Everyday Aussies Becoming Food Stylists

By Freya Ensbey.

Food influencers of today are no longer reserved to speak from the glossy pages of magazines of large publishing stables one could find on the supermarket shelves, or from the television screens of well-known cooking programs. 

The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, along with the easily accessible realm of online blogging has taken the home cook enthusiast and recipe creators from their very own kitchen and onto the screens of hand held devices across the country, influencing those seeking at a simple click of a #hashtag.

Australian start-up company TRIBE, created by television and radio personality Jules Lund, has embraced this entwined tech culture, creating a space designed to pair together brands with influencing Australians with a bit of social media clout, for the financial benefit of all parties involved, including the consumer, in the transaction.

TRIBE achieves this by beginning with the brand, which will post a campaign brief which influencers can then react to and send in content, such as a picture of themselves using the product to be posted on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. If the brand finds the relationship a good match, they will sponsor the influencer to post it straight to their designated social media channel, creating an authentic advertisement to their organic following.

We speak with TRIBE Founder Jules Lund

Q: How are food and alcohol brands using creators to their best ability?

A: We often taste with our eyes, well before our mouths and the visual focus of Instagram allows food and alcohol brands to easily leverage off this platform and cater to our visual appetites. With platforms like TRIBE, brands can now easily access everyday people and social media influencers to capture the food style and imagery for them. Who better to promote the latest restaurant opening or premium whiskey label, then the very consumers of those brands.

Q: In what ways are these creators changing the way Australians (specifically) view food?

A: Food and drink have always been highly visual and creative passions, however we used to only see this in restaurants and cocktail bars. Through social media, everyday people with a knack or creative food talent can easily showcase their passion to the world, demonstrating their own recipes, or simply celebrating their own food style.  

Q: Do you see any arising issues from brands solely using influencers that may have no professional background or understanding in the field they are admired for? In what ways are those influences that use TRIBE trying to overcome some of this stigma?

A: Social media influence relies on authenticity and an influencer’s value is primarily connected to their audience and the maintenance of an authentic visual dialogue with them. In situations where an influencer is overstating their credentials in any field, they risk breaching their audience trust and losing their value as an influencer. Influencers can often be highly qualified, or can simply be everyday people with passions, so it’s also important for audiences to assess their judgement as they might from a professional or peer.

Meet some of the TRIBE 

Influencer: Sonali Ghosh @sugaretal Blog: www.sugaretal.com  

Sonali is a former investment banker from India. She took the gamble to quit her job, move to Australia and followed her passion for food photography. Sonali is a self-taught recipe writer and photographer who creates recipes and images for publications and brands around the world. She keeps her voracious sweet tooth at bay by consuming 2 tablespoons of cake batter every day (from organic, free range eggs of course). Sonali’s favourite things include colours, chocolate, cheese and of course her camera.

Pictured, Sonali’s Almond Milk Panna Cotta with Pomegranates

Influencer: Melissa Tee @tsymelissa Blog: www.myfoodfever.com

Being born in Malaysia, Melissa is now a Sydney local who loves all things baking, deciding one day to begin adding this to her social media platforms, gaining popular attention from her now 16, 000+ followers, who couldn’t get enough of her creations.

"I love eating, baking, cooking, cafe-hopping and started photographing everything that I eat and bake about two years ago. Food is my daily inspiration and I can’t live without it. I am a sweet tooth and love all things matcha.”

Pictured, Melissa’s Matcha Cake Stack with Matcha Cream 

Influencer: Ryan Gelbart @gelbyskitchen  

Ryan is a professionally trained actor and business owner now based in NYC. His Instagram account Gelbys Kitchen has thousands of followers, however cooking didn't always come naturally! As a teenager, hours of Huey's cooking adventures and many disastrous dishes later something clicked! Keep it simple stupid. Ryan said, "Some people enjoy yoga, I relax and zone out when I cook!"

Pictured, Ryan’s Dinosaur Eggs

Check it out TRIBE in the App Store under TRIBE INFLUENCER