments, but I also feel that my blog has helped build a loyal audience which feeds back into my Instagram, and vice versa.
InstaStories: What is the main story you like to tell through @imstillhungry?
That, no matter what, there’s always something good to eat in Sydney!
InstaFans: What is the worst way for someone to try and get your attention on Instagram, and what is the best way?
Spam comments are easily the most annoying aspect of Instagram. What’s worse is that more often than not, they’re generated by bots so you know the engagement isn’t genuine. Fortunately, they’re easy to ignore. As for the best way to get my attention – a thoughtful comment, one that actually addresses the photo directly and isn’t just a couple of words, will do the trick!