An expert in all things Austin-Texas-related, A Taste of Koko rings in the new year as our Featured Influencer! From recipes and style, to restaurant reviews and complete travel guides – this is your one-stop shop for fun! If you need a few mouth-watering dishes to kick off your 2019 meal planning, Jane Ko has you covered. Or are you planning a trip to Austin in the near future? Check out her travel guides for some must-see destinations. Don’t forget to stop by Jane’s Instagram too for some quick inspiration! We love working with her because she always creates visually stunning content with a relatable twist. To learn more about Jane, keep reading!

 

How did you start blogging, and what was the inspiration behind your blog?

I started blogging in 2010 when I was finishing up my last year in Nutrition at the University of Texas at Austin. I actually had a “mid-life crisis” that I didn’t want to go to grad school or work a corporate job. I was reading a couple of national blogs at that time and was inspired by these women that had their own blogs – so I started my own. I was interested in baking at that time, so I started with baking recipes and then transitioned into restaurant coverage in Austin in 2012. A Taste of Koko now covers Austin restaurant coverage, travels to other destinations, and my life at home!

 

What social media outlet do you use most frequently and why?

Definitely Instagram – don’t we all! I’ve never been a strong writer so I wanted photography to be the focus of A Taste of Koko. Luckily Instagram is photo-based and people like looking at food porn and dreamy photos of travel destinations. My fans tell me that they use my Instagram to plan where they’re going to eat out during the week!

 

What typically inspires you to write a post?

My readers! People reach out to me through Instagram DM with restaurant recommendations or travel tips in other cities – so much so that I launched my own texting service last year so people can easily text me. If there’s a recurring question, then I know it’s time for a blog post!

 

Can you share one or two of your top photography tips?

Natural light – always, always try to shoot in naturally diffused light. This means if you’re in a restaurant, ask to sit by the window, or if you’re sitting outside, sit in the shade. If I’m traveling to a new destination or staying at a hotel, I always do research beforehand on the Instagram location tag so I can see what the space looks like. I like to also do a walkthrough of the location once I get there, especially if it’s a hotel property or a restaurant so I can start thinking of how I’m going to capture the space in photos.

 

How did you define your own personal style, and how do you stay true to that style in sponsored posts?

Casual, simple, and fun. I’ve referenced my readers several times in this interview, but it’s because they know me so well! Readers have told me that they can easily recognize my photos by just the lighting, colors, and placement of the food. I also love it when readers tell me about a new restaurant or a product that they know I’ll like because it’s always spot on.

 

For sponsored posts, I only work with brands that I use and love, or if it’s a new product, it’s one that I’ve tested and love. I like to work closely with brands on sponsored opportunities so we can come up with a content piece that is authentic to my lifestyle.