When I first moved to Austin in 2007, I remember picking up a copy of Austin Monthly Magazine. The magazine was not only gorgeous but informative on this new city I knew nothing about. Along the years, Austin Monthly has continued to be the golden standard for everything and anything to do in Austin. When Deputy Editor of Austin Monthly, Madeline Hollern, reached out to me asking to do a spread on A Taste of Koko for being an Instagram star in their November 2017 issue, I was over the moon.
Madeline met with me at my home to originally do a one-hour interview that then ended three-hours later. Instagram star? I hardly consider myself that since there’s so many talented personalities and accounts on Instagram. Tips for Instagram and how I built A Taste of Koko? I could talk for hours, and so I did. I decided to then take her along for one of my restaurant tastings to show her how it’s done.
Someone somewhere decided it's National Cheeseburger Day, and lifestyle blogger Jane Ko is showing me how to take eye-catching, hashtag-ready pictures for my Instagram account. We met for lunch at noon, and it's already 1:20 p.m. By the time we get just the right shots, the burgers and fries are tepid, the cocktails are watered down, and the ceviche has turned soupy - but our images are gorgeous. - Madeline Hollern
After waiting for all of our dishes to get to our table so I could get a full table spread and then repositioning the plates and taking several photos, indeed, an hour has passed and our food looks exactly as Madeline described it.
This is my typical process to get a photo like this. Over the past 5 years of doing restaurant coverage, I’m used to eating cold food and watered down cocktails.
Melted drinks and lukewarm food aside, Ko has what many would consider a dream job. Thanks to her Austin-based food and travel website, she gets paid to eat gourmet meals, take complimentary cruises, and visit hip cities for free. – Madeline Hollern
Social Media Tip #2: Scout before your shoot
“Out of these cocktails, which is the most photogenic?” she asks the server who suggests the longhorn margarita and lavender bee’s kees. Neither one of us likes eating eggs on burgers, but they look like in images, so we order one atop mine. Ko asks for all the food and drinks to be served at the same time on the outside patio. I feel self-conscious, like we’re too demanding, but she doesn’t hesitate, and the waiter doesn’t seem fazed. – Madeline Hollern
I shared 10 tips with Austin Monthly on how I take pictures for social media. You’ll have to pick up the November issue to see the other tips but one of my number one tips is scouting before shooting.
Thank you, Austin Monthly for the feature!