Justin Teo (@justinfoodprints)
Justin spends his day making tough decisions as a financial risk specialist. Once the tie comes off, he spends his time hunting down the best food spots locally or wherever in the world his work takes him.
Initially, Justin started an instagram account named '@i_post_for_love' to document the broad range of things that caught his eye. He posted a myriad of images including his travel, flowers, cats and of course, food. Gradually, he found himself gravitating towards posting food images due to the frequency of meals he had. Justin also began writing about the food he ate and the stories behind them, keeping in line with the theme of his handle. Eventually, after a steady growth in followers, Justin decided to rename his account due to the admittedly 'cheesy' handle.
When you started, did you create an elaborate plan or was it very casual?
There was no plans at all. I didn't expect to become a food blogger, nor did I want to start a food instagram account. It all happened by chance.
Do you have any inspirations you look to for your content?
@siewyan49. She's my wife who enables me to generate content.
What are your top 3 favourite dishes and which place served it best?
1. Fish Soup - Yi Jia Teochew Fish Porridge
2. Kaiseki - Chef Akane at Sushi Kumura
390 Orchard Rd, #01-07 Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871
3. Sushi - Ryo Sushi
1 Tras Link, #01-06 Orchid Hotel, Singapore 078867
4. 4 hands collaboration - Curate Resorts World Sentosa (Bonus)
If there were a dish that was your nemesis on this food journey, what would it be?
Used to be wine, as I get allergic reactions to it. But I've since conquered it and I'm enjoying wine with my meals now.
What advice do you have for those who might want to start food blogging or Instagramming?
1. Have a character
This is so that people know what sets you apart from other food bloggers and instagrammers. Give them a reason to follow you instead of the many others.
2. Be real, but be fair
It's important to be honest to both your readers and the business. If there's potential for conflict of interest (if it's an invited tasting, you received remuneration for the review, you are affiliated to or are personally acquainted with the business), declare it so that readers know. Be fair to readers - so you don't rave about food that aren't good. Be fair to the business - don't criticize them too harshly just because it didn't go well for you, but talk to them about it. You stand between both readers and business so be fair to both.
3. Followers, likes and number of comments do not matter.
I posted regularly for a year before I started getting recognition, including tastings invites, and I had only hundreds of followers. In this world where there are accounts buying followers, buying likes, and joining comment pods to exchange comments, all these are just numbers which can be faked. I feel what's most important is your content and your personality, which is real, and over time people will recognize that you generate quality content consistently. All along, even till today, I've much less followers than many accounts, but I'm very happy with the content I generate on my account.
Where can people find out more about you?
I'm also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jstinteo. Justin's blog: https://www.justinfoodprints.com/