HSC Influencer Series - Minnie Kim
Minnie Kim is passionate about food. She has built a successful blog taking gorgeous photos of gorgeous meals and has a mess of eager followers around the world excited to see where she'll try next. Not only that, she's an amazingly lovely person.
Seoul native, now living in New York city, Minnie is always dishing up the goods on the best places to eat in NYC.
You can follow Minnie on Instagram at @eastingwithminnie
How did you get started in blogging and why a focus on food?
I started Instagram as a creative outlet once I graduated from college. It began as more of a lifestyle account where I posted curated images of anything that caught my eye, but when I moved to NYC and started attended more events and meeting more people, the focus began to narrow in on food.
Tell us about your first experience working with a restaurant client. How did you start reaching out to restaurants?
To be honest, the only times I reach out to restaurant personally are when I need help with a booking because the times I would like are unavailable on the various reservation sites. I never reach out to ask for a complimentary meal. For the most part, it’s been PR agencies and restaurant clients reaching out to me in that regards.
Has that approach changed today? How do you go about finding new clients - or do they find you?
My approach hasn’t really changed much at all since I first started posting on my Instagram. In terms of discovering new restaurants, I’m constantly reading NY Times, Eater, Grub Street, and Food Republic to keep an eye on what openings are coming up. Also, even Instagram or just walking around the city is a great way to find new spots!
Tell us about your favorite restaurant experience. Where was it? What was the dish and who was the chef?
I don’t think I necessarily have a favorite restaurant experience, but a memorable one was at Me and You, where the experience is just as important as the food. Chef Jehangir Mehta curates a personalized menu unique to your party based on your responses to the food survey they send along once you place in a request. The price is very reasonable and overall, it’s just such a memorable experience!
Food photography is extremely tough, especially when food presentation and lighting situations are constantly changing. How do you manage and prepare for this?
I usually never take photos unless there’s ample natural lighting just because of the types of images I enjoy taking. Food always looks best in natural light!!
What do you shoot with and what is your favorite editing program or app?
I shoot with my iPhone 6s and my favorites app would have to be SnapSeed or VSCO Cam :)
Horror story time. Have you had any disaster shoots?
None as of yet - fingers crossed it will stay that way!
Your feed is beautifully curated. How do you keep it interesting?
I typically stick to the top-down flatlay images, but focus more on table shapes and different
Is blogging a full time job for you or do you juggle other work?
Right now I’m doing freelancing doing social media and content creation so yes, it’s my full-time!
What would you say is the strongest asset or skill that you possess and have used to build your business?
Being personable has been a skill that has been beneficial to building my business. Within the social media/blogging sphere, you’re always meeting different people at events and I try really hard to hold actual conversations with these people rather than making the relationships so transactional. Connecting not only with other influencers within the community, but also, restaurant owners and those in PR is very important - the more contacts you have in your bandwidth the better!
In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
I wouldn’t say that there are is a set number of vital skills necessary to be a successful blogger. I think having a great creative eye and sense of what you want your brand to be is really important as you build your blog.
What’s one vital tool or system that you use every day and couldn’t live without (and you can’t say coffee…)
My other creative friends! I go to them when deciding on certain edits or which versions of an image to post. It’s always nice to get a second eye on everything.
Any advice for budding bloggers?
Be yourself! Because the blogging industry has become so saturated, originality and relate-ability have become so important. Whether it’s in how you edit your images, your photography style, and even your caption, making your feed as personable as possible will set you apart and will reduce the disconnect that often comes with a larger follower count.