My name is Michael and I’m 29 years old. My boyfriend Mark and I have been together for just over 3 years and we’ve been living together for 2 years now. My day job is at the V&A, I work in the Learning department and manage the Schools programme. Mark is a menswear fashion designer.

I had been using Instagram for quite a long time before I started SymmertryBreakfast, as had Mark. We both have private accounts for family and friends. It was a few months after Mark moved in with me that I setup SymmetryBreakfast, but it I was taking some photos in the symmetrical format and posting them on my own account at the start.

It took a while for it to find its feet. I look back at the earliest breakfasts I made and they’re really really bad! Nice to see some evolution over time I suppose.


 

TOP TIP

Hashtags are fairly useless unless you have a good idea and good images, so lets start with that, don’t post crap. Visual literacy is very important when composing good photos. However saying that, a technically good photo doesn’t always reflect an interesting story.

 

The first few months were pretty slow. I think at one point I had 100 photos and 100 followers. First it was Buzzfeed that picked up on it and then a repost by @thekatvond and it grew from there.

A technically good photo, an interesting and evocative narrative and consistency are my top tips. I only post once a day in the morning and its always the same format. When I first started it was always home cooked but now we have branched out restaurants and cafes in London and when we travel. 

Backgrounds and plates are super important for me as they make up the majority of the image. The perspective is always the same, a flatlay from above and that’s about it. Also I never use cutlery, that wasn’t intentional, I guess its just too much clutter

I think because it’s the closest thing to pure photography, there is still something wonderful about the still image that other platforms have tried to then add to and it becomes a bit of a gimmick. With a photo the recognition and mental response is less than a second. 


 

BEST LONDON INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

  • @berrybrosrudd One of the oldest institutions in the city (founded in 1689) has one of the nicest Instagram accounts around. Geordie who manages it is deeply passionate that wine shouldn’t be an old mans world and his personality really shines through in the story he tells. 
  • @dandoherty_ is Executive Chef at Duck and Waffle. He’s got the enviable task of creating some of the most beautiful looking dishes in the city. He’s definitely one of my go to accounts when I am running low on inspiration.
  • The mysterious @clerkenwellboyec1 is one of those people in the food world that I've met through SymmetryBreakfast. He's deeply passionate about promoting the food in London and is a wonderful collaborator, organises brunches and guides new fledgling restaurants on how to maximise their offer. 
 

The social food community in London that I’ve met are super nice. I think its when you discover a friend who is really into food, it’s a great bond. I would have never met people like @felicityspector, @clerkenwellboyec1 or @foodstinct without setting up SymmetryBreakfast which I’m really grateful to have met and now call friends.

Most people think that I’m a girl or that I’m an Asian girl if you want to get specific. For me that says a lot about people’s own stereotypes of heteronormative relationships where women are subservient to men.

I might have a week where I will really struggle to think of something new and might have to settle for a rework of something from many weeks ago. Other weeks it’s a breeze and on a Sunday night I’ll have it all planned out in my head.

It started because I wanted to cook for Mark, its still the foundation of the concept. It has morphed into a space for advertising brands or products that I like or places that we are visiting but in essence if that all went away I’d still make Mark some toast and tea.


 

MY BEST POST

A photo of a matcha croissant from @moba_london on some plates by @minorgoods was the first to reach over 17,000 likes. Compositionally its very strong and also with some red fruit has a nice pop of colour.