When you think of foodies of Instagram, you think of bright, eye-catching, mouth-watering photos. And Brianna Tang of @toomanybites has totally nailed it. As a Massachusetts native, Tang grew up exploring the local culinary culture, dining out with family and friends or following other Instagram accounts. Read on for her favorite food photography tips, hear what she thinks of the Boston food scene, and see where she gets her social media inspo.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
I grew up in Southborough, MA which is in Central Massachusetts, about 30 minutes from the city. And starting this fall, I moved to Chestnut Hill to study business at Boston College! Growing up, my family always loved going out to eat (mostly for Asian food), and you could find us at Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown every other week. We also traveled a lot and, of course, tried so much good food everywhere we went! Eventually, I stumbled across a couple of Boston Instagram accounts (back in 2017 or 2018), and thought why not make one for myself since I had so many food photos on my iPhone anyways. I never thought it would gain even 100 followers, but here we are!
What makes the Boston restaurant scene special?
I love the increasing diversity and amazing hidden gems/local spots in Boston’s restaurant scene! Recently, I’ve also noticed that many popular restaurants from other major cities are opening or already have opened locations in Boston. I’m excited and curious to see how Boston’s restaurant scene will continue to evolve.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
There are so many good ones!!
- Omakase Box To-Go from Laughing Monk Cafe. I’ve had their dine-in omakase, takeout omakase, and dine-in regular menu and they are all phenomenal!! If you’re looking for some beautiful and unique sushi, the presentation, hospitality, and flavors at Laughing Monk are all top-notch.
- Lamb Biang Biang Noodles from Chili Square or I Fresh Noodle. It’s a local and cash-only restaurant in Quincy and Allston and their spicy hand-pulled noodles are my absolute favorite.
- Sake Don from Tora Japanese Restaurant. So much fresh raw salmon and beautiful presentation! They have many options for sake don and sushi too, for whatever you prefer.
- Lobster Roll from Saltie Girl. They’ve got amazing seafood and drinks with a great location. I’ve been meaning to go back to try more of their items!
- Strawberry Honey Toast from Caffe Bene. I love the cozy cafe vibes and all of their drinks!
What do your friends and family think of your life as an influencer?
My friends and family have always been super supportive! My closest friends always hype up my account to their friends, and of course they enjoy the perks like getting to attend restaurant invites — at a small cost of occasionally eating cold food. I think that a lot of people don’t get to see the “behind the scenes” work of what goes into the communication, photography, editing, etc for influencer work, but my closest friends and family definitely have. They’re always willing to help if I need a hand model or drink pour and whenever we go out to eat, they always ask if I need to take a picture before they start eating.
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos? Do you use any fun tools or equipment for snapping the best ‘gram worthy photos?
Good lighting, angles, and composition are key! Also, some dishes naturally photograph better than others, so don’t forget to take photos of your friends’ dishes if they look nice. Getting good photos takes time and patience, so play around with different angles or directions of light to find what you like!
I use a mix of my iPhone 12 and my camera (a Canon EOS 5D with 50mm lens). I use my camera for all of my photos and my iPhone for reels/video content. For editing, I use Adobe Lightroom on my laptop and VSCO on my phone and yes, I had to pay for VSCO premium. Snapseed is another good app option for your phone and it’s free! In general, I strive to have vibrant and clean photos. It takes time to figure out your editing and photography style, but I recommend trying new things to find something you really like. I definitely still have a lot to learn!
What advice would you give someone just starting out as an influencer?
Be authentic and have fun with it! Don’t get too caught up in getting free things, collabs/partnerships, or a big following. Just be passionate about whatever you’re posting about!
Which Boston restaurants and chefs are nailing it on social?
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
- @coffeeshopsofboston for all my coffee lovers
- @lobsboston keeps me updated on Asian restaurants in the Boston area
- @bostonfoodbae for beautiful pictures and fun reels
Favorite spot that everyone should try once: Chili Square
Favorite place to splurge: Saltie Girl
Favorite brunch spot: Krasi
Favorite pizza joint: Frank Pepe
Favorite neighborhood for food: Allston/Brighton
Favorite spot to take visitors from out of town: Taiwan Cafe
Favorite foodie book or movie: Not a movie, but I really liked Buzzfeed Worth It and Netflix Street Food!