The Pop Profile series is a peek into the creative process of some of the most talented people making content on social media. It’s a chance for them to step out from behind the camera, into the spotlight, and let us pick their brains. This month, we’re talking with Eddie Sanchez of hungryinla.
Eddie Sanchez isn’t your average foodie blogger. Sure, he makes awesome recipes and shares food photos that will make you instantly hungry, but his content is so high quality it makes you feel like you’re flipping through a high-end, glossy magazine rather than scrolling through your otherwise cluttered Instagram feed. There is a notable depth to his photography that elevates something as simple as a piece of pizza and makes you look twice. He is a self-proclaimed food writer, photographer, and vet of LA’s dining scene, and in his free time you can find him “exploring new finds and new stories worth telling.” We caught up with Eddie to hear about his journey as a content creator and the creative genius behind those mouth-watering, scroll-stopping photos.
A bit about Eddie
I’m Eddie Sanchez, a food photographer and blogger born and raised in LA but now living in the South, Georgia to be exact. “Why,” you ask? I know, usually people move to LA, not from it. I lived in West Los Angeles my entire life and worked in government finance for over a decade (boring I know) while also pursing my ultimate passion, all things FOOD. After much thought and a leap of faith, my family and I decided it was time for a change. I founded Hungry Creative Co., a marketing agency specializing in creating and managing content for food, beverage, and hospitality brands. In my free time, I’m in the kitchen cooking – always trying to come up with something new for dinner and for the ‘Gram! I love traveling with my wife and son – exploring new finds and new stories worth telling.
On getting started with branded content
I started my food blog called Hungry in LA back in 2008, when Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy and Instagram wasn’t even around yet. Back then I didn’t think of utilizing social media for my blog/brand – it was all new territory. But a couple years into Instagram being introduced, I jumped on and started to “micro-blog” on social media – posting my restaurant recommendations and food. Back then there weren’t that many food accounts like today and I quickly grew a following. About a year later I received my first partnership for branded content on Instagram – it was for a Ketchup company. I was humbled that a brand would even want to collaborate with a blogger on social media. That soon sparked a passion for creating content for brands and I’ve been on that journey since.
On his favorite brand collabs
My favorite collaboration with Pop Pays is hands down with MillerCoors. That opportunity involved creating an entire catalog for the brand around different scenarios – think happy hour, watching football, golfing, etc. I think we had over 18 scenes. It was such an honor to be a part of it. Plus I had so much fun creating all the different scenes and working with people as models to bring those photos to life.
Outside of Pop Pays, working with Lexus USA to create content for the LC500 was a blast. From a creative standpoint, I loved the challenge of trying to figure out how a car company ties in to a food blog (spoiler alert: weekend food adventure exploring the city’s best eats in a sweet ride).
On his creative process for branded content
I’ve had to grow over time in this area and I’m always looking to improve. When I first started, I would just say, “Yes” to whatever the brand wanted me to say and create because my intention has always been to put the brand’s needs first and make sure the messaging they want is communicated. But I quickly learned that the approach of “yes to everything” could also do a disservice to the partnership. By that I mean to say, no one knows your audience better than you. Therefore, you know best how to create and deliver that content to your audience who expects a specific tone, style, feel, and a personal touch from you.
My process begins with triple/quadruple checking the brief to make sure I understand the goal we are trying to accomplish and reach out to the brand for follow-up questions. I’ve learned it’s better to ask questions ahead of time before investing a lot of time and effort into something that will have to be redone. I usually plan for the finished photo or video by visualizing the end result – what’s it going to look like and feel. Then I break it down to What (props, equipment needed), Where (location/backdrop), and How (the execution and time frame to accomplish it).
Advice to those getting started
It can be scary to leave the comfort zone of a 9-to-5 to pursue what you really love to do. (I’m speaking from personal experience). I always had a “day job” while trying to create my own business on the side. I’m a big believer in the concept of you reap what you sow. I was only able to give a fraction of my time and effort towards what I really loved to do – create content. So I figured if I gave it my all, even if just for a season, then maybe my results would be better, the business would grow and there would be more opportunities. And there were! Trust me, I’ve never been the guy that will take crazy risks. No one in my family comes from an entrepreneur background. On the contrary, I think I was told growing up to just get a good and steady job and keep it. Even though my approach to life has always been calculated, I quickly learned that life is too short to sit on the sidelines and not do what makes you come alive.
A last bit of advice
I’m grateful to be part of the Pop Pays community! It’s such a great space to collaborate with brands and develop exciting and engaging content together. From a content creator standpoint, the communication and the process of collaborating is so streamlined – I can’t recommend it enough to brands and creators alike.
A huge thank you to Eddie for sharing her creative process and journey with us. You can keep up with him on his Instagram. Interested in learning more about how Pop Pays can speed up your custom content production? Learn how to get started, and check back here for more inspiration from our creator community.