Today we’d like to introduce you to Francesca Jestings.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Francesca. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Having Italian roots, my personal life has always been focused around food. So much so my brother became a Chef in New York! I grew up loving everything from home-cooked meals to elaborate upscale dining experiences. When I received my first smartphone, I started taking pictures of food I made at home and shared recipes with my friends. That turned into me taking photos of my meals at restaurants and filling up my personal Instagram page with beautifully plated dishes. I started following more foodie accounts and realized it would be fun to start my own food Instagram and share my food photos in a more public way. Fortunately, the foodie community in Boston and New England has been so encouraging, so I have learned a lot in my first year, refined my photography skills, and made some great friends through my Instagram account.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve had good meals and bad meals. I’ve experienced wonderful service and I’ve dealt with waitstaff that is less than helpful. I’ve worked with media companies that organize every aspect of an event so there are no questions with expectations and I’ve struggled with media companies that have major disconnects with the restaurants they work with. I’ve worked with other food bloggers who want to see me succeed and I’ve also worked with individuals who just see me as competition. So, while it hasn’t always been a smooth road, every experience has helped me grow immensely.
I think the best way I’ve gotten through some of the difficult experiences has been to lean on other bloggers that I’ve networked with. A few have been willing to share how they’ve handled the negatives of food blogging and how I can professionally learn from those circumstances. It’s also been great to meet so many other young women who are blogging about food too. Some have become great friends and it’s been wonderful to share this experience with them. My biggest piece of advice is to network from the start, always be open to meeting other bloggers and actively build those relationships because those people will be your biggest support system through your journey.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with NewEnglandFoodExplorer – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I live just south of Boston, work in the city and have family in Rhode Island so I primarily dine (and photograph) these regions of food. I do love everything New England has to offer, including the diverse food offerings from each of the regions and I have enjoyed exploring the different stated through food.
I think my page reflects everything from a fancy donut to a beautifully plated meal at a Michelin Star Restaurant. I think my wide range of dining options help make food more approachable for people and have shown my followers that while new and exciting places open up every day in Boston, some wonderful meals can still be found outside the city and across New England.
I am also proud of my page because it reflects my personality, food I love, and food outside my comfort zone regardless of the “likes” I can get in return. A lot of people tend to only post popular food but I prefer to capture food that I believe others need to try. I also love connecting with smaller businesses and supporting their businesses. It’s wonderful to see that my genuine endorsement can help a food truck increase sales! That is their livelihood and I am glad to be a part of it.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
The best inspiration for food blogging on Instagram has been to follow other bloggers and attend other events. That’s how I’ve learned to take great shots, capitalize on good lighting, and great a wonderful support system. The bigger accounts, like Boston Food Journal, Boston Foodies, Boston Mouthful and Boston Food Gram have helped me refine my “eye” for the shot. Accounts like The Roaming Foodie and Taste Of Massachusetts have been great people to look for advise since they are so experienced. They have recommended me for some of my favorite events! I also loved the styles of Nail the Cocktail, Boston behavior, Taste 2 To Tango and Still Cute Dough because their captions crack me up and showed me it is important to have your personality in the forefront of your page.
- Email: NewEnglandFoodExplorer@gmail.com
- Instagram: @NewEnglandFoodExplorer
- Facebook: facebook.com/NewEnglandFoodExplorer
- Twitter: @NewEnglandFood
Me, Francesca Jestings @NewEnglandFoodExplorer