We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Chong and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jill, what do you attribute your success to?
Before offically starting @akemi.eats on Instagram, I was posting what I’d be eating—like a food journal. I’d be taking pictures and videos from my old iPhone, and just being very casual about my postings. I had a friend suggest that I should become a “foodie” and be more professional. So I whipped out my old DSLR that I haven’t touched for years and started using that to take food pictures with. I started to notice that people loved my style in food photography and how it was great quality than compared when I took pictures with my phone. I gained a lot of connections with food-lovers, foodies, restaurants and businesses and that motivated me to continue my foodie blog! From my experience, the two most important factors that lead to my success was creating quality content and be engaging with people around me!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being where I am at now, it was definitely a lot of hard work! I’ve experienced and experimented a lot to see what people like in what I post, what people like in giveaway prizes, themes, etc. I learned that you cannot be too invested in the IG algorithm, since you can’t really predict what will do well or what will flop. Also being in this community, I’ve learned to not compare myself to others because it’ll just create a negative vibe and won’t feel good about myself. Everyone strives in their own way! I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be where I am at now, I can finally call myself a food photographer since I have gained cljents over the year of learning everyday. I’m currently still in school (college life) but am not working anywhere else so my blog has been my full-time. I have put a lot of energy and effort into what I do, and hopefully it shows through my work!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Places to eat in the Bay Area; Ramen Nagi, Tacos El Patreon, Pho Ha Noi, Hiro Nori, Shimofuri Yakiniku Japanese BBQ, K-Elements KBBQ, Cracked and Battered, Mochill Mochi Donuts, HoneyBar Açaí bowls, Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill, U Dessert Story Places to drink in the Bay Area; YiFang, Orbit Coffee, Tea & Others, Black Sugar, Tastea, Tan Cha, Phin Coffee, Urban Ritual Hangout spots: Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park, Sutro Baths, Lands End, Union Square, Cypress Tree Tunnel, Japanese Tea Garden in SF

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Since starting my food blog, I have got to know a lot of people! But there’s a few who have become been with me since the very beginning and I appreciate them for being a good friend. @dearfood.ily, @halzncalzeatz, @joko.eats have known me since Day 1, we went to foodie events, eaten out together and we still do that! Even to this day, we would plan out a day to go to atleast 5 places to eat at in one day. They also have always been there for me whenever I had tough days in my personal life and foodie life. I’m grateful to have met them through this foodie community!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/akemi.eats
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=5Pn3G1H3WAL_bct8aUTPwA&utm_source=ishare
Other: tiktok: @akemi.eats

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.