We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Wang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a food Instagram influencer, I wanted to combine my love for food and photography into one. During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to support my favorite local restaurants in the hopes that they would overcome the financial impact caused by the shutdown orders. During my visits, I developed a relationship with many business owners and discovered in each their passion for cooking. I wanted to share these stories with everyone so it could provide a human touch.
Further, I make it a priority to be as transparent as possible when I post. I endeavor to take high quality photos so I can highlight all the wonderful dishes served at a restaurant. I am always excited when I receive messages from my followers who took my recommendations and were able to enjoy the same amazing dining experience as I did.
Finally, Instagram has become a great creative outlet for me and allows me to do something very different than my normal 9-5 job. By tapping into the artistic side of my brain, food art photography has allowed me to manifest my creativity in ways that I would have never thought was possible.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I am not doing food photography, I work as an optometrist for a large healthcare organization. I love what I do because I am able to help people improve their vision everyday. In addition to prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses, we evaluate, diagnose, and treat many eye diseases. I brings me joy when my patients are able to improve their quality of life just by seeing better.
Moreover, there is also a human side to what I do. Sometimes, my patient’s concerns about their own vision is secondary to just having someone to speak to. Many of my patients are older and love sharing stories with me while I check their eyes. These moments can just be as rewarding as helping someone see better.
While it hasn’t always been easy, over the years, I have learned and developed a more patient and empathetic approach in doing my job, which has brought upon a rewarding experience for me and hopefully my patients.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing visitors around San Diego! Our first stop would be the world famous San Diego Zoo. Then we will head to Sunset Cliffs to see the gorgeous, majestic sunsets. During the week, I will take them to Balboa Park to visit the museums and the head over to Coronado so we can enjoy the soft white sand and the historic Del hotel. We can venture out to Cabrillo national park to see the tide pools. I also can’t forget La Jolla, where we can happily enjoy watching sea lions and people kayaking in the caves. We would have to have a bonfire at one or our many beaches. To satisfy their hunger, I would take them to try out some authentic street tacos at Tacos El Gordo. For our carb fix, we will stroll to Little Italy and enjoy one of the many Italian restaurants there. Our food tour will also have us getting some fish sandwiches from El Pescador, BBQ at Phil’s BBQ, and Salt n pepper chicken wings in National city. For a fine dining experience, we will dress up and go to Trulucks or Animae. After dinner, we will head to Gaslamp to grab some dessert and have a fun night out at many of the lounges and bars there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate my success to all my friends on Instagram. Admittedly, when I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new to me and I had no roadmap on how to navigate the food influencer world. However, over time, many of my friends I befriended graciously provided me with their time and wisdom on how to create good content and how to grow followers for my account. For example, my friends shared with me on how to use different lighting and backgrounds to make my photos stand out. Thanks to their generosity, I have developed many friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime.