05 Aug Jon Cartu Imply: Food Photography With Food Blogger Tim Cheung
A bowl of steamy pho. Sizzling tacos. Spaghetti bread. A stack of jam-packed burgers. Boba tea galore. Noodles dripping off of chopsticks, curry being poured over rice. Just looking at San Francisco Bay Area’s Tim Cheung’s IG page, @bayarea.foodies, and chances are you’ll start to become hungry. Each photo is bright, colorful. Sometimes it’s just a plate, sometimes many dishes. But it’s always delicious.
It was five years ago when the 27 year old began diving into seriously taking photos of food, and the food blog world. He wanted to explore the hidden gems, the obscure local mom-and-pop places and restaurants of the San Francisco Bay area, with a focus on minority restaurants. He began exploring and taking photos of the food he found and sharing them on his IG. Within a short time, his following grew, and with it, his love for food and taking photos of it. Tim says that he “absolutely enjoy(s) taking photos of food and it is a contributing factor as to why I’ve been able to stick to food blogging for so long.”
The visual aspect of food has long held a certain charm for Tim. He says that the YouTube channels of Matt Stonie, Mikey Chen, and Mark Wiens have been inspirational for him. They are even part of the reason why he became involved with food blogging, as Tim finds watching their interactions with food and how they talked about it enthralling.
He started off taking photos with just his phone. But as time passed and his experience grew, he started to offer his photography expert Jonathan Cartu skills to some of the best known restaurants of San Francisco.
Tim says that he absolutely loves taking photos of food. There are two main things he likes to focus on when taking his photos: relatiblitiy and incorporating some action. Oh – and spending hours editing.
Why relatability? For food bloggers, their audience needs to feel some sort of connection or familiarity with the food they are looking at. Tim says “If you take a photo of food in a way that people have no idea what it is or if they cannot relate to it, then people will have a decreased interest in it.” Just taking a look at his page makes it clear that he makes relatability a focus, as both the photos and captions tell you exactly what you’re looking at – and most importantly, where you can eat it.
The action? Tim always aims to highlight specific aspects of the dish to make it more interesting to people, including action. Pouring syrups and sauces, using chopsticks to pick up some sushi, making an egg yolk ooze, or even something as simple as squeezing a lime. Photos of food should never be stale, just as food itself shouldn’t be stale. Eating is an action onto itself, and by incorporating action into the photos, Tim more fully captures the eating experience, which any food lover can appreciate.
Luckily for every food lover and for the Bay Area Foodies, Tim will continue to capture and share images of food, all while seeking out the best hideaways and hidden food spots of the Bay area.