Selasa, 26 Januari 2016

HOW I STARTED FOOD BLOGGING

Sydney's Opera House from the Sea
All of a sudden, I was thinking to post something out of food review topic. And I wanna share about how everything started. I never really remember when I started posting food photos seriously. The first time I had my semi-pro camera was in March 2011 when I was about to travel to Sydney, Australia. I had my Master Degree Graduation there on April 2011. I was mind-poisoned (read: Diracunin) by my work-mate at that time (when I still worked there). I successfully bought Canon 60D + 18-55mm F3.5 - 5.0 + 50mm F1.8 for a total of around IDR 9.800.000s. I was so lame at camera specifications and I didn't even understand what is Apperture, Exposure, etc2. All I knew was ISO to brighten the picture :p

I had that camera for around 3 years until April 2014 when I planned to travel to Derawan, East Kalimantan in May 2014. I realized Canon 60D was not a travel-friendly gear especially in a remote island & beach/ sea kind of places. I needed something light and portable. Thats when I decided to move on from Canon to Fujifilm X-E2. Its a kind of retro-look-camera with lots of greatness from a small and light body. I had it with a kit lens 18 - 55mm F2.8-4.0 for IDR 17.000.000 which was almost doubled my Canon 60D. But I had a great satisfaction with this camera as it produced really great photo quality. Does it worth the price? Definitely!

My new lens after the kit lens was the 35mm F1.4 that I bought last year when I looked for a bokeh lens. I used it a lot for my food photography. But the contra of this lens is the zoom effect which is not great for a small room. If you guys followed my journey from the very early, You'll notice most of my (food) photos were kinda zoomed in. Its like impossible to take a flat photo from the top, the popular term right now is "Flatlay" right?

Then after a lot of considerations, last December 2015, I bought a new lens 16mm F1.4 for a wider photo. Both of these lens were very nice at producing sharp picture quality. There's no doubt about these lens, its just the purpose that matters. If you want to take more zoomed in photos, then thr 35mm F1.4 is great. But if you want to take landscape, nature, or a group of people in the room, then the 16mm F1.4 is very nice.


16 mm F1.4
Back to my food-blogging history! As I said earlier, I never realized how I started everything. As long as I remember, my first time being invited for a restaurant review was on July 2015. I was invited by my friend (who happened to know the owner of Eggo Waffle) to review a soon-to-release-product at that time which was TAIYAKI PATISSERIE. (click the name to see the blog post). At that time, I got the privilege to taste 4 different flavors of this product before it was launched in public.


Taiyaki Patisserie
But before that first invitation, I have started to write my very first blog on 5 July 2015 probably just days or weeks before the first invitation. I remember I set up the blog layout from scratch and it took a few days to 'try and error' until everything perfect as I wanted. My very first blog post is about 'SIX OUNCES COFFEE' in Kelapa Gading. I quite liked the coffee though, The cappuccino was very strong compared to similar competitors.

Capucinno by Six Ounces Coffee
I started my @JKTDELICACY Instagram account not from scratch (zero) because I had an abandoned account that I used to sell my branded stuffs at that time (Sssst.. I loved shopping). The existing followers at that time were around 400s. So, I cleaned up my Instagram feed and rebranded everything from my contact person, profile description to display picture. I quite lost some followers when they realized they were not following an online shop no more :)

Its such a struggle at the early stage as a 'Food-Blogger' because I started from knowing nothing, having no connection to the food industry, and having just adequate to little knowledge in food photography. So, I remembered I often reposted some beautiful photos from fellow food bloggers or from anyone who used my hastag #JKTDELICACY at that time. The question is how people knew me when I was still new at that time? I spammed at other's accounts, so sorry but that was how I got the attention. I wrote an invitation to use my hashtag at people's comment section. I knew that It was annoying but that's the cheapest way to get attention. It was really sad to throwback to that moment but sometimes thats a great memory to remember. 
I got my followers very very slowly at that time and I hid this hobby from anybody including my friends.

I got my second restaurant invitation weeks later at Qi Lounge & Bar in Hotel Sultan. I was with my sister at that time and we were very awkward because we didn't recognize anybody (food bloggers) there. But they were all in group like they had known each other. Later, they came to us and introduced themselves. I remember some fellow foodbloggers like @myfoodfairytales, @makanterusss, @bikingendut, @redmagz, @foodirectory and @Calvin_herryson (the rests I don't remember). They were quit nice to us.


The Flying Noodle by Qi Lounge
And from that first meeting, we met again quite some times on many other bloggers union events. The last full blogger union that I attended was by @Porter.id in Tredici Ristorante, Senopati on 29 November 2015. It was an introduction to an online food services by @Porter.id. I did have a lot of fun there. I tried some of the best delicious treats that they put on the display table for tester.


My lunch at the blogger union at Tredici Ristorante
My own creation of the Christmas Gingerbread House
What motivates me to do this food blogging other than my hobby in food-photography is the FREE FOOD! Who doesn't love that? I remembered when I got my very first invitation through my official JKTDelicy email, I was really excited like finally somebody contacted me. At that moment, I wouldn't hesitate to come anywhere as long as I had the time. But through out the journey, I was like filtering on which invitation should I accept. Because I currently have my own full time business on the weekdays. The only possible way to come to any invitations is on the weekend or weekdays after office hour.

Now lets talk about Endorsement! Food bloggers and Online Food Sellers work mutually! Food Bloggers need material to post on their Instagram while Online sellers need to promote their product by endorsing to food bloggers. I don't remember my very first product endorsed to me. But I can mention one that I think is one of the earliest that I remember. It is macaroni schotel by @Creamymolly. Eventually, this is owned by my own friend! I don't have any particular material or property for the photo shoot. So the only things available at home were the materials that I used like this chopping block.


Last December 2015, I opened up for a Free Endorsement promotion on my Instagram account (if you noticed I wrote the "Free Endorsement" on my Instagram profile). And surprisingly, the hype was unbelievable. I received like 3-5 emails a day for endorsement or invitation. I replied all and I accepted all. But sometimes I felt like there were a few endorsers that were not respectful. When I had accepted it and gave them my address, they turned out to be missing without any reply. I totally don't put respect on people like this.

As long as I counted, there were as many as 30 products that I had received and promoted in my Instagram. Roughly, more than 50% of the products were cakes or pastries. There was a week when I felt like I gave up eating any more cakes. In many cases, I tasted just a slice of the cake and the rests were given to my family or friends. I have gained weight significantly since December T_T due to this sweet consumption. But I appreciate every product sent to me. I'll be posting a special Endorsement Topic Post maybe later when I have a free time :) Below is one of the cake that I received from @Chubbycheeksweets



Well, I think its enough for this little introduction. I'll be posting a lot more about my self.


ABOUT US

EMAIL: jktdelicacy@gmail.com

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